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Is your Ecommerce website struggling to shift dead stock? Want to learn the techniques used to solve this age-old retail problem?

Korona POS shares its dead stock tips in this infographic.

Here’s what makes the list:

  • Offer customers a free gift with a purchase
  • Consider liquidation
  • Bundle products
  • Leverage clearance sales
  • Donate to charity

Check out the infographic for more detail.


Ecommerce dead stock infographic

5 Tips to Help Your Ecommerce Brand Get Rid of Dead Stock [Infographic]


Ecommerce dead stock tips

If you run an ecommerce business, you’re no stranger to the challenge of managing inventory. While having a well-stocked store is essential to meet customer demand, it’s equally important to deal with the inevitable issue of dead stock – those products that seem to gather dust on your shelves or fill up your digital storefront without moving.

Dead stock can be a significant drain on your resources and profits, tying up valuable capital and storage space. Fortunately, there are strategies you can implement to breathe new life into your dead stock and turn it into revenue.

In this blog post, we’ll explore five effective tips to help your ecommerce brand get rid of dead stock.


What is dead stock?

Dead stock, often referred to as deadstock or dead inventory, is a term used in the business world, particularly in retail and manufacturing, to describe products or inventory items that are no longer in demand or are obsolete and have not been sold for an extended period.

Dead stock can be a financial burden on a company because it ties up capital and storage space that could be used for more profitable or in-demand products.

Key characteristics of dead stock include:

  • Low or No Demand: Dead stock items have either very low or no customer demand. This could be due to changing consumer preferences, outdated technology, or simply poor product quality.
  • Long Shelf Life: Dead stock items can often sit on shelves or in warehouses for an extended period, which can lead to increased storage costs and the risk of spoilage or deterioration (for perishable goods).
  • Obsolescence: In some cases, dead stock items become obsolete because of advancements in technology or changes in industry standards. For example, outdated electronics or fashion items that are no longer in style can become dead stock.
  • Tie-Up of Capital: Holding dead stock ties up a company’s capital that could be invested elsewhere in the business, potentially hindering cash flow and profitability.

To manage dead stock effectively, businesses may employ various strategies, such as offering discounts or promotions to clear out inventory, repurposing or rebranding the items, or in extreme cases, disposing of them at a loss.

Inventory management and forecasting tools are essential for businesses to minimize the occurrence of dead stock and optimize their supply chain operations.


How does dead stock affect an Ecommerce business?

Dead stock can have a range of negative effects on an ecommerce business, affecting both its financial health and operational efficiency.

Here are some ways dead stock can impact an ecommerce business:

  • Ties Up Capital: Dead stock ties up valuable capital that could be used for more productive purposes, such as investing in new products, marketing campaigns, or expanding the business. This can lead to cash flow problems and hinder growth.
  • Reduces Profit Margins: Maintaining dead stock often requires price reductions or clearance sales to move the inventory. This reduces profit margins and can even result in financial losses, especially if the products are sold at a significant discount.
  • Increased Storage Costs: Dead stock takes up physical or digital storage space. If left unaddressed, it can lead to increased storage costs, whether it’s renting warehouse space, maintaining storage infrastructure, or paying for digital server space.
  • Risk of Obsolescence: Products that become dead stock run the risk of becoming obsolete. This is especially true in industries where technology and trends change rapidly. Outdated products may lose all value and need to be written off completely.
  • Reduces Working Capital: Having too much capital tied up in dead stock reduces working capital available for day-to-day operations. This can hinder the ability to pay bills, invest in growth, or handle unexpected expenses.
  • Affects Inventory Turnover Ratio: A high level of dead stock can significantly lower an ecommerce business’s inventory turnover ratio. A lower turnover ratio indicates inefficiency in managing inventory and can be a red flag for investors and lenders.
  • Decreases Customer Trust: Customers may lose trust in your brand if they repeatedly encounter out-of-stock items or see a significant portion of your inventory marked as clearance or discounted. This can affect their perception of your business’s reliability.
  • Limited Space for New Products: Dead stock takes up space that could be used to showcase new and potentially profitable products. It limits your ability to adapt quickly to changing market trends and customer demands.
  • Hinders Cash Flow Management: The need to clear out dead stock can lead to fluctuations in cash flow, making it challenging to plan and manage finances effectively. It may force you to allocate funds to address urgent inventory issues rather than invest strategically.
  • Increased Holding Costs: In addition to storage costs, dead stock may incur other holding costs, such as insurance, security, and maintenance. These expenses can add up over time and further erode profits.
  • Loss of Opportunities: The resources (money, time, and attention) devoted to managing dead stock could be better utilized for business growth, marketing, or customer service initiatives. Focusing on clearing dead stock may lead to missed opportunities elsewhere.
  • Inventory Management Challenges: High levels of dead stock can complicate inventory management processes. You may need to develop complex strategies to handle and dispose of these products, diverting resources from core operations.
  • Diminished Brand Reputation: If dead stock accumulates, it can give the impression that your business is struggling or lacks effective management. This perception can harm your brand’s reputation and deter potential customers.

