As your business grows, it is inevitable that the number of offline and online sales channels will also grow with it. Whether you are selling in brick-and-mortar store, online stores like eBay or Amazon, your own eStore or all of the above, managing inventory across all your sales channels might be the key to your success. Do all you can to move inventory off the shelves and into the hands of buyers.
In a retail industry that is increasingly becoming multi channel, the way you manage your overall inventory will also decide the fate of your online store. Efficient inventory management is even more crucial for your online store as shipping costs and discounts and promos eat into the profit margins and you have no option but to make your supply chain lean to reduce costs.
In this article we will talk about 5 ways you can optimize your inventory management.
1. Stay Organized
Keep inventory streamlined because it is key to your business success. Whether you use bar-code systems, inventory management tools or visual display systems, your inventory system should be reliable in the examining the stock levels of all sales channels. You should know what you have in stock and where is your store located.
2. Learn From User Data
Today is the era of instant gratification, so consumers today expect quick results when they shop online. One click checkouts, instant replies and express shipping are common today and you should update your business process to support these. And for this it is imperative to have real-time data. Some tips in this regard include:
- Recognize trends which you may overlook. If you monitor them in real time, you will be able to see your consumers’ behaviors and benefit from it.
- Identify an ideal time to make updates to your eStore. Real time data will help you have better understating of website traffic and using this data you can identify the ideal time to make changes to your store without disrupting user experience.
- Look at your position & where your goals are; with updated data, you will be able to see how you are doing in gaining your revenue milestones, where you may require making adjustments.
3. Never Run Out Of Stock
For your buyers, there is nothing worse than seeing an “out of stock” notice on product listings. If you are offering a product, it is important to you that you never run out of it. Your inventory management system should be able to help you maintain optimum level of stock for all products. If you don’t have a system, then have one immediately.
4. Develop Relationships With Suppliers
To strengthen your relationship with your suppliers, cultivate trust and foster good communication. This can make your suppliers more willing to accept your terms. Ecommerce businesses lack face-to-face interaction, so it is easy to see why some business owners and managers have the tendency to forget that it’s important to nurture relationships with their suppliers. Fostering good communication and developing trust will ensure that when issues do arise with stock supplies, your suppliers will be more willing to work with you and make solving your problems a priority.
5. Choose Suitable Inventory Management Software
You can use an inventory management software if you can set aside some time in researching the best fit for your business. Any good Inventory management software will save you time and money. Whether you have small business or a big or multi channel operation, using an inventory management software will help you manage stocks and warehouses, main optimum stock levels, reduce cost in optimizing supply chain and avoid products going out-of-stock. All this will have a multiplier effect on your revenue and business profitability. The more automated your inventory management system becomes, the better it will be for your business profitability. And all this is possible with a good inventory management software.