In our digital age, businesses are turning to eCommerce and multichannel selling strategies to help them reach larger, more diverse audiences from across the globe.
eCommerce is an excellent way to expand your target base, give your brand international exposure and presence, and grow your business financially. It opens up hundreds of new markets, which is an exciting prospect for growing businesses. However, eCommerce doesn’t come without its challenges, and one of the key reason’s eCommerce businesses fail is because of a lack of funds. This can happen due to a range of factors, but one of the big reasons it occurs comes down to poor inventory control.
In this article, we assess the hurdles eCommerce businesses may encounter when it comes to controlling inventory and outline a few ways to manage inventory successfully. Good inventory control can be key to saving money for an eCommerce business and the foundation of its financial success.
Lacking the right tools
Small businesses just starting out often rely on manual record-keeping or spreadsheets to track sales, stock numbers, inventory flows, and cashflow. While this may be reliable in a businesses nascent stage, it is not sustainable as the business begins to grow.
Instead, we suggest eCommerce business owners use inventory management software that can help automatically keep track of customer purchases, stock numbers and whereabouts, sales trends and more. Inventory software is extremely reliable and accurate, so it makes sense to invest in it as soon as possible.
Better stock control
For example, inventory software can give business owners visibility across numerous channels and numerous inventory sites or warehouses. This is especially useful for businesses experiencing significant international growth, which often have inventory stored in multiple locations at any one time.
Inventory software can allow eCommerce business owners to ensure that the stock available on each channel is reflective of the stock that is genuinely available in the warehouse, which will reduce the likelihood of unfulfilled customer orders and resultant customer dissatisfaction.
In a similar way, inventory software can help eCommerce managers ensure they are purchasing the right inventory at the right time. By collating the relevant data, inventory management software can show business managers which products are performing well, and which ones are slow to sell. By doing so, inventory managers can avoid the costly mistake of ordering items which are no longer popular and for which there is little to no demand.
This is also an excellent tool for forecasting purposes – inventory software can help managers accurately create forecast predictions for future trends, taking into account seasonality, and special peak periods like Christmas. This will help managers make well-informed decisions about inventory needs in future, so that supply and demand levels are always in sync, increasing the profitability of the business.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.