In conclusion, dead stock can have significant adverse effects on an ecommerce business, impacting its financial stability, operational efficiency, and overall brand image.

Effective inventory management, regular monitoring, and proactive strategies are essential to mitigate the risks associated with dead stock and maintain a healthy and profitable ecommerce operation.


Offer Customers a Free Gift with a Purchase

One of the most enticing ways to encourage customers to buy your dead stock is by offering them a free gift with a purchase. This strategy not only helps you clear out unsold items but also provides an incentive for customers to make a purchase they might have otherwise skipped.

Here’s how you can implement this tactic:

  • Identify Suitable Products: Start by selecting dead stock items that are relatively inexpensive for you to give away as free gifts. Look for items that complement your existing product line or have broad appeal.
  • Promote the Offer: Create eye-catching banners or pop-ups on your website and highlight the free gift offer on product pages. Use persuasive language to convey the value of the free item.
  • Set Minimum Purchase Requirements: To ensure that customers don’t take advantage of the offer without making a meaningful purchase, establish a minimum spending threshold. For example, customers might receive a free item when they spend $50 or more.
  • Limit the Offer Period: Create a sense of urgency by setting a time limit for the promotion. Mention that the offer is available for a limited time only to motivate customers to make a purchase sooner rather than later.
  • Monitor and Adjust: Keep a close eye on the performance of the promotion. If certain items are not moving as expected, consider changing the free gift or adjusting the minimum purchase requirement.

Offering free gifts can boost your sales, clear out dead stock, and leave customers feeling like they’ve received added value, making it a win-win strategy.


Consider Liquidation

Liquidation is a strategy commonly used by retailers to quickly sell off excess inventory, including dead stock. This method involves selling products at significantly reduced prices to clear them out rapidly.

While it may not yield the highest profit margins, it can help you recoup some of your investment and free up storage space for more profitable items.

Here’s how to go about it:

  • Determine Liquidation Prices: Set prices for your dead stock items that are substantially lower than their original retail prices. Make sure the prices are attractive enough to entice bargain-hunting shoppers.
  • Create a Dedicated Section: Create a separate section on your website or in your physical store for liquidation items. Make it easy for customers to browse and find these discounted products.
  • Promote the Liquidation Sale: Use your marketing channels to promote the liquidation sale. Send out email newsletters, post on social media, and consider paid advertising to reach a wider audience.


Bundle Products

Another effective strategy for moving dead stock is bundling products together. By combining less desirable items with more popular ones, you can increase the perceived value of the deal and encourage customers to make a purchase.

Here’s how to bundle products effectively:

  • Select Complementary Items: Identify dead stock products that can be paired with your best-selling or high-margin items. The goal is to create bundles that offer a balanced mix of products, ensuring that customers see value in purchasing them together.
  • Price the Bundles Right: Determine pricing for the bundles that is lower than the total cost of the individual items if purchased separately. Make sure the discount is substantial enough to motivate customers to choose the bundle.
  • Showcase the Value: Highlight the savings and value customers will receive by purchasing the bundle. Use compelling product descriptions and images to demonstrate how the bundled items work together.
  • Promote the Bundles: Feature the bundles prominently on your website, and consider running special promotions or discounts specifically for bundle purchases.

Bundling can not only help you move dead stock but also increase the average order value as customers opt for the more attractive bundled deals.


Leverage Clearance Sales

Clearance sales are a time-tested method for getting rid of dead stock. These sales involve offering significant discounts on specific items or across your entire inventory, creating a sense of urgency and excitement among customers.

Here’s how to make the most of clearance sales:

  • Choose the Right Timing: Consider holding clearance sales during seasonal transitions, holidays, or other times when customers are more likely to be shopping. This can boost the effectiveness of your sale.
  • Set Clear Discount Percentages: Determine how much you’re willing to discount your products and clearly communicate these discounts to customers. For instance, you might offer 50% off on all clearance items.
  • Optimize Your Website: Ensure that your ecommerce website is well-equipped to handle clearance sales. Create a dedicated clearance section, update product listings, and make the shopping experience as smooth as possible.
  • Send Email Notifications: Send out email notifications to your subscribers to announce the clearance sale. Provide a sneak peek of the discounted items to generate excitement.
  • Use Social Media: Promote your clearance sale on social media platforms. Consider using paid advertising to reach a broader audience.

