Manage your inventory with e-mail, says Jim Novo, the marketing guru whose wisdom has been featured here in the Retail Strategies blog since last week. I told you when the Jim Novo series began that this man packs a whole lotta information under his hat. Today, Novo´s subject is inventory management via e-mail.
I´ll let him explain: "One thing that has become extremely successful," Novo says, "is the offline store that collects customer e-mail addresses and sends something monthly." Some stores use this technique strictly as promotional vehicles — Here´s a coupon for 10-percent off, for example.
"But that´s not necessary," Novo says. "The smartest people I´ve seen doing this use it to manage inventory. For example, let´s say a retailer guessed wrong about some item, and it´s been in the store collecting dust for six months.
"If you make a [buying] mistake or you just can´t price an item where anybody is going to want it," he says, "you really should move it out and put something on the shelf that sells."
Here´s where the e-mail list comes into play. "If you have an e-mail list — even if it´s just 500 people, you can have a secret sale. No retailer wants people to know that they are desperate to get rid of something. So, instead of putting a big sign in the window that says, "I´m desperate, come in a get my merchandise,´ you can try something like this: "If you purchase $50 worth of stuff in the store, I´ll give you one of these other things.´ Or, "I´ll give it to you for 50-percent off if you buy $20 worth.´ " You can structure it any way you want, he says.
Ta-da, you´re managing your inventory by using your e-mail list. And, remember, having an e-mail list is not nothing. "When customers give you their e-mail addresses," Novo says, "that´s something. It means they are interested in your store."
Inventory management via e-mail. Sounds like a planatyourstoredotcom.