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Spring Cleaning: Add new inventory that compliments your current assortment

Adding new inventory: it’s a year round task, and not necessarily for spring cleaning. Unless, that is, you haven’t thought about WHAT you’re buying yet. Part of spring cleaning is getting rid of the stuff that just isn’t working with your company, and that includes inventory.

Instead of going out and looking for brand new stuff to put up in your shop, why not take your current stock into account? Buying items that compliment each other can be useful in more ways than one, and can drastically revolutionize the way you run your store.

Complimentary Items

What do we mean by complimentary items, exactly? Say you sell electronics through your online store. You go out and look around to find more electronic equipment to sell. However, you notice a huge box of cords, remotes and other bits at a garage sale.

These little items are complimentary items – when a customer orders a DVD player, they may also order a few cords and wires that enhances their experience. For example, a cord that hooks the player up to a set of speakers.

What this does is give you an opportunity to sell smaller items to your customers when they’re already “in” your store. Instead of them buying a DVD player and seeing only other expensive electronics, they pick up a few more items that give you ten or fifteen more bucks. These purchases add up!

Ways to Make It Work

Just sticking these smaller items up in your shop isn’t quite enough. Customers have to be able to find what they need, and often, you have to lead them there.

So that’s why it’s important to design (or redesign) your shop so when a customer sees one product, they also see the complimentary items. Sites like Amazon are particularly good at this – they show you “recommended items” or “customers who bought this also bought” options. These instantly put in your mind you may need those items to go with your current purchase.

Another way of making these complimentary items work is by putting them in bundles. These little packages (DVD player, speaker cords, maybe a DVD or two) usually come with a good discount to further entice customers to snatch them up. You can even use the packages as a selling point for your store in your ads.

If you have time and the resources, you may also consider adding a “package deals” section to your website. Everyone loves a deal and you may even pull in lurkers who otherwise might have just bounced away to another site!

Photo by Naomi Ibuki

Kabbage Team

Kabbage is here not only to provide access to the small business funding you need, but to also help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at content@kabbage.com.