There’s never been a better time to operate an eCommerce business. Shoppers are prolifically turning to online shopping for whatever they need. Whether it’s clothing, food, sports gear or even toiletries, people constantly seek it out on the internet. They compare prices, try to get the best deal and maximise their convenience.
There’s a lot of competition and as an eCommerce business owner, you need to do whatever you can to keep your prices low and attractive to buyers.
One of the best ways to save money is to look after the thing that makes you money — your inventory. With better inventory control in your warehouse, you can optimise how everything runs and learn where you can save on spending. Inventory control can help streamline your eCommerce business and enhance that bottom line.
So, what do you need to do to get on top of inventory control and start seeing savings?
Online inventory management
If you’re not using an automated system, it’s time to replace your current operations with an online inventory management solution. It’s an absolute game-changer.
Inventory management software can track what is going on in your warehouse in real-time, giving you live inventory stock updates and measure your inventory turnover. Since everything is up to date, it’s much harder to oversell a product or find a surprise amount of dead stock in the back corner. It provides you with a wealth of knowledge to build your inventory management plan on.
Online inventory management allows you to streamline warehouse processes like re-ordering stock (so you don’t run out), analysing market trends, and demand forecasting. This allows you to make smarter decisions and not spend unnecessarily. This ultimately saves you money.
Assign minimal stock levels
When you’ve got people from all over the world clicking on your eCommerce site, the last thing you want is to run out of stock. One inventory control tactic is to set minimal stock levels for every product you sell. With this number, you should still be able to meet demand and avoid fulfilment delays. However, this puts a stop to you spending extra money to stock more inventory. Only operate with a minimal level and replenish in a timely manner.
Good communication with your suppliers
Maintaining good communication with your suppliers is imperative to your business. If you are in the loop with what’s going on at your supplier’s end of the supply chain, then you can be proactive if there are any changes. If you have a foundation of trust, they will be honest with you and let you know that the lead time is going to be longer than expected to get those four items you ordered. This helps you because you can reflect that on your eCommerce site, or strategically promote other products while you wait for these four to arrive.
If you have a spike in demand and the supplier wasn’t meant to ship you products for another two weeks, a good relationship might mean they fast track you an unplanned shipment. This will allow you to go forward with sales and not have to deal with dissatisfied customers.
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.