Commerce is mathematics and inventory and online store management are vital to any business. You can have the best advertising campaigns, the best content, social and email marketing campaigns, but if you don't know manage inventory of goods, lose sales and customers or invest in goods that do not sell.
What does online store inventory management mean?
If you don't have a good management inventory, is at the mercy of an error and will waste time and money always manually checking your stock.
Managing inventory also means making sure you don't run out of stock quickly or place too many orders. Management should put you in a position to work for profit, not increase management costs and losses.
Inventory management is not limited to products for sale, but it also affects your company's money, labor and assets.
What is inventory management for?
- Helps to monitor and supervise the numbers on your products: Products are the center of your sales activity. If you don't follow your products, it will cause your company to go bankrupt. Inventory management systems offer adequate inventory supervision.
- Prevents aging of stocks: If you invest more in your inventory when you have a surplus of stock on the shelves, you will end up losing money. You need to maintain surplus and reduce waste, ensuring that storage and replenishment are managed efficiently.
- Ensures product availability: If you oversee your inventory, you know how it moves so as not to lose sales or provide a bad experience that also alienates the customer. Inventory management systems take reserve inventories into account, those that are used to meet customer needs, with scheduled deliveries pending.
How to manage online store inventory without making products unavailable
To manage online sales and direct sales from the store, you not only need to have enough inventory in your store and in order fulfillment warehouses to keep up with the potential increase in demand, but you also need to anticipate the need for more inventory if consumer interest on a given product increase.
If sales parameters indicate high consumer interest, you can place a higher order for inventory or prepare to place orders from the supplier more often to maintain sales.
To ensure the effectiveness of inventory management, keep in mind a few important things:
- The first is predict customer demand and needs. This is not an easy step, but it is necessary to forecast future demand as accurately as possible, looking at the results of past sales tactics, inventory records and actual sales.
- Then, categorize your stock: Divide your inventory into three categories: items that sell more, items that sell at a modest pace, and items that take time to sell. So choose a method or technique that works best for you.
- Then, decide how to monitor outgoing and incoming inventory. If your budget is limited and you have time, you can keep track of everything that moves and works through a spreadsheet. However, if this takes too long, there are software options to automate the process.
Useful tips for managing online store inventory
While there are some company-specific inventory management procedures, these eight techniques can help any company to better manage its inventory.
1 - Develop relationships: It is essential to have a strong collaborative relationship with suppliers. When items are sold slowly or you need to buy new items quickly due to over-sales, a good relationship with suppliers will be beneficial. Be friendly, learn who you are and keep your information close at hand. If you communicate with them frequently, they are more likely to help you.
2 - Determine minimum stock levels: A minimum inventory level is the smallest number of units you should always have in stock for a product. If your stock drops below or near its minimum level, it is the first indication that it is time to replenish your stock. The defined minimum stock levels help to avoid shortages without having to order excess units.
3 - Sort the stock: Classify your inventory in three categories: Fast moving products, slow moving products and low rotation. The longer an item remains in stock, the slower the movement.
4 - First in first out: The first to enter is the first to leave. In inventory management, older stocks should always be shipped first, while newer ones should be sold last. This is critical for items with expiration dates, such as food. However, even without perishable products, boxes that remain in stock for a long time can be worn and damaged. For example, at a pants store, when you receive a new order for Thai Pants, it should be checked that the old pants are placed at the front of the row to be processed.
8 - Take advantage of technology: The technology is expanding rapidly in the e-commerce sector, in-market sales and retail management. While it is not easy to adapt to these technological changes in inventory management, companies cannot wait any longer.
If you want to continue selling online and expanding your business, you MUST invest in inventory management for online store. Choose the appropriate techniques for your business model, invest in software right for your business, avoid obstacles.