More people are shopping online these days, and if you run an online shop, you need to be able to effectively track your inventory to ensure you can fulfill every order without ever running at a loss. Many businesses that involve the buying and selling of physical products have the bulk of their funds tied up in inventory.
The inventory of a business makes up a huge percentage of its funds, and thus it is essential to prioritize inventory management for such businesses. If you run an eCommerce store, proper inventory management is even more crucial as goods come and leave your warehouse.
Automated inventory management can eliminate or significantly reduce the many drawbacks of traditional inventory management. Successful companies of today rely on inventory management software to manage and efficiently monitor their inventory.
These software systems come with several features that trump traditional spreadsheets in many ways and help you keep track of your business stock at all times. This article gives a brief overview of eCommerce inventory management software systems, why your eCommerce business needs one, and how to choose the right software for your eCommerce business.
Challenges of Inventory Management for eCommerce
Like other businesses, there are unique challenges that come with running an eCommerce business. In the area of inventory management, eCommerce stores, whether big or small, have to invest in reliable inventory management solutions to alleviate these different inventory management challenges.
Not having any or enough products when you need them can cause a significant problem for your eCommerce business. A lack of proper or automated inventory management can result in your business becoming short on essential goods, which can, in turn, affect order fulfillment and reduce your bottom line.
Undertaking inventory management manually makes the process severely error-prone and one of the things it can lead to is overstocking. Having too many of the same product in your warehouse poses a serious risk to your business if there is no matching demand for the product.
Wrongly Located Inventory
If your eCommerce business uses different warehouses to fulfill regional orders, you’ll need to ensure that the inventory in different locations matches the different demands there. Having too much of a particular product in an area with low demand for that product can lead to overstocking or increased logistic costs due to unfavorable product proximity.
What’s Inventory Management Software?
As the name suggests, inventory management software systems are digital platforms that are created to help you manage your business’s inventory. These systems come with several features that make them streamline inventory management for your eCommerce business.
Inventory management systems track every inventory-related movement including supply, sales, and orders for your business. A big part of inventory management is knowing what you have in your inventory, where they are in your warehouse, and how long they should remain there. eCommerce inventory management software helps you have access to these information seamlessly.
Tracking inventory using traditional spreadsheets is an outdated practice, and can seriously affect efficiency and stump business growth. Both brick-and-mortar and eCommerce businesses are fraught with several unique inventory-related challenges, and this makes traditional and manual inventory management methods simply incapable of covering all the bases of your business inventory efficiently.
It’s therefore crucial to invest in inventory management software, as inventory management constitutes an essential part of supply chain management. An effective inventory management software will help business owners to keep track of stock levels, identify what’s available and what’s not, and basically stay on top of the supply chain. Efficient inventory management will lead to zero or minimized wastage and would ensure that products are always in stock. These software systems help to provide solutions to many of the challenges that come with traditional inventory management.
Why Inventory Management is Important for eCommerce
There are several important ways your eCommerce business can profit from proper inventory management. Overall, using the right software can help you increase your bottom line and grow your business. eCommerce business owners might have online shops across several different eCommerce platforms, and managing inventory can become a hassle since orders are made through different channels. Manually updating inventory levels after each sale will make room for errors which can lead to understocking or other unfavorable conditions.
Reliable e-commerce inventory management software promotes proper warehouse planning and management. Some features of top-notch software include access to visualized data that help you easily monitor inventory and provide actionable insights for planning your warehouse. These insights can help you organize your warehouse strategically to optimize order fulfillment by cutting time spent in locating products.
Inventory cataloging also helps you distinguish the different colors, sizes, and other categories of the same product in inventory, therefore letting you know which categories are selling or need restocking. With the right software, you also get access to real-time updates about your inventory, thus enabling you to make quick and informed business decisions. Overall, the right inventory management solution will help you save time, labor, and cost, and help you run a more efficient and profitable business.
Factors to Consider Before Investing in an Inventory Management System
Before choosing your inventory management system, it’s essential to consider multiple important factors to aid your selection process.
● Your Unique Business Challenges
Before jumping on the latest or trending inventory management software, you need to first identify your business challenges in the area of inventory management. This is essential when choosing a solution, as it helps you to know what features to look out for in a product.
Before choosing your inventory management software, you must first find out if it can be integrated with your other business software like your POS systems. You also must find out if it integrates all your sales channels in one place for effective inventory management.
● Ease of Use
Ease of use is an essential factor when choosing a software solution to use for your business. Look out for logistic management software that’s easy to use, and has a simple user interface that your employees can easily understand and use.
When choosing an inventory management solution for your e-commerce business, you should look out for innovative products that are constantly being improved to include more features and fix bugs.