Support For Seasonal Ecommerce Retailer
Seasonal products can be lucrative for ecommerce retailers, but they also present specific cash flow challenges
See how Rangewell helped a client overcome them in this case study.
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Ecommerce retailers exist in a heavily competitive marketplace where customers have high demands and low patience. If you cannot supply their product, they can quickly find another seller in just a few seconds via a Google search. This makes seasonal products tricky: how can you fulfil demand if you don’t yet know how many orders you’ll receive?
It’s not enough to simply buy ‘enough’ and hope for the best. If a product range sells out, customers can be dissatisfied to the point of doing active harm via bad reviews - leading to immediate Amazon penalties and long-term brand damage on all selling channels.
The only real way to ensure success is to carefully plan your strategy and ensure you don’t run out of stock.
For one retailer who worked with our ecommerce finance broker team, this exact mentality meant they needed to fund a heavy investment in Halloween stock. They knew that their ‘sales window’ was in October, so they planned their approach carefully. Products needed to come from Turkey, India and China so had significant lead times and logistical challenges, including a need for storage once it was in the UK.
With these issues in mind and a narrow window to sell, the client knew they needed external finance to help fund the stock investment. Without it, they simply could not have afforded to buy the stock and then would have failed to generate profit in their Halloween sales window.
The client, therefore, needed a finance package that offered all of the capital up-front, with repayment terms that respected their seasonality and were more forgiving of slower repayments until the October window allowed the client to maximise profits.
Why we were able to help
At Rangewell, we work day-in, day-out, with lenders from across the country. We have unique insight into the ecommerce lender market and can quickly refine a client’s requirements against the lender market. When the client approached us around their Halloween range and the need for up-front financing that could accommodate for their delayed repayment cycle, we could quickly shortlist a number of suitable lenders.
Before we approached said lenders, we worked with the client to fully plan out their desired repayment schedule. The client recognised that, though their main cash injection would follow the October period, all lenders demand some form of repayment plan and therefore they couldn’t solely rely on that busy period.
Instead, we worked out that by delaying the start of repayments, the client could stagger the financing in the best way to fund their stock investment and then subsequently make repayments without having to reduce their stock spend.
We secured a loan for the client that suited their needs, allowing them to purchase stock from their three supplier territories well in advance of their seasonal deadline. This upfront investment meant they were able to buy the stock without worrying about the lead times, store it safely in a warehouse in the UK and then during peak seasonal demand, sell it effectively with UK shipping times rather than competitors who utilised international dropshipping.
Rangewell went a step further, negotiating an eight week interest-free, no capital repayment period. Following this, the lender offered equal monthly payments across 18 months so the client could benefit from full cash flow visibility and plan their next season with confidence.
About seasonal ecommerce finance
Some of the biggest opportunities in the ever-competitive ecommerce world come from seasonal events. Whether these are large-scale cultural events such as Christmas, or more focused retail periods like Black Friday. For ecommerce retailers to maximise their performance, you need to have the funds required to get ahead of competitors during these busy periods.
That means funding for advertising, stock purchasing and logistics - all of which can help you eclipse the competition. However, all of these aspects can be expensive and seasonal events only add to this cost. Considering the rise in competition during these periods, advertising costs can soar, while customer demand puts new pressure on logistics and delivery schedules.
To stay competitive, you need ecommerce finance. As we have shown in this case study, Rangewell’s clients can leverage a cash flow injection before a seasonal event to increase their chances of success. Where some of your competitors may fall short of demand, you can step in to meet it with stock you’ve pre-purchased and held in the UK as a result of your loan.
Do you want to make the most of seasonal spikes? Raise the finance you need to fund an up-front stock purchase without relying on customer revenue by speaking to Rangewell. Talk to our team today to see how we can help you browse the lender’s market and find the perfect ecommerce finance deal for your business and goals.