One of the keys to running a successful eCommerce business is to make sure that your inventory is managed efficiently.
This is easier said than done, but there are some strategies which will allow you to achieve a more streamlined approach to inventory without having to dismantle and rebuild your entire organization’s infrastructure. Here are just a few pieces of advice to follow if you want to realize your inventory management ambitions sooner rather than later.
Escape the Limitations of Manual Processes
The more complex your eCommerce operations become, the tougher it will be to deal with all of the data that pours in, especially if you are attempting to wrangle aspects of your business manually.
You may find that you do not have the resources to glean valuable, actionable insights from sales data, and thus end up overselling or overstocking, leaving customers disappointed and creating cart abandonment issues. This problem is compounded if you are selling across several channels, leading to discrepancies in stock information that frustrate would-be buyers.
This is where multi-channel inventory sync can be a blessing, as it lets you automate the process of providing inventory information to customers and ensure that they know exactly how much of an item is in stock in real time, rather than being disappointed when they get to the checkout.
Increase the Frequency of Inventory Audits
Making decisions based on sales data alone is not enough to streamline inventory management; you need to get down into the nitty-gritty of inventory auditing as regularly as possible to pinpoint problems, reveal opportunities and ultimately make improvements.
There is another reason to audit more frequently than you do at the moment, which is that you will not have to sift through as many new transactions if the time that has elapsed since the last audit is shorter. Little and often is a better approach to auditing than putting it off and then having to wade through a data quagmire once a year.
Make Use of Inventory Alerts
While you can rely on automation to a degree, it is still sensible to take responsibility for tracking stock levels and making decisions based on the ebb and flow of products within your warehouse.
This is made simpler if you have inventory management software that sends out notifications when certain thresholds are reached. This can be relevant when a particular product line reaches a minimum level, or when it hits a maximum.
The trick is to work out where to set these alert levels so that you have adequate time to either order more items to boost your stores or stop further orders to avoid overstocking.
Every eCommerce site has to accept that while some products will be a hit with customers, others will be less popular, and thus sales volumes will be lower. The problem is that it costs the same to house big sellers and slow movers, so rather than succumbing to rising storage costs, bundling can help to catalyze product movement.
The simple act of allowing more obscure products to piggyback on the success of sought-after equivalents will be a wonderful way to streamline inventory management, making your efforts worthwhile in the long run.
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