Online shopping has evolved swiftly in recent years, and the impact of being able to make purchases online has been felt strongly following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 online store is central to the customer journey. Shopping platforms like Shopify have become popular options for businesses to introduce online purchases.
Just like running a physical store, shopping websites require maintenance, care, and creative solutions. If you’re operating a global store, for example, you need to consider how efficiently your store transmits and receives data. If this is an issue, you need to have solutions like Edge computing in mind. Or, at the very least, you need to be open to discovering what your business needs as it grows. There are plenty of small business management software and solutions that you’re going to have to consider.
One of the things to consider when setting up and running a Shopify Store is how your business is going to keep tabs on your inventory.
Inventory management is a must!
What is an inventory? What platforms help you monitor inventory? And what should you consider when choosing inventory software for your business? This guide will answer all these questions and help you make the ideal decision for your brand.
What Is Inventory Management & Why Is It Important?
Inventory management is exactly what it sounds like; it’s about keeping tabs on how much stock or product your business has. It also includes activities like monitoring sales, orders, and deliveries to buyers and from suppliers, as well as the handling of product storage. E-commerce inventory management involves the same things, just for e-commerce stores like Shopify.
Inventory management software is a system that allows you to keep track of your inventory numbers, transactions, and deliveries. The software can exist as an online platform or as an application accessible on your digital devices.
Inventory is only one segment of your store’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), but it is an essential one as it interacts with project management, accounting, manufacturing, order supervision, and other areas of your organization. To promote the best ERP of retail, managing your inventory must be at the core of your e-commerce business strategy.
Optimum Customer Experience
There’s nothing worse for your customers than getting excited about buying a product, rushing to a website, and logging off with an empty cart. No buyer wants that horrible feeling right before the checkout when a dreadful red pop-up announces: “ITEM NOT AVAILABLE!”. This experience could deter your customers from using your site in the future.
Source: Omnichannel customer experience
Survey Monkey’s GetFeedback found that 69% of customers expect a smooth and consistent sales experience across channels. GetFeedback further suggested incorporating a post-purchase survey into your inventory management to ensure improvements to your consumer journey.
It is also best to have other feedback channels, so consider researching the best call center software, or email response systems.
Inventory management is vital as it ensures products are available for purchase.
It also helps you understand the buying patterns you ought to follow with different products. How much stock should you keep in your storage? How often should you replenish merchandise? Which products from which product pages sell best? This keeps you from overselling, overstocking, or understocking.
Combining a warehouse management system and an inventory platform is a clever way to go to keep an eye on your stock levels.
Cash Flow Regulation
Having an overview of your goods also benefits your cash flow. Inventory management plays an important role in knowing how to account for inventory. You can control the money you spend on storage space, and stock. Knowing the return on respective products allows you to spend money on products with high demand, and to price goods appropriately. This is smart spending that allows you to redirect funds to other departments and ensure higher conversions.
A Guide on Inventory Management Software
Software Features & Benefits
Although some small businesses can cope with using Google Sheets or Excel for their inventory, the bigger the business, the more complicated inventory supervision can become. Inventory management software systems have handy and convenient features that keep everything in order and hassle-free. Although all software systems are unique, there are standard features that you should look out for when deciding on your system.
Here are the standard features and the benefits they can offer your business:
An effective system keeps you notified of your levels, including when you ought to replenish stock, and details how you reached your current numbers.
With many businesses using numerous online platforms, it is important that your system can sync with all the applications that are vital to your business—whether they be for processing vital documents, managing customer service and relationships, or keeping data in order.. Your inventory and omnichannel retail software should encourage a slick customer experience.
If you have both a physical store and a Shopify store, you also need to be able to keep up with products on both ends. Point Of Sales Integration (POS) is important. Many software systems allow you to sync your physical store and your Shopify numbers so that you are 100% aware of how much product you really have.
Analysis & Forecasting
Any good system relies on reporting to measure progress and improvement. Inventory software makes analysis easy—and complements the work you’re already doing on project management tools you’re using. Applications can also produce time-specific reports that can make your analysis convenient.
Again, inventory control is important for predicting future stock levels. Demand and sales forecasting features can analyze market and growth trends, as well as your sales and product performance, to forecast the best way to spend your money.
5 Inventory Management Software Systems For Shopify Stores: Pros & Cons
- Keeps track of inventory journey from order to delivery
- Easily accessible
- Great interface
- A range of useful and real-time features in one platform
- Multichannel use and integration
- Automatic inventory level updates and restocking notifications
- The app’s automation and reporting tools could be improved
Cost: Pricing is quoted and specific to your organization’s needs
- Excellent demand forecasting using seasonal trends and recent sales performance
- Easy to use and intuitive with stock orders
- Limited functionality: not very useful for diverse business strategy
Cost: Free 30-day trial. Thereafter, monthly plans range from $29 to $249
- Brilliant for collaboration and data centralization
- Multi-channel and automated inventory updates
- Brilliant customer support and user interface
- Integration with third-party sites including Xero for accounting
- Analytics and forecasts
- Very expensive
- Slows down with numerous warehouses, therefore, stunted as a business grows
- Inventory per product difficult to note
Cost: Priced at approximately $799 per month
- Easy monitoring with visual dashboards
- Convenient streamlining of raw materials, complete products, sales, and orders in one app
- Easy to use with good support: great learning tools for beginners
- Can be a little bit tricky for beginners
Cost: Katana has two pricing plans. The Essential plan costs $99/month for up to three warehouses with an additional $29/month for extra users. $299/month gets you the pro plan.
5. Trade Gecko
- Provides real-time inventory numbers
- Allows full control of inventory
- Optimum multi-channel use: various currency options and integration with e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and Bigcommerce
- Suitable to various business sizes
- No POS integration
- Invoicing can be complicated
- Software issues; it is sometimes slow
- No customizations
Cost: TradeGecko has a 14-day free trial and plans starting at 50 orders per month for a monthly fee of $39
What are you waiting for?
Don’t be afraid of a little change. With Shopify stores, you either go tech or go home. You need tools like marketing automation platforms, edge computing, and perhaps even conference call services to help you along and provide the best service for your customers.
The perfect inventory management tool saves you money, keeps your customers happy, and ensures your company stays on the ball in real-time.
There is absolutely no downside to getting started with one… and if you’re not convinced, some of the best options offer you free trials. You have absolutely nothing to lose, just an exceptional new way to run your Shopify store.