Marketing November 4, 2020 Last updated November 4th, 2020 121 Reads share

How to Manage Online Store Inventory

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An inventory is a list of materials and goods that you have in your store ready for sale. It is a simple tab you use to keep all the records of your pending stock so you can track your sales. Almost every business needs to keep its inventory up to date to avoid dead stock and manage the supply chain. In this article, we provide some simple tips and methods to help you manage your inventory if you run an online bra fitting store. Keep reading for more information on online store inventory management.

1. On-Demand Method

The simplest way of managing your online store inventory is to come up with a strategy that enables you to ship based on orders you receive every day. That is delivering according to demand, pre-order, and current orders. If you manufacture and sell at the same time, you can know how much your customers need so that you only produce based on demand. For instance, if you are selling pillows, you can order enough materials to make the pillows ordered by customers and ship them on time.
You can also partner with on-demand warehouse companies that offer this kind of service, so you don’t have to keep a large inventory of stock and material in your business. You will simply place an order to the warehouse when customers call in for the products. The only downside of on-demand inventory management is that it pressures a lot because it is a bit hectic predicting demand.

2. Spot Checking

This is the simplest method of inventory management for small business. In this method, you do a physical inventory audit. You pick the items in your inventory, count them, and determine whether the number confirms your initial counting.
If you find any mishap or error, you have to repeat counting again. There should be no gap between the current and previous counting. If you realize a significant difference in the counting, you should find out the reason for that.

3. Barcode Scanning

You can also manage your online store inventory by merely setting up a barcode system for all your products. With this system, you can quickly determine the number of items left in the inventory as you sell. It is affordable and more straightforward to set up a barcode system in your store. There are plenty of free online barcode generators you can use to manage your inventory.

4. FIFO and LIFO Method

FIFO and LIFO methods of inventory management are some of the best you can practice for your online store. FIFO stands for First in first out, and it means selling the oldest items in your inventory first. LIFO, on the other hand, stands for last in, first out, and that means the latest items on your checklist are the first to be sold.
You can use these methods interchangeably depending on the type of products you have in your stock. For example, if you are dealing with perishable products like vegetables, you can apply the FIFO method. Again trendy items like clothes may enter your inventory last, but they will be the first to leave because they are in high demand.

5. Use Retail Inventory Management Software

Managing your online store inventory physically by counting can be tedious. Even using a spreadsheet to record your stock is never that efficient if you have more orders to process. That said, you can use inventory management software to keep track of your stock-in and stock-out. Most of the inventory management tools are readily available and free.

Here are three tools we highly recommend for your online store:

VendHQ:

With this tool, you can organize your inventory based on SKUs, product variants, and barcodes. It is compatible with most mobile devices like tablets and phones.  The software comes with an easy-to-use dashboard and tools for point of sale (POS).

Square POS:

You can use this online POS system to make your inventory management less stressful. With this tool, you can accept payments on deliveries. It comes with a simple dashboard and a smooth learning curve making it the best for beginners. It is also free for all e-commerce stores.

Shopify:

If you host your e-commerce store on Shopify, you can take advantage of its in-built inventory management tool. You can use the tools to sync updates from suppliers and notify your customers of new arrivals.

Final Thoughts

Managing your online store takes a lot of effort, and without proper inventory management, you are likely to fail in the end. There is a variety of software you can use to manage your online store inventory and keep track of your customer’s orders conveniently. For instance, a POS system will send you a signal that some items are running low in your inventory, and you need to order for more. These tools also help you to organize your store and make it more attractive to customers. With an inventory management plan, you can quickly determine which products are selling so that you plan your stock reorder properly.

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Tracy Anderson

Tracy Anderson

Tracy has 8 years of industry experience as owner, buyer and bra fitter of La Bratique.

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