How to Create An Inventory Plan Ahead of Holiday Season

By Youri Moskovic
Last Updated:
April 10, 2024

Brands that prepare their inventory way ahead of time are the ones that actually benefit the most during the holiday season.

As we enter into the second quarter of 2024, D2C businesses that want to succeed this year are already setting their sights on the holiday season in the last quarter of the year.

Planning effectively ahead of time makes sure that those orders make it to your customer’s doors on time. Effective inventory management for the peak period is not just about keeping shelves stocked; it’s about strategically planning to meet higher consumer demand and maximize profitability.

Why Should You Start Your Planning Early for Holiday Season?

Starting your inventory planning in Q2 allows for a more better and balanced approach to forecasting, supplier negotiations, and marketing strategy alignment.

The goal is to ensure that you are fully prepared for the surge in consumer activity that the holiday season brings. Here are 5 simple ways you can plan your inventory for a great holiday season:

Planning Your Inventory For The Holiday Season in Q2'2024

Forecasting Demand For Holiday Season

Forecasting demand is the first step to getting ready for the holiday season. Brands must analyze sales data from the previous years, take into consideration 2024 trends, and understand consumer behavior are crucial steps.

A detailed and early demand forecast is the best defense against overstocking or stockouts during the main holiday season.

Learn from past holiday seasons

Maybe it’s your first holiday season, in which case this you might not have learnings to apply, but if you have experiences to reflect on look back on those in detail. Perhaps there are lessons to improve internal organisation as well as inputs for your supply chain, and if necessary think about hiring extra support if it will relieve stress. Think about placing orders earlier with suppliers, make sure you’ve explained new packaging to your warehouse, as well as perhaps


AI demand planning within Prediko
Sales Forecast for December 2024

Build Supplier Relationships and Better Lead Times

Build a strong relationship with your suppliers is critical- So learn how to choose the right supplier for your brand.

Early planning allows for discussions about lead times, bulk purchasing discounts, and any contingency plans for supply chain disruptions for the holiday season. The aim is to secure your supply chain well before the holiday rush begins.

Supporting your warehouse

During the holiday season, think of your business and warehouse as one, working in sync to meet shared goals.

Make sure you sign up to round the clock fulfilment if needed, and explain in detail the customer service processes you want implemented.

Within Prediko, brands are able to generate an easy and shareable Buying Table, that is custom-made for your expected demand.

Treat this as if how you can create your procurement plan

buying table within Prediko

You can easily share this with your inventory partners to ensure greater visibility and this definitely includes your warehouse team.

Optimizing Your Stock For Holiday Demand

Optimizing your inventory for the holiday season involves balancing a variety of factors. Embrace a multi-channel strategy to ensure your inventory is positioned to meet demand across all sales platforms.

Bank on your bestsellers

During the holiday season, people are don't buy new products as they want to feel like they are putting their money to good use. Bestselling products feel like safer purchases to the consumer and are easier to market. During the holiday season, WhatsApp marketing is very popular amongst D2C brands

Pro tip: Having extra stock of your bestselling product is always a good thing.

‍Managing Overstock and Stockouts

Even with the best planning, overstock and stockouts tend to occur. Implement strategies such as dynamic pricing, promotions, and cross-selling to manage excess stock.

Conversely, have a rapid replenishment strategy in place to quickly address stockouts without losing sales. When you are out of stock especially during the holiday season, it's important to let your customers know that you are out of stock and the order might be delayed. In case you need help in setting up an out of stock in Klaviyo or other marketing campaign tool, then there are a couple of top email marketing agencies.

‍Utilise your inventory streams

Position retailers to fill gaps in a worst case scenarios. Understand where their stock is held, how easy it would be to access and what you would offer in return for claiming it if needed.‍

Leveraging Technology & Prepare Your Team

The right tech infrastructure can provide a big competitive edge when it comes to inventory management. From AI-driven forecasting to real-time analytics, technology enhances accuracy in planning and decision-making. That's why it is important to invest in an app or tool that will integrate natively with your current operations, tech stack and quickly provide actionable insights.

Use data for holiday inventory trends

Do a deep dive into the patterns predicted through data along with your supply chain. Increased visibility in your inventory trends will allow you to build systems to combat potential hurdles.

With Prediko you can easily build accurate revenue and inventory plans using our demand forecasting tools for eCommerce.

We have also compiled a list of the top inventory forecasting software in the market.

Prepare Your Team

Your team plays an important role in the success of your holiday inventory strategy.

Ensure that all your operators are trained on your current inventory management tool and protocol. Communication is key—keep your team informed about inventory levels, product launches, and any adjustments to the plan.

Make shipping easy & simplify payments

Although insured shipping methods are an investment they will allow you further visibility to know inventory will make it on time once it has left your manufacturer.

Make sure that you provide live updates to your customer. Such feature enablement let you take a breath amongst the end of year craziness.

Late payments make brand's life more difficult, and during the holiday period everyone wants to see their money ahead of the year end. Ensure your banking systems are optimised to make payments on time and efficiently.

These are some of the best practices and pro tips that you need to follow to manage your inventory efficiently and successfully during the holiday season.

Ready to manage your inventory
without ripping your hair out ?