How To Guarantee Sales BEFORE You Launch A New Product

How To Guarantee Sales BEFORE You Launch A New Product

If you’re in the apparel space this article is for you, and if your not, share it with a friend who is. With over 100 meetings under our belt through Hayseed Ventures, the conversation we have the most is over inventory management.

Supply chain and inventory management are the unsexy part of running an eCommerce apparel brand, but they are arguably the most important things to get right. All of the marketing and branding in the world can’t sell a product you do not have.

A lot of apparel brands work around this through tirelessly forecasting sales, as well as setting up parameters for how to handle customers when the product runs out or is going to have an extra week of delivery time.

This is just dealing with established lines, but what happens when you’re introducing a new product? CEO’s like Ben Francis from Gymshark have gone on record saying forecasting for new product releases is a lot like aiming for a moving target, while on the back of a rampant hippo (okay, maybe he didn’t phrase it just like that but you get the point).

So, how can a brand protect themselves from ordering too little, or too much inventory? Let’s look at a few examples.

  1. Crowdfunding using a 3rd party platform like Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

    • Moment
      • Moment is a great example of a tech company that builds for its consumer. They have leveraged the kickstarter platform to pre-sell millions of dollars worth of product, and they do it in a unique way. They focus on creating bundles for creators and wrapping their new product in with some best sellers to make sure their consumer is getting everything they need. They go a step further with their behavioral email cascades post launch to nurture those who have backed their latest product with their special upgrade guarantee. Moment knows mobile tech changes often, so they offer an amazing program to keep their customers on the cutting edge. This added level of customer service built out through fantastic behavioral email campaigns has set Moment up as a go to for creators, which can be seen in their latest Kickstarter raise of $1.5m in 30 days.
  2. If you want to take this to the next level, we recommend checking out Taylor Stitch.

    • Taylor Stitch is one of my favorite companies when it comes to truly keeping their ear to the ground of what their customer wants, and they put their money where their mouth is with an incredible site design they call “the workshop”.
      • Not only does this allow for consumers to vote yay or nay to their product roadmap, but it also creates a unique sales process where Taylor Stitch does not hold onto inventory. They built the exact amount they pre-sell, and if you didn’t get in on the fun you missed out forever. This unique psychological approach to sales is powerful. Your customers create urgency naturally, as well as a virality factor of “limited prints” which allows Taylor Stitch to command a healthy price point.
  3. The Takeaway

    If you’re a creative company, and you care about inventory management I highly recommend taking a page out of these companies books and leveraging the feedback loop you can create with your consumers to guide your product decisions and purchasing behavior.

Written by
John Max is the Marketing Manager at Engine. John has worked across multiple million dollar brands as well as white labeling with Agencies in the US, as well as Australia and New Zealand. With a background in marketing and a passion for eCommerce, John is responsible with sharing Engine with the world.