What to do about merchandise that has not proved as popular as anticipated is a quandary all online retailers in every sector face from time-to-time.

We’ve put together some of the top tricks to help you shift your slower-selling stock.

Withdraw items from sale, keeping them for a later date (especially if they are seasonal).  This way, instead of having to reduce the price for ‘sales’ purposes, you can reintroduce the product to the market a year later – still at the original price.

Attach the item to another, faster-moving product, with the slow-moving item effectively offered at a discount if bought with the more popular one.  Customers will find this bundled package a good deal, even if the second item isn’t something they were setting out to buy.  Similarly, you could bundle two or more of the slow-moving items together and offer them at a discount.

Run a one-day only or similar short-term sale.  Hesitant customers will realise they have to buy now, rather than wait and miss the promotion.

Use eBay to target a different, and perhaps larger, market.  It can be done anonymously, so that it does not intrude on your main business, or as an eBay shop.  A larger market can be reached whatever your online retail platform by being prepared to try something differing and make a product that is not selling very well in the UK available internationally.

Reconsider how you present the product.  Are the images right?  Is the language used in the description convincing?  Use your bestselling item as a point of comparison, and also have a look at how a competitor describes a similar product.  Make sure your shipping information is clear, as uncertainty about delivery can deter even the keenest customer.

Add some product reviews and testimonials, if there aren’t any already.

Adjust the price, though not too soon: it is better to do this only if the other steps have proved unsuccessful.  If your competitor is charging less for the item, you should consider following suit.  If you do lower the price by a sizeable margin you should take the opportunity to promote this.  You can do so on your website, via an email promotion or through social media.

With a little ingenuity, and the tips we’ve given above, sales will pick up and you can clear some precious warehouse space, making it available for one of your more profitable product lines.

For more help with making your stock management more efficient, call RT Page on 01903 736300.