Inventory is the necessary part of any business and proper eCommerce inventory control is one of the essential components for business growth. A crucial element of this inventory control is ensuring consistency of stock across all sales channels.
With the 24/7 shopping convenience of online stores, eCommerce inventory control is more significant than ever before. Whether you are an SME experiencing rapid growth or an established online store, you need to avoid these common eCommerce inventory mistakes to improve your inventory control.
eCommerce inventory mistakes
eCommerce businesses differ from traditional stores in terms of logistics and the scale of operations. Not having the right inventory control system in place is the biggest mistake an eCommerce business can make. Good inventory control software can benefit your business and help you avoid many common eCommerce inventory mistakes.
Improper inventory tracking
A common pain point for eCommerce sellers is tracking and managing their inventory stock. Improper tracking and a lack of supply chain management results in mistakes occurring if you only track a small portion of your supply channel. Proper supply chain management requires ongoing scrutiny of customer demands, changes in customer purchasing habits and understanding how these factors affect your inventory needs and supply.
No inventory transparency
Not providing customers with inventory transparency is another mistake. Customers on your site should have the ability to view the inventory status online when searching for products to buy, enabling them to see if an item is in stock and when it can be shipped.
When selling across multiple online channels, it is standard practice to list the same products on different channels. This can result in overselling, which is a huge problem for eCommerce sellers who must then tell a customer they are unable to ship an item they purchased. Even in single channels, it is possible to oversell when inventory levels aren’t updated fast enough. This type of customer experience will lose you sales and potentially lose you that customer to your competitor for good.
Lack of consistency across platforms
Inconsistencies across multiple platforms can result in either overstocking or in a shortage of core products. Mistakes that result from inconsistencies in your eCommerce business may show an item in stock that in reality, you do not have. With multiple locations, inventory data must sync across all your sales channels and storage locations.
Hoarding excess stock
Excess stock is a sure sign that you are not managing your inventory well, resulting in cash tied up in the excess stock as well as the costs of carrying it. Good inventory management software tracks all the costs of carrying your stock, allowing you to then reduce these inventory costs to improve your cashflow.
Improving eCommerce inventory control
There are many important aspects of inventory control and effective inventory management software provides the best defence against eCommerce inventory mistakes.
Keep a watchful eye on stock
Constant monitoring of inventory stock is vital for eCommerce businesses. Software provides access to real-time stock availability, reducing the risks of stockouts or of overstocking that increases warehouse storage costs. Tracking solutions can include barcode scanners and RFID tagging.
Use inventory management software
With the need for inventory transparency across eCommerce channels, inventory management software provides the necessary solution to meet these demands. Inventory stock movements update in real-time providing customers with the information they require with regards to stock availability, shipping and tracking of their eCommerce purchases.
Integrate your software
Inventory management software can integrate seamlessly with other systems to complement and optimise resource management, providing accurate and current information to all areas of your business. One software can provide a centralised platform for you to keep an eye on your online store and any other retail outlets so you can more effectively respond to high demand and reduce the risk of overselling.
Forecast inventory demand
An effective eCommerce inventory control system improves forecast accuracy of supply and demand. It helps distributors and business owners to know what stock they need, the quantities needed and when, so they can order inventory as necessary, eliminating the need for overstocking.
By using eCommerce inventory control systems online retailers can ensure that their sales outlets are well-stocked with the right products and at the right time. With the proper inventory control system for your eCommerce operations, you can improve your business processes and increase profitability.