Inventory management is key in online retail for ensuring correct stock levels and smooth operations. Without reliable inventory data, customers encounter out-of-stock issues, impacting sales and brand reputation.
ShopWired's built-in inventory management system turns stock management into a strategic asset by merging accuracy with ease.
Let's take a closer look at inventory management, its importance, and how ShopWired enhances operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.
What is an Inventory Management System?
An Inventory Management System (IMS) tracks and manages stock, ensuring the right products are available at the right time. It prevents overstocking or understocking, provides real-time stock data, and can offer insights for decision-making.
Running low on a certain item? The system alerts you to reorder. Got slow-moving items that aren’t selling? The system identifies them- allowing you to run timely promotions or discounts and clear out space for more in-demand products.
Beyond just informing you of stock levels, a well-structured inventory management system also aids in order and fulfilment, keeping orders accurate and on time. When an order is placed, you see who ordered it, how much they paid, the shipping address, the shipping status, and more.
By automating your inventory and order management processes, you benefit from increased accuracy and efficiency while minimising the potential for human error.
Inventory Management System Benefits
Improved Order Accuracy
Accurate order processing is key to customer satisfaction. An effective inventory management system minimises the likelihood of errors, ensuring that customers receive exactly what they ordered.
Real-Time Stock Tracking
With real-time stock tracking, you are always in the know about your inventory levels. If a customer places an order, your stock levels automatically adjust to reflect the change. This helps prevent overstocking or understocking, and helps maintain a balanced inventory that meets demand.
Enhanced Efficiency and Productivity
An inventory management system automates mundane and repetitive tasks. Say goodbye to manual stock counts and embrace a system that does it for you. Utilising automation frees up time for your team to focus on other aspects of the business.
Efficient inventory management helps maintain optimal stock levels- reducing storage costs and minimising losses from expired or obsolete stock.
Better Decision Making
The data-driven insights an IMS provides are invaluable for making informed purchasing and marketing decisions. Understanding sales trends and inventory turnover rates enables smarter planning and forecasting. This is especially helpful leading into busy periods, like the holiday season or sale events.
Customer Satisfaction and Retention
When products are in stock and orders are delivered accurately and on time, customer satisfaction skyrockets. Satisfied customers are more likely to return and more likely to recommend you to others.
Streamlined reporting facilitates better oversight, making it easier to share insights with stakeholders and managers. The data from your inventory management system can also be exported for presenting at your next meeting.
ShopWired: Inventory Management Made Easy
There are a plethora of inventory management systems on the market, each with different features and promises. Many of these carry a monthly fee, meaning you have to budget for extra costs on top of the price of hosting and running your website. Furthermore, there’s always the chance that the system won’t cater to all your business needs.
For those looking for an all-in-one solution, ShopWired is designed to handle your stock management tasks efficiently with its integrated inventory management system. It’s not just a standalone software; it’s an integral part of the ShopWired ecommerce platform.
ShopWired’s inventory management system is straightforward. It provides real-time stock updates, allowing for accurate tracking of your inventory levels. From the Manage Your Stock page, you see an overview of your inventory, including product names, SKU codes, variations, and quantity levels. You can also search for particular products or filter the list by category. Having this information easily accessible and visible from one location makes managing inventory a breeze.
The inventory management system on ShopWired also lets you hide out-of-stock products, meaning there is zero chance of customers ordering a product that isn't available. You can also choose when and whether to reserve the customer's stock during the order process. For example, you can choose stock to be reserved when an order is submitted for payment, or when a product is added to the basket.
ShopWired's inventory management system can also be further enhanced with a range of apps from the ShopWired app store. These apps extend its capabilities, enabling a more tailored solution for your business needs.
ShopWired Apps: Enhance Your Inventory Management
The Stock Alerts app lets you set alert thresholds for each product. It compares stock levels daily, listing any product falling below its threshold in a morning email alert. For instance, setting it at 5 will alert you when only 5 of that product remain. This prompt lets you avoid stock-outs, lost sales, and unhappy customers. The Stock Alerts app is key for maintaining optimal stock levels, ensuring smooth ecommerce operations.
Stock On Back Order
By default, customers cannot add products to their basket if the product is out of stock. But, the 'stock on back order' app lets you tweak this to allow customers to purchase products that will soon be back in stock. Once the item is back in stock, the order is fulfilled as normal.
If stock levels for your products are controlled or are available on an external source (e.g. a file hosted externally), the stock sync app lets you automatically sync the stock levels for your products from the external source without you needing to do anything. By automating this task, it removes any potential for human error when conducting manual updates. It also saves you time and lets you focus resources elsewhere.
Back In Stock Notification
If a product is out of stock, you can use the 'Back In Stock Notifications' app to add a 'back in stock notification' form on your website. This form lets customers input their email address to be notified when the product is back in stock.
These add-on apps take ShopWired's inventory management to the next level. It's why so many merchants choose to power their online store with ShopWired. But what if you already have an online store with another platform? No problem! ShopWired's migration service can move you over to ShopWired in no time. Our experts will help you migrate your whole store, ensuring that your inventory, collections/categories, product reviews, and customers come with you.
You can find out more about our migration services here.
How Inventory Management Systems Help Day-to-Day Operations
The benefits of efficient inventory management cannot be overstated. Here are some common scenarios where an IMS can help day-to-day operations.
1. Seasonal Sales and Promotions
With the holidays fast approaching, many businesses are anticipating a surge in traffic. A solid inventory management system helps you plan for any event by providing insights into past sales trends. With this data, you'll have a better idea of how much inventory you need to get through the sale period. ShopWired's system helps ensure that you are well-stocked for popular events, turning sale periods into actual revenue instead of lost opportunities due to stock-outs.
2. New Product Launches
Demand is often high for new product launches. An efficient inventory management system helps you gauge the right amount of stock to have on hand, based on data from previous launches or similar products. This ensures that the excitement around the launch translates into sales, rather than disappointment from no stock.
Pitfalls From Not Using an Inventory Management System
Without real-time stock updates, there's a risk of selling more products than you have. Over-selling not only leads to immediate lost sales, but can also tarnish your brand's reputation.
Understocking and Overstocking
Both understocking and overstocking are detrimental. While the former leads to lost sales, the latter ties up capital that could be utilised elsewhere.
Manual inventory management is time-consuming and prone to errors. It creates operational bottlenecks that can hinder your ecommerce business's growth.
Loss of Customer Trust
Failing to meet customer expectations due to stock issues can lead to a loss of trust, which is hard to rebuild. Plus, if one of your competitors has their stock levels in check, you’re more likely to lose customers if your stock management system is lacking.
Boost Your Inventory Management Today
An efficient inventory management system is more than just a tool; it's a strategic asset for your ecommerce business. ShopWired's integrated system is designed to ensure that your inventory management is precise, easy and effective, aligned with the fast-paced demands of the ecommerce world. And with a series of additional apps at your disposal, ShopWired provides everything you need to stay on top of your operations.
As you aim to meet and exceed customer expectations, having ShopWired as your inventory management ally can significantly contribute to achieving your business goals, ensuring satisfied customers and a thriving online retail operation.
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