The name of the game is rolling with the punches. If we’ve learned anything from being a part of the E-Commerce industry over the past year and a half it’s that the world is unpredictable. Just when you think you know how the next few months are going to play out, you get a curve ball and have to switch your line of thinking. Even though we cannot predict the future, there are certain things we can do and certain tools we can use to be prepared.

First and foremost, have a backup plan. Better yet, have a backup plan for your backup plan. When planning your retail creative, first choose priority SKU(s) to be featured in a priority banner set. If you’re working with one brand, choose a top-selling, recognizable SKU in order to broadly capture your audience’s attention. If you are planning a scale or multi-brand campaign, choose SKUs that work well together from a consumer standpoint. Are there certain items that shoppers organically have in their cart together? If you’ve never done this type of basket analysis research before, work with your retail partners to identify those companion items. Pairing and promoting items together, whether it’s for a recipe, art project or makeup kit, can inspire your consumer and drive incremental returns.

Now for your backup plan:

Is there one or more SKUs in your priority set that are prone to out of stock issues? Maybe you’ve had back logs in supply chain with one or more of those as well? Identify the “at-risk” SKUs and choose a backup SKU for each of them. For single brand campaigns, try to again choose a top-selling, recognizable SKU. For scale or multi-brand creative, below are some considerations when choosing a backup:

  • Maybe it makes sense to drop the second, at-risk brand entirely
  • Maybe there is another product variation in that same brand that makes sense
  • Maybe there is another brand entirely that’s similar to your priority brand

If possible and if it makes sense within your budget, work with your creative team to build both the priority set and the backup set ahead of time. If and when the time comes where your priority SKU is reaching its out of stock threshold or you need to change it for whatever the reason is, you will have the new banners on hand. You can switch the old over to the new set without having to wait another six weeks of production time for that second a set of banners to be built.

If you don’t have the luxury to have your creative team build these out in advance or you’re looking for some cost savings, test out the RapidAds Creative Management platform. With retail banner templates already built into the platform, you can swap hero SKUs in minutes! There’s no need to worry about building ahead of time, and when you need them, there’s hardly any wait time. You should still plan out your backup options ahead of time but with RapidAds, production and execution become the easy parts!