Avoid inventory problems by offering gift card programs
December 13, 2013

Retailers can easily eliminate many of the most common issues associated with the holiday shopping season by offering gift card programs as an alternative to other products lining the shelves. A recent article published in Forbes said the last few days of November were especially lucrative for many businesses across the U.S. However, consumers often spend the entire month of December searching for the right products to share with their friends and family at the end of the year. This ongoing rush always has the potential to backfire for stores that are poorly equipped to handle such an increase in foot traffic.

According to the retail analytics provider 1010data, keeping a fully-stocked inventory throughout the entire holiday season is essential to ensuring quality sales numbers. In fact, the firm said an excessive number of out-of-stock products is one of the most dangerous obstacles standing in the way of year-end success. The implications of supply issues are obvious. For example, stores are likely to lose customers when people find out the products they're looking for aren't available.

A gift card program is a smart way for retailers to retain shoppers - even when inventories run out closer to the end of the year. Businesses in other industries can also experience many of the same benefits. Houston Chronicle said restaurants are even finding ways to take advantage of these options. Because gift cards can be used at a later date, stores are more likely to retain customers for longer periods of time - thereby extending the opportunities for increased sales well beyond the holidays and into 2014. Instead of constantly worrying about the need to stock the right number of products, gift card programs can set business managers at ease knowing they will still be able to meet their sales targets.

Nexus: G-WEBCD1