The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Current Restock Issues
So while it is great to have a product that we and you — our customers, and future customers — are so passionate about, we understand that our recent restock caused many questions and frustrations. We always want to be as transparent and honest as possible, so here we are, letting you in on “the good, the bad, and the ugly” of our current restock issues — as well as the plan for restocking in July.
June 2021 US Restock
More than 13,000 requests for restock notifications and only 1,200 SlumberPods for our website — this was what we faced when we received our inventory in June. We recognized we had a major difference between the demand and the inventory. Because of this, we felt it best to not post publicly about the restock and only send out notifications to those who’d signed up to be notified. Unfortunately, we did not realize that because we had over 13,000 sign-ups, the notification emails and texts could not all be sent at once. Therefore, some of you received notifications AFTER we were already sold out. As soon as we realized this was still happening, the notifications were stopped, causing some of you to never receive an email or text message at all. This situation caused frustration and questions about what happened and why we didn’t have enough inventory to meet the demand.
We must place the order with our factories 4-5 months in advance of when we hope to receive the product. So, when we placed the inventory order for June much earlier in the year, we had to forecast the demand during summer. Forecasting when COVID restrictions were just starting to lift was difficult, but we were hopeful that by June, more people would be traveling, so we ordered three times more inventory than what we sold at this time last year.
Like most businesses, we have experienced unprecedented supply chain issues and shipping delays this year. So, while we ordered a full container, we only received half. Because we had already signed a purchase order with a distributor, we also had to send half of what we received to them (leaving us with even less inventory to put online). To make matters worse, we received this particular restock three weeks later than expected due to several freight-related circumstances, including something that rarely happens! Mid-trip, the ocean liner removed our container at a port, and it then sat for a week until another ocean liner picked it up.
Add to the shipping challenges that demand has skyrocketed … which seems like a good problem to have until you don’t have the supply to keep up.
Needless to say, our company learned a lot from the June restock, and we have already set in motion some changes, so our future restocks are handled differently.
June 2021 Canada Restock
Similar to the US, we ordered three times more inventory for Canada than what we sold last year during this time. The good news in Canada was we had more inventory than people signed up to be notified, but we still sold out in only a matter of days. We also received this particular restock six weeks late.
July 2021 US Restock Plans
Immediately following the June restock, we met as a team to review what went well, as well as all of the complaints we received, to make an improved plan for restocking in the future.
Here’s the plan for July’s restock:
- Good news! 4x the inventory we received in June will be available on our website in mid-late July. It still may not be enough for every customer who wants one, but the supply will be greatly increased.
- “Notify Me When Available” email and SMS notifications will continue to be sent to all those who sign up (click here if you want to be notified for the US or here for the Canada restock in August).
- We will also post on our social media the morning of the restock (when we know without a doubt that the inventory is arriving) with the time the inventory will go live.
- We have significantly reduced the amount of inventory that will be sent to our distributor responsible for posting inventory on Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Walmart US, and eBay, as well as our smaller retailer partners. Our distributor has also made changes to their Amazon listing to prevent overselling in the future.
Fall 2021 + Beyond
As we mentioned before, even with this larger US restock in July, not everyone will have the chance to purchase a SlumberPod. We are optimistic that our inventory orders for mid-late August will give thousands of more customers an opportunity to join in being a SlumberPod owner. If all goes as planned, we will receive more than 10,000 SlumberPods in August for the US, and Canada will receive three times more than what they received in June. More good news ... fans will also be arriving for both the US and Canada in August. After this time, our larger retailers will be live again (Nordstrom, Pottery Barn Kids, and others), and our large online distributor will be listing SlumberPod on more retail websites, including Target.com.
We are so thankful for the wonderful community of parents, caregivers, and gift-givers that love our product, and we want to continue to build that relationship. We plan to continue posting on social media, even while we are out of stock, because we want to continue building relationships with current and future SlumberPod families, as well as sharing educational information and helpful tips. We also love hearing from you and seeing how SlumberPod is benefiting your families.
We appreciate your suggestions and questions and your grace as we continue to grow and learn on our entrepreneurial journey. It certainly takes a village to raise a child, and we couldn’t raise and grow this “baby” we call SlumberPod without all of you.
- Katy, Lou, and the SlumberPod team