In this article, Cheryl Lim Tan shares six ways to be a savvy wholesale buyer.
The Boutique Hub and Tundra have communities of thousands of buyers who are always looking for more ways to confidently grow their business and make smarter buys. Some of the questions we often receive are around retail best practices for tracking metrics as well as tips for sourcing product. So we’re bringing in experts to share their advice with our buyers!
Ashley Alderson is the CEO and founder of The Boutique Hub. She has advised thousands of buyers on their retail strategy over the years. Cheryl Lim Tan is the VP of Brand at Tundra and has over 15 years of retail and ecommerce experience.
Q: Ashley, what are the top retail metrics and reports that buyers should always be tracking?
Understanding retail math and reporting is something that many boutique owners put off, because they don’t feel confident in reading them. Three of the most important report categories to understand and read regularly are:
Sales Reports: What is selling the best per category (for example, fashion tops/graphic tees/sweaters + denim/bottoms/dresses + accessories/shoes/jewelry), what vendors are selling through the best, what sizes, sales by day/hour/week/month/team member, and finally sales by channel (social, online, live, in-store, vendor events).
Inventory Reports: Aging (how old is the inventory on hand), BOM and EOM inventory (how much inventory do you have on hand total, and in what categories), Open to Buy (Based on next month’s projected sales less the inventory on hand, what do you have open to buy in each category)
Financial Reports: P+L (profit and loss which is income minus expenses) and balance sheet (assets, liabilities)
While it may seem like a long list, a weekly date with your numbers will keep you up to speed and help you become a smarter buyer.
Q: Cheryl, buyers would love to know what to look out for when placing an order with a wholesale supplier — what are the most important factors to consider?
There are many best practices that we’ve observed as we’ve worked with savvy buyers in the Tundra community. Three things buyers should do when considering suppliers:
- Ensure you can see a track record of quality
Everyone always knows product quality is important but it’s not always clear how to evaluate it. You may find it helpful to place a sample order to see if it meets your bar or just buy into the MOQ, but you’re really only getting information based on one order. It’s also important to establish if a supplier is able to deliver on time consistently. That’s why on Tundra we developed a platform that provides buyers with customer reviews which show what products look like when they’re received by real buyers. We also provide supplier metrics like actual lead times and percent on-time delivery.
Key points include:
- Pushing for clarity and transparency in pricing
- Researching the brand
- Checking the quality track record
Read the full article, Six Ways To Be a Savvy Wholesale Buyer, on Medium.