Managing your eCommerce inventory is vital to keep the wheels of your business turning smoothly.
A badly managed eCommerce inventory can mean you have products in your warehouse that aren’t listed on your website. Or, worse, you have products listed on your website that aren’t available in your warehouse.
A well-managed inventory is good for you customers and for your bottom line. Your customers benefit because the products they want will always be in stock when they place an order. Your business benefits because you’re not wasting cash on excess stock that you’re unable to sell.
So, what’s the best way to manage an eCommerce inventory?
Let’s look at three approaches to inventory management.
1. Inventory Management Using Your Seller Platform
When you start selling online, you’ll probably manage your inventory through your main seller platform. Shopify, Amazon Marketplace and eBay all offer tools for managing your inventory, whether built-in or through add-ons.
This works a treat – as long as you’re only selling on one platform.
As soon as you start selling on more than one platform, however, you run into problems. Let’s say you started out on with a Shopify store, and now you’re planning to branch out to Amazon Marketplace.
Here’s the rub with selling on these two platforms. Everytime you sell a product on Amazon, you must log into your Shopify store to reduce your stock of that product. Likewise, when you make a sale on Shopify , you’ve got to log into Amazon Marketplace to adjust your stock levels.
Using your seller platform to manage your inventory is great if you’re only selling on a single platform. When you want to grow your business by selling on other platforms, then you need to take a different approach.
2. Manual Inventory Management
An alternative to allowing your seller platforms to manage your inventory for you is to manage your inventory manually.
With this approach, you don’t worry about managing the precise stock levels on each platform. As far as each platform is concerned, you’re either in stock or out of stock.
You keep track of your precise inventory your own way. This can be with pen and paper (not recommended!), using a spreadsheet, by setting up your own database, or with inventory software.
The benefit of this approach is that it’s less fiddly than constantly adjusting stock levels across all the platforms you sell on.
Its downfall is that it’s still relatively time consuming. Once you start selling at volume, manually noting down every product that leaves your stock room could become a full-time job.
Fortunately, there’s another way that saves you time and hassle.
3. Automated Inventory Management
The final way to track your inventory is through integrated inventory management software.
This cloud-based solution means you manage your inventory from one place. When you add products to your stock, they’re added to every platform you sell on. The moment you sell a product on one platform, stock levels are automatically reduced across all your platforms.
Managing your inventory across multiple channels becomes hassle free.
If automated inventory management sounds good to you, then why not take a look at Veeqo?
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