Inventory management is an essential skill for any ecommerce business. When done correctly, inventory management increases sales, reduces costs, and minimizes waste. Keeping track of your stock allows you to more accurately cater to customer’s needs, and anticipate future buying trends.
Wondering what you need for successful ecommerce inventory management? Here are our top tips on how to streamline and organize your inventory so you can focus your time and energy on expanding your business.
What Happens Without Successful Inventory Management?
Managing the quantity of products you offer is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to running an online business. Overstocking products leads to an inventory backup and causes warehouse space to fill-up with unsold products. Overstocked products are often hard to sell when they are no longer popular or are out of season. Ultimately, overstocking causes you to lose money on your initial investment.
Overselling occurs when you don’t have enough stock to keep up with demand. While this is sometimes a fruitful problem to have, you also run the risk of turning away expectant customers, accruing backorders, and making sales that you can’t fulfill.
Managing your inventory by hand is a time-consuming and unrewarding task. Manual management tends to contribute to inaccurate inventory numbers, resulting in more cases of overstocking or overselling products. Manual management systems also prevent your company from scaling-up in a sizeable way. Without the flexibility of online software, you might end up delaying your own business’s growth.
Tips for Successful Inventory Management in Ecommerce
#1 Have Safety Stock
Your “safety stock” represents a perfect balance between overstocking and understocking. Essentially, the goal is to provide enough backup stock to comfortably anticipate order increases and have the supply to meet demand without hoarding too much stock and losing money on items that decrease in value. Safety stock relies on discovering the right balance for your business.
#2 Use Past Data to Predict the Future
Do you sell seasonal items? Are you evolving to match industry trends? Pay attention to past buying and selling trends to anticipate how to manage your future inventory. Various inventory management platforms offer analytics tools that will help you track your sales across select periods of time. This way, it’s simple to compare and contrast past sales and develop your plan for future products.
#3 Use Kitting
“Kitting” refers to assembling deals or promotions to move excess stock out of your warehouse and into the homes of more customers. Kitting techniques may include strategies like free shipping, BOGO offers, and other promotional sales events.
#4 Categorize Inventory with the ABC Method
The ABC method for categorizing inventory helps break down your products into three distinct categories. These categories reflect the relative value and purchase frequency for each item.
In the ABC method:
A = Inventory that is highly valuable, but doesn’t sell as often. Think luxury items that are high value but cost-prohibitive for most people.
B = Inventory that is moderately valuable and but still sells relatively often. This category typically encompasses items like electronics or small appliances.
C = Inventory that is very inexpensive and sells very often. This category typically describes items like groceries or clothes.
#5 Find a Sustainable Storage Solution
Whether you have a brick-and-mortar location with product storage available, a warehouse, or even store items in your basement, it’s essential to come up with practical and accessible storage solutions for physical stock items. Without a storage strategy it’s easy for a small business to be overwhelmed by their items and lose track of how much inventory they have at any given moment.
#5 Utilize New Inventory Management Software
Take advantage of the improvements in inventory management software and upgrade to the newest system. Inventory management software allows you to keep track of orders, buy products, and manage shipping all from one, easy-to-use online platform.
Upgrading Your System with Digitbridge
At Digitbridge, we offer user-friendly solutions to ecommerce operation management. Our platform allows you to buy, sell, and ship anytime, anywhere. Digitbridge’s cloud-based software system is user-friendly and provides you with the full-functional tools you need to stay on top of your inventory control. We’re passionate about helping small and medium size businesses succeed in the ecommerce marketplace. Contact us today to request a demo.