5 Ways to Clear Out Last Year's Inventory

Turn slow‑moving products into cash with these tools and tips.

Doodle of turning old products into new money.

You’re looking forward to another year of potential business (with an extra day—it's a leap year), but there’s a problem. It’s going to be hard for your small business to flex that new product muscle when you’re carrying the weight of last year’s inventory. Chances are, if particular products aren’t moving quickly, the demand has slowed. All this means is that it’s time to get creative with your marketing strategies. Here are 5 tips and tools to help get you going.

1. Offer a discount.

OK, so there are a few ways you can go about this. If you’re selling merch exclusively online, you can offer discounts on purchases via promo codes, or by merely discounting items that aren’t moving quickly. Show the difference in price with a strikethrough over the original. The initial discount doesn’t have to be that big. Try starting with 10% off, and increase the discount as needed—just be sure that you don't discount any items so much that you sell them for less than what they cost you. And if you’ve got a brick-and-mortar shop, now's the time for an in-store sale event. Leading up to the sale, you can use Facebook and Instagram ads to target local customers.

2. Bundle products together.

Alone, that one hard-to-move product might be a tough sell, but packaged with other items it could finally find a home. You could include it with more popular merchandise to entice customers, or promote it as a complementary item. That new line of beanies not moving well by itself? Pair it with those scarves that have been flying off the shelf, and offer both items at a reduced rate to sweeten the combo. When you connect your store to Mailchimp, we’ll automatically sync your merchandise. This gives you the option to place multiple items together and add them using our product content blocks to your campaigns.

3. Reward customers to give orders a boost.

You can incentivize customers and help yourself by offering a free item with a purchase when they spend a certain amount. It can be a simple signup form on your site that says, “Spend $50 and get a free scented candle.” The idea here is that the “candle” is the item you’re trying to move. If you’re using any of our e-commerce integrations then you have insight into your customers’ spending habits and the more popular products. From there you can target customers, and use personalization to make sure the content you’re sending speaks to their interests.

4. Re-merchandise your product.

Sometimes it’s not the product, but the merchandising that’s the problem. Try repositioning that merchandise to a more prominent section of your website or store to give it some new life. Another great way to do that is by building a landing page for “Last Chance” items, where you’ll get another opportunity to pique your customers’ interests.

5. Find shoppers with ads and social media.

All of these steps will only make a difference if your audience knows about them. It's time to shout the news on the right channels. Tell people you're offering a discount, hosting an in-store sale, selling new product combos, and more with digital ads and on social media. Both will go beyond notifying your current customers, and help you find new shoppers, too.

It’s easy to give up on merchandise that’s not moving, but it doesn’t have to be hard to give it fresh legs. If you’re looking for more ways to boost sales this year, we’ve got tips for bringing holiday momentum into the new year.