Thursday, March 19, 2015

Avon Tips 11 ~ Product Availability




While Avon's goal is to fill every order 100% each campaign, there are challenges in meeting that goal. All retail companies face the same challenge of trying to predict just how many of a product they are going to sell during a certain time period so they can have enough product to meet customer demand, but not so much product that they have to store the excess and/or liquidate left over product. Sometimes the projections for a product miss the mark, or some other factor affects the availability of a product and we end up with a backordered, or no longer available item. 

Avon has several methods for letting us know the availability status of our products. They include a product availability search on our website and a listing as part of submitting our order. It's important to remember that each of these methods is an estimate only and actual availability will be determined by what is in the warehouse when your order is processed. I find a lot of items listed as being potential shorts are in fact available when I place my order.

When I do have items that are on backorder or sold out my customers are usually very patient and understanding.  A lot of that patience and understanding comes from them having realistic expectations, which I have helped to shape for them over the years.  Of course any time someone orders from the Outlet, or a product in the main brochure that is marked as "while supplies last" I make sure they noticed that quantities of that product are limited.  I let them know that sold out items are fairly uncommon but I want to be sure they were aware in case the product is needed by a certain date.  If I know there is a deadline for the customer to get the product, I will contact them as soon as my invoice is available online to let them know if it was available.  We may have already chosen an alternate item which I will order on my next campaign if there is time, or if their deadline is very close, I will likely order the alternate product as a backup.  If it turns out we don't need it, I can sell it to someone else, use it as a gift, or return it to Avon.   

Our customer's reaction to shorted products will be heavily influenced by our reaction.  If we are upset by the problem, whether it be items on backorder, late orders or any other issue then our customers will pick up on that and tend to be upset as well.  If we stay upbeat and treat the situation for what it is, a small inconvenience, and a normal part of any business, our customers will usually be ok with it too.  I even like to put a positive spin on it when a customer has to wait for a particularly popular product and point out that the customer must have good taste because so many other people ordered the same thing.

Resources 

Product Availability Guide
Note: When you click the link you will be prompted to sign into Dropbox, if you are not a Dropbox user, simply click no and you will be able to view and download the file.

What questions do you have about this or any other aspect of your Avon business? I'm always happy to hear from you.

Chris Arnold
Avon Gold Leader
Call or Text 702-501-8704
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