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Nov 19, 2020

How to Measure Online Fragrance Stock levels During the Holiday Period

There are countless details for fragrance brands to consider when it comes to digital Christmas campaigns. The images, the copy, the co-op ads, the discounting… All areas require laser vision to get them right. However, even the best laid marketing plans can fall apart when stock issues arise, which is why it’s essential for marketers to be more tactical than ever with their scent allocation.

Few things are more disappointing for a shopper than a thumb-stopping packshot and a ‘Sold Out’ banner. They’ve found your fragrance, they’re tapping ‘add to basket’, but stock issues are stopping them in their tracks. Needless to say, when a perfume sells out, it leads to an instant loss in sales. So, how can brands keep track of eCommerce stock and rescue their revenue?

First, here’s what we know about 2020’s fragrance sales:

  • Klaviyo data reveals that, this year, online perfume sales have increased by 77%.
  • Now that the UK is in a second lockdown, which is set to last until December 2nd, the closure of non-essential stores means yet more shoppers will be turning to eCommerce over the Black Friday and Christmas shopping period.
  • This is forcing a digital-first shift for fragrance brands. Famously, 30-50% of all scent sales take place from October to December.
  • Since lockdown, the number of out-of-stock fragrances has tripled compared to last year, as eCommerce continues to adjust to increasing online activity.


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These statistics indicate that the stakes are as high as the stock risks in the coming months, meaning many marketers may need to manually analyse their SKU allocation every day. This can be a time-consuming process, which uses up valuable resource during an already-hectic, bound-to-be-busier-than-ever holiday period.

An eTail tool, however, is a time-efficient (and, therefore, cost-effective) way of tracking out of stock scents, taking just a few minutes out of marketers’ days. As well as collating SKU status across all eTail stores, it leaves time for, and encourages strategic reallocation that will help to boost online sales further.


1. Upselling Gifts and Line Extensions

It’s not only vital to track the stock availability of a brand’s flagship fragrances; it’s also important to use an eTail tool to look at the supply of gift sets or line extensions. When a scent is sold out, is there a complementing product to purchase instead? Marketers should check if it is highlighted on the eTailer product page using a ‘You may also like…’ section, as seen on, for example. If so, they will then need to ensure that particular SKU’s stock levels are topped up.


2. Checking On the Full Fragrance Portfolio

Similarly, using an eTail tool makes it easier to track the stock levels of scents that may not typically receive the same analysis as new or cult-classic perfumes. Such fragrances can get missed in manual tracking due to being lower priority, but a tool collects the data for all SKUs in one place, so it only takes seconds to check. This means, if these scents suddenly see a spike over an unprecedented period for digital sales, brands will be able to spot the trend, act fast and work with the retailer to replenish stock.


3. Ensuring Variation in Costs

When Christmas shopping, consumers often have a set budget in mind, and will look for gifts that fit within a specific price bracket. As such, marketers should use eTail platforms to ensure that stock is available across a range of prices – £30, £50, £70, and so on – so there’s something for every shopper.


4. Forecasting for Next Year

Brands and consumers alike will be hoping the events of 2020 will not be repeated, but the future of the pandemic – and its effects on eTail – remain uncertain. As such, now is a critical time for marketers to gather all data available, in order to forecast potential stock levels for 2021 – and beyond.

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Looking for more advice on boosting revenue over the seasonal period? Discover 5 tips for increasing online sales this Christmas.

November 19, 2020