For some eCommerce businesses, inventory is something that is best left to someone else. This is why dropshipping or 3PL is such a common practice. However, if you want to have control over your own inventory, you’ll need to find a way to accurately account for every item under your purview. This is why inventory tracking software that integrates with your bookkeeping system can be a real lifesaver.
But if you’re wondering how to manage inventory across multiple channels, you’re not alone. In fact, this is one of the most common concerns among multi-channel eCommerce businesses, as things can easily get out of hand when you use more than one method for inventory shipping, ordering, and storage.
So, in today’s guide, we’re going to help you find the best ways to manage and track your inventory, particularly if you use more than one channel to sell your products. But first, let’s look at some of the inherent difficulties of managing inventory with more than one selling channel:
As the world of eCommerce continues to expand and evolve, so too do the challenges of managing multi-channel inventory. With the rise of mobile commerce, social selling, and online marketplaces, retailers are expected to offer a seamless shopping experience across a variety of channels. If this can’t be achieved by one business, consumers will quickly flock to a business that can offer a more user-friendly experience.
But with each channel comes unique requirements and limitations, making it difficult to keep track of inventory levels and prevent overselling. Juggling inventory across multiple channels requires careful planning, effective management, and seamless execution to ensure that you maintain a stable supply of products across all channels. It also involves understanding the unique requirements and challenges of each platform.
For instance, Amazon's FBA program requires sellers to store and ship inventory to Amazon fulfillment centers. Alternatively, eBay, Walmart, Shopify, and Amazon’s FBM program allow sellers to manage their own inventory. Developing a sense of coherence between all of these channels can be difficult, even impossible if you don’t have the right tools at your disposal.
Achieving a balance between channels is critical to avoid overselling, underselling, or overstocking. Otherwise, you may compromise your customer experience, profitability, and reputation. One way to overcome this challenge is by utilizing inventory management software. This can help you automate tasks such as tracking inventory levels, receiving alerts when inventory is low, and updating inventory levels across all channels in real time.
The right inventory tracking software can help you consolidate your inventory across all sales channels. This means utilizing an inventory management system that provides real-time visibility of stock levels, sales velocity, and order status. Another important strategy is prioritizing inventory allocation based on the performance of individual channels. Some important factors to consider include sales data, customer demographics, and platform-specific trends.
By understanding where your products are selling the most, you can make informed decisions that optimize your inventory management across all channels. In addition to these strategies, proactive inventory forecasting is essential to mitigate the risks of managing your own inventory. Advanced analytics tools and historical sales data can help you accurately project demand patterns and adjust your inventory levels accordingly.
A multi-channel inventory management system is a tool that helps you track and manage your inventory across multiple sales channels, such as eCommerce platforms and other online marketplaces. Opting for a quality inventory management system that can handle more than one sales channel is one of the best ways to ensure that your business can prosper and scale.
Here are some of the primary benefits of using a multi-channel inventory management system:
● Increased Efficiency - A multi-channel inventory management system allows businesses to manage inventory in one place, which can help reduce the time and effort required to manage inventory across multiple channels. This can lead to increased efficiency and productivity, as you spend less time trying to hunt down individual items or batches.
● Accurate Inventory Tracking - With a multi-channel inventory management system, businesses can track inventory levels in real time across multiple sales channels. This can help prevent a wide range of inventory-related issues and help keep your cash flow steady.
● Improved Customer Experience - By having accurate and up-to-date inventory information, you can ensure that products are available when customers want to buy them. This can help improve the customer experience and increase overall satisfaction with your brand.
● Better Decision-Making - A multi-channel inventory management system provides businesses with data and insights on inventory levels, sales trends, and other metrics. This can help businesses make more informed decisions about inventory management, purchasing, and pricing. Plus, many tools provide you with useful extras like stock alerts, which is particularly useful if you want to know exactly when certain items are running low.
● Cost Savings - By reducing inventory errors, stockouts, and overstocking, a multi-channel inventory management system can help businesses save money on inventory costs. Additionally, by optimizing inventory levels and purchasing decisions, you can reduce the cost of carrying your own inventory.
● Rapid Change Management - Do you have to deal with returns, last-minute quantity changes, or large batch orders? If so, a multi-channel inventory management system can track changes in real time across every channel to help you avoid delays or erroneous shipments.
● Forecasting - Having to check your inventory data every time you want to order new products takes a lot of time. While you should check to make sure that the data is accurate whenever possible, good inventory management software can offer reorder forecasts to estimate how much of each product you will need to keep up with demand in the coming weeks and months.
As you can see, inventory tracking software that works as a hub for your entire inventory management system is the best solution for eCommerce businesses. While standard bookkeeping software like QuickBooks or Xero can handle some of the basics of inventory management, they will often struggle to aggregate all of the relevant data from every sales channel you use. This is why integrating platforms like Sellercloud, Goflow, and Shipstation with ConnectBooks can provide a seamless way to sync all of your inventory across multiple channels and track everything in real time.
Are you ready to revolutionize the way you manage your inventory? ConnectBooks offers a variety of plans tailored to businesses of all sizes, so you'll have no trouble finding one that's perfect for you. ConnectBooks also integrates seamlessly with popular inventory management systems like QuickBooks and Xero, providing you with up-to-date data and insights.
When using ConnectBooks in tandem with systems like Sellercloud, Goflow, or Shipstation, you'll have access to a wealth of features designed to streamline your inventory management process. You can track inventory levels, set up reorder points, and view SKU history all in one place. You'll also be able to generate reports and receive notifications when inventory levels reach certain thresholds. In short, if you're serious about taking your inventory management to the next level, ConnectBooks integrates with the best available inventor software to ensure that you have the ultimate solution for your eCommerce business.
Are you in need of comprehensive solutions for eCommerce inventory tracking? Do you want to learn more about managing all of your eCommerce channels in one place? If so, reach out to the experts at ConnectBooks for more information!