Forecasting Seasonal Uplift for the Holidays
Posted on 7th August 2013 by Valorie Reavis
Getting the right amount of products leading up to a promotional period is essential to maximizing your retail profits. If you don’t order enough to meet demand, you’ll lose out on sales. If you order too much, you’ll find yourself storing extra cases or slashing prices after the holidays to liquidate extra inventory.
So how do you hone in on the perfect quantity? Well, there are several methods to choose from, but experts agree that there are really only three practical ways to calculate your order quantities.
#1 – Baseline Average
This is the simplest way to calculate your order, but perhaps the least accurate. It basically looks at your average quantity your order for the period directly before your promotional period and then gives you the opportunity to top it up. This leave a lot to chance and only covers off general demand, not accounting for seasonality or trends.
#2 – Annual Average
This method is more accurate than the baseline method as it takes into account the last 52 weeks of sales, which will give you a better estimate of how much, on average, you sell of a particular product. However, it asks for all promotional uplifts to be removed from the average. So, if you ran a promotion during Mother’s Day for the same product you’d need to calculate the uplift from your average and remove that amount from quantity to get an accurate estimate. This is a bit more accurate, but it still doesn’t take into account seasonality, which was essentially averaged out.
#3 – Same Time Last Year
Typically experts agree this is the most accurate method of the three options, as it takes into account seasonality of product demand. So, you’d look at the amount you sold at the same time last year. This provides the most accurate baseline to start with and then alter as required.
Try using the Shortcuts replenishment feature to calculate this amount and plan for your retail promotion. If you didn’t run a promotion last year, but plan to this year, try to estimate using a promotional uplift % from a similar promotion at another time of the year. If you ran the same promotion last year, you can either stick with the quantity sold from last year or modify based on any changes you plan to make that may effect demand.
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