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Planning your inventory for the holidays

First, I have a question for you, are you smarter than artificial intelligence when it comes to running your ecommerce business? Do you know how much you’re going to sell in the coming month or 3 months? Specifically, October, November, December and January? The reason I’m talking about these months is because the warehouse fees for Amazon and most 3PLs increase by 3 to 5 times more during this time. This could potentially ruin your business as a result of these ludicrous costs. To combat this problem, you need to know how much you will sell during the Christmas period and what are your three worst days. Taking a look at what our AI determines is our worst day from October 1st to January 31st. So you can see here the three worst days are Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. Zooming in you can get a closer look. If you guessed that these would be the worst performing days, congratulations you’re as smart as our AI!

If you are managing a lot of SKUs and there are a lot of holidays, then you have to ask yourself what are your best days? Is it a trend towards my best days or it just an isolated occurrence? Also, when are your worst days where I’ll have to know how much to increase my ad spend? It is common knowledge that sales for ecommerce businesses go through the roof from the end of November all the way to January where ecommerce sellers need to be very precise on inventory planning and management. How well you plan will either make or break your business, like I said at the beginning those holiday warehouse fees could really hurt your business. What a lot of medium (and some large) businesses use is their gut feeling which is a very risky practice.

Our philosophy is that a business should not be run on someone’s gut feeling but rather something more like a science experiment. The questions you need to ask yourself is which holidays matter and how much it matters to your product because some items might not be affected by the holidays. Complex problems like these can be answered by machine learning which is what we specialize in to determine for you which products can do well at a certain time. For example, taking a look on the data here, the projected unit sales from October 1 2019 to January 31 2020 can be determined.

The worst days, as you can see, are Christmas day, boxing day and new years day from this graph. This provides ecommerce sellers with something much better than just a gut feeling where the decisions are backed by machine learning and quantitative data. You can also decide how much to spend on your ads and for your worst days you can choose to decrease your ad spends because you know there won’t be as many sales. Betting on the forecast is a good practice because as we say, the best way to predict the future is to know it.

If you would like to get started on Inventory Planning click here for a free 14 days trial.

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