Clearance sales can be a powerful way to move dead stock quickly while also attracting price-sensitive shoppers looking for a deal.


Donate to Charity

If all else fails and you find yourself with dead stock that seems impossible to move, consider donating it to charity.

While this won’t directly generate revenue, it can have several positive outcomes for your brand:

  • Goodwill and Public Relations: Donating to a charitable organization demonstrates your commitment to social responsibility. It can enhance your brand’s image and reputation, potentially attracting more socially conscious customers.
  • Tax Benefits: Depending on your location and the specifics of the donation, you may be eligible for tax deductions or credits for your charitable contributions. Consult with a tax professional to explore these potential benefits.
  • Inventory Write-Off: By donating dead stock, you can remove it from your inventory, potentially reducing your tax liability related to unsold items.
  • Partner with a Local Charity: Find a local charity or nonprofit organization that aligns with your brand’s values and mission. Collaborate with them to ensure that your donation has a positive impact in your community.
  • Transparency: Communicate your charitable efforts to your customers. Share the story of your donation on your website and through your marketing channels to create a sense of transparency and trust.

While donating dead stock may not directly generate revenue, it can provide intangible benefits that contribute to your brand’s long-term success.


How to avoid dead stock

Avoiding dead stock is crucial for maintaining a healthy and profitable inventory for your ecommerce business.

Here are some tips to help you minimize the risk of dead stock:

  • Regular Inventory Audits: Conduct regular audits of your inventory to identify slow-moving products early. Use inventory management software to track sales and stock levels accurately.
  • Demand Forecasting: Analyze historical sales data to predict demand for different products. Consider seasonality, market trends, and any external factors that might influence demand.
  • Supplier Communication: Maintain open communication with your suppliers to adjust orders based on demand fluctuations. Work with suppliers who offer flexible ordering options and can quickly adapt to changes in demand.
  • Just-in-Time Inventory: Implement a just-in-time (JIT) inventory system to minimize excess stock. Order products as needed rather than maintaining large stockpiles.
  • Product Lifecycle Management: Monitor the product lifecycle of your items. Be prepared to discontinue or phase out products that consistently underperform. Regularly update your product offerings to stay in line with market trends and customer preferences.
  • Seasonal Planning: For seasonal products, plan inventory levels carefully to avoid overstocking or understocking. Start promotions and marketing campaigns well in advance to build anticipation for seasonal items.
  • Clear Return Policies: Have clear and customer-friendly return policies to minimize returns that can lead to dead stock. Consider restocking fees or offering store credit instead of refunds for returned items.
  • Dynamic Pricing: Implement dynamic pricing strategies to adjust product prices based on demand and inventory levels. Use discounts or flash sales to move slow-moving items quickly.
  • Inventory Turnover Ratio: Calculate and monitor your inventory turnover ratio regularly. A higher turnover ratio indicates efficient inventory management. Aim to reduce the time it takes to sell your entire inventory.
  • Segmented Inventory Management: Categorize your inventory into fast-moving, slow-moving, and non-moving categories. Allocate resources and attention based on the importance of each category.
  • Promotional Planning: Plan promotions and marketing campaigns strategically to boost sales of specific products. Use data-driven insights to determine which products are ripe for promotion.
  • Cross-Selling and Upselling: Implement cross-selling and upselling techniques to encourage customers to purchase related or complementary products. This can help move slower-moving items in conjunction with more popular products.
  • A/B Testing: Experiment with different product descriptions, images, and marketing strategies to find what resonates best with your audience. Use A/B testing to optimize product listings and increase sales.
  • Customer Feedback: Listen to customer feedback and reviews to understand their preferences and pain points. Use this information to improve product selection and offerings.
  • Collaborate with Suppliers: Collaborate with your suppliers to explore new product options and trends. Suppliers can provide valuable insights into what’s selling well in the market.
  • Diversify Product Range: Diversify your product range to reduce reliance on a single product or category. A broader selection can help absorb fluctuations in demand for individual items.

Remember that effective inventory management is an ongoing process. Regularly reassess your inventory practices and adjust your strategies based on changing market conditions and customer behavior.

By staying proactive and flexible, you can significantly reduce the risk of dead stock and improve the overall health of your ecommerce business.



Dead stock is an inevitable challenge for ecommerce businesses, but it doesn’t have to be a burden.

By implementing these five tips – offering customers a free gift with a purchase, considering liquidation, bundling products, leveraging clearance sales, and donating to charity – you can effectively clear out unsold inventory, free up valuable resources, and boost your brand’s profitability and reputation.

Remember that the key to success is being proactive and creative in finding solutions to move your dead stock, ensuring that it doesn’t weigh down your business.

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