For a lot of eCommerce businesses, stock is everything. After all, without it, what would you sell? Inventory management is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s the way you manage your stock and keep track of all the products you offer.
Badly managed inventory can make the difference between a successful business and one that struggles to meet the mark. Unfulfilled orders, out of stock items, and disorganised customer service will all be detrimental to your success.
Inventory management systems take a lot of the hassle out of inventory management, especially if you sell through multiple channels. You can be confident that all stock levels are accurate, there’s enough stock to fulfil demand, and that orders are completed without any interference or delays. In short, yes, inventory management systems are worth it. But let’s break down exactly why.
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To highlight the difference an inventory management system can make to your business, let’s look at two hypothetical scenarios.
You’re an eCommerce business that sells T-shirts. Things have been going well recently, so you decide to expand your channels. As well as selling through your own site, you’re introducing eBay and Amazon. You have 100 T-shirts in stock but don’t have an inventory management system in place. This means these 100 T-shirts are posted on all three of your selling channels. You’re effectively selling 300 T-shirts when in reality you only have 100 available.
Your business has invested in an inventory management system. You have 100 T-shirts ready to sell. You distribute these amongst your different selling channels. eBay has been performing particularly well so you allocate 50 there. Amazon and your own site both get 25. If selling patterns change and eBay stops performing as well, your system makes it easy to shift your allocation and transfer stock amongst the channels.
An inventory management system makes sure your inventory is always organised. Your business won’t be able to grow if you have to play catch up with demand.
You’ll know exactly what stock you’ve got at all times, as well as individual locations of where everything is. You can say goodbye to lost stock or inaccurate stock levels as the system will keep everything simple and streamlined.
With an inventory management system that offers multi-site function, you can keep product information up to date on all the channels you sell from. You’ll be able to see exactly how your stock is distributed to each of your platforms. You’ll also be able to perform stock transfers amongst the different channels with ease, allowing your stock allocation to be flexible according to current demand.
Well-managed inventory means orders can be filled accurately and quickly. If customers get their orders with no issues, you’ll establish a good reputation for your business and encourage repeat customers.
Badly managed inventory will lead to more customer service issues. The only thing worse than a product being sold out is buying a product only to find there’s no stock left for you. Inventory problems like these are unnecessary roadblocks to your business’s growth.
Over 70% of shoppers would look elsewhere for a product if it was unavailable rather than wait for it to come back into stock. Being unable to fulfil orders will drive your audience straight to your competitors.
Avoiding customer service issues like these will also leave you more time to focus elsewhere. You can’t put as much time into marketing or product development if half of your day is spent replying to angry customers or solving stock issues.
Inventory management is essential to eCommerce success. It’s important you stay sensible when it comes to stock allocation. This way, selling through multiple channels can be seamless and simple. You can be confident you’ll never sell more stock than you have available. Keeping your customers happy now will pay off for your growth and success into the future.
At Shopit, we make inventory management as easy and seamless as possible. Allocating stock for each selling channel you use and performing stock transfers between channels has never been easier. Set up multiple stock locations and keep an eye on everything from stock levels to supplier orders, all from our convenient Shopit app. Start your free trial here.
Sam is an ecommerce enthusiast with a background in digital marketing, web design and many other talents
Sam takes a keen interest in customer problems so he can help develop solutions to help everyone move forward