How to Sell What No-one is Buying

Growing up in the UK and now being based in Copenhagen, I am used to having little faith in those middle months of the year some people like to call “Summer”. Umbrellas are never put in storage and there is a definite size difference between my cold-weather and warm-weather wardrobes.

It didn’t come as a surprise then, that when I went to a wine mixer at the end of May, I was given an umbrella as a party favour. The only thing was, the unthinkable had happened - it was 26 degrees and dry outside. Our hosts could have rethought the gift, losing a lot of money in the process - as well as probably annoying the designer who made them - but instead, they decided to rebrand. Goodbye umbrella and hello parasol! 

It’s quite a simple idea because perception is everything. Think about when there’s a marathon in the city - as a runner this is an amazing show of strength, a chance to put yourself to the test - as a local resident, it’s more of an obstructive litter fest.

The same can be applied to the products in your webshop. Did you ever invest in a product you thought your customers would love, but it just won’t move? Or did it show up to your warehouse not quite as expected, but there’s no going back?

Here our are tips on how to shift products that won’t sell, from rebranding to smart software choices. 

Don’t be so quick to shelf it

Just because the seasons or trends change, doesn’t mean there isn’t still potential to sell. Like umbrella to parasol rebranding, don’t underestimate a product's value and purpose.

Be proud

Earlier this year, clothing retailer ASOS made a fairly obvious typo on their product bags. It wasn’t a small scale problem either, there was 17 000 erroneous bags. Sure, new ones can be printed but what do with all the misprinted ones?

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Solution? Use them anyway, with pride! Owning up to the lapse in quality control, ASOS spun the problem, saving a lot of plastic waste in the process.

Check its exposure

You may feel like you have created a lot of product awareness, but do your customers feel the same way? How many actually viewed it? Displaying the product in the right place, at the right time, can make a lot of difference. Whilst we have every faith that you know the product, by employing machine learning you can get more insights into how customers are responding to the product. Not only that, you can also make sure it’s being matched correctly to other products in your store.

Campaign it 

Following on from increasing exposure, if you really feel like there’s a group of your customers that would love the product but still haven’t bought it, try to target them. With segmentation you can identify  members of your customer base who could be interested in the item and reach out. Using a glowing campaign all about your great product will help to highlight it, as well as creating a sense of demand. You have behavioural data from the click and buying habits of all of your customers with accounts, so why not make the most of it*.

If all else fails, you can think about moving the item into clearance, we’re sure that you have plenty of other great products in your webshop think about.

 

*Remember to make sure that these customers have agreed to be contacted if you want to create targeted email campaigns, as per GDPR rules.