Ecommerce inventory management software, at its core, is a computerized inventory tracking system designed to seamlessly integrate with various ecommerce platforms, working to monitor stock levels.
There are many different types of inventory management software in the market, from general purpose inventory tracking tools to multi-channel solutions specifically tailored for ecommerce businesses, online merchants and retailers. This particular system is meant for ecommerce inventory management processes. It notifies users when they should place their purchase order for raw materials and other products, when they’ve overstocked and how much inventory they have left. A good inventory management system for ecommerce also has the ability to notify users where their stocks currently are in real time, while providing them with data-driven inventory forecasting capabilities to determine future orders in the most accurate and reliable way possible.
For any ecommerce business, online store, retailer or merchant, having the ability to monitor and keep track of their current stock levels is a crucial aspect of managing inventory. They have to have accurate information not just on how much stock they have left, but where it is located and how fast it’s selling. This particular function is facilitated by the software solution through detailed inventory reports, which provides useful insights into the business’ inventory, both on the shelves as well as in the warehouses. As a whole, ecommerce inventory management software is a comprehensive system that helps track, manage and optimize an ecommerce business’ multi-sales channels, stock levels, customer and sales orders, shipment scheduling, etc.
Inventory management is a process that is not only tedious, but often time-consuming as well, especially for ecommerce businesses with a large inventory and multiple sales channels. Good ecommerce inventory management software enables product-based ecommerce companies to streamline and optimize their operations from the warehouse to the store shelves as well as the various online sales channels. This software category works by automating the different tasks that are related to production processes, bill of materials and online sales.
Modern, computerized inventory management is arguably the most trusted, proven approach for driving ecommerce success and growth. With a feature-rich ecommerce inventory management platform, online merchants, retailers and ecommerce business owners can effectively monitor their stock levels through real-time inventory tracking. Through inventory forecasting, they may also determine and predict how much they’re likely to sell, which can help reduce the risk of under or overstocking. This will also help ensure the highest customer satisfaction possible with every order.
Apart from the ability to monitor inventory levels in real time, ecommerce inventory management software also helps automate and streamline the process of tracking customer and sales orders and shipments across multiple channels and physical locations. The right inventory management system can also automate a number of inventory management processes and strategies, saving business owners and sales teams a lot of time and effort, while reducing the risk of human errors. This type of software is almost always data-driven, providing users with reliable, accurate and real-time updates.
One of the most important functions provided by an inventory management solution for ecommerce businesses is complete inventory control. Inventory management systems are all about providing the users with total control over their inventory. This helps to ensure that ecommerce businesses have the appropriate stock levels required for order fulfillment. Inventory control is a crucial function that helps optimize the storage process of products and materials.
The main purpose of inventory control is to help ecommerce companies, online merchants and retailers keep only the appropriate number of products/units on hand. This strategy helps business owners and managers to avoid spending too little or too much money upfront; i.e., it keeps them from under or overstocking. The desired outcome for implementing accurate inventory control is to minimize costs, optimize the warehouse management process and boost customer satisfaction.
Product categorization is a core feature of any ecommerce inventory management software. This function helps users categorize products according to key attributes like item type, price range and utility. The system may also allow users to add custom tags to their products and then identify potential sales trends based on those custom tags. Product categorization works in conjunction with inventory reporting, which not only provides users with comprehensive information about their stock levels, but also allows them to track products within their inventory through different attributes, such as by type, colorway, stock keeping unit (SKU), expiration date, etc.
Inventory reporting also helps users create inventory- or stock-related reports, which includes the number of items or units sold by category, inventory utilization rate, inventory costs and profits and real-time stock levels. Inventory reports are also crucial for users, especially during auditing, as it provides them with all the inventory information they might need to answer queries from stakeholders, the higher ups as well as the authorities.
Inventory optimization is another feature that comes with virtually every inventory management solution designed for ecommerce businesses. It helps users balance their inventory to meet capacity limits, customer demand and revenue projections. This function also helps with syncing inventory data across all digital sales channels like eBay, Shopify, Amazon, etc., while inventory auditing enables users to enter precise inventory information into a well-organized, searchable repository. This will help ecommerce businesses calculate inventory shrinkage more efficiently.
Ecommerce inventory management software is also equipped with features that facilitate purchase order management. It allows users to create purchase orders, manage all purchase requirements and take care of the new stocks and repeat orders. There are even advanced inventory management solutions that allow users to generate automated purchase orders based on a predefined inventory level; i.e., purchase orders will automatically be generated once the inventory reaches critical level.
Order management is a fundamental function of an ecommerce inventory management platform. It helps users manage orders coming from multiple sales channels such as retail store sales and business websites. Once an order is received and processed, the software will automatically synchronize the inventory levels across all available channels. This helps to ensure that accurate and up-to-date stock levels are visible to everyone, instantly and at all times.
Nowadays, managing a successful ecommerce business requires the right tools to facilitate some of the most important processes and help business owners and managers face everyday challenges. One such tool is inventory management software. The right ecommerce inventory management software can help users maintain an accurate pulse on the status of their inventory, make sure they’re never understocked or overstocked and sync up inventory information in every sales channel their products are listed in. The software also helps them compile real-time inventory data within a unified system.
Inventory management systems for ecommerce is equipped with a functionality that allows business owners, managers and sales teams to capture and leverage meaningful insights to find opportunities, increase sales and grow their operation. There are two main benefits to implementing the right ecommerce inventory management solution.
The first is that this type of management software automatically integrates with online purchases. These tools are designed to automatically adjust inventory levels when a customer places an item in their shopping cart. For example, if there are 10 units left of a particular item and a customer places one unit of that item in their shopping cart, the system will automatically adjust the inventory from 10 to nine units. Now let’s say that customer didn’t proceed to checkout and removed the item from their shopping cart, the number of units available will then automatically revert to 10. This applies to all available channels where your product is listed and being sold.
On the other hand, if the customer does proceed to the checkout process, the system will immediately capture tracking numbers, shipping information and other relevant data at the point of sale. This approach helps save business owners and managers a lot of time, not to mention how it can result in less human errors and costly mistakes that typically come with manual order processing and fulfillment.
The other key benefit is how ecommerce inventory management software can help expedite inventory processing. Best-in-class inventory management platforms for ecommerce businesses typically come with fully integrated scanning technology, which plays a significant role in speeding up inventory processing. Scanning tools like radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and barcodes give ecommerce businesses the ability to easily and quickly keep track of their warehouse inventory. They also provide stock counts to online buyers in real time.
Scanning technology helps improve the accuracy of the inventory tracking process and simplifies receiving, first-in-first-out (FIFO) operations as well as the pick, pack and ship process.
The best ecommerce inventory management software seamlessly integrates with point-of-sale (POS) systems to keep track of inventory across multiple sales channels. It is capable of providing accurate and real-time inventory status. These tools can also be integrated with other ecommerce solutions, such as accounting and supply chain management. It syncs with other applications to ensure a more centralize business operation, allowing users to manage their ecommerce business under one roof.
Ecommerce business owners can choose between two deployment methods: on-premise and cloud-based deployment. The latter of which has gained significant popularity in the recent years because of its flexibility, scalability and affordability. There are many vendors of ecommerce inventory management solutions that offer a free trial of their software product. It would be a wise choice to take advantage of these free trials to get a better understanding of the software.