Top 3 Tools for Managing an Online Store’s Inventory

Posted July 20th, 2023 in e-Commerce. Tagged: .

If you are building an online store that just has a few products, or you are looking to create an online store that rivals Amazon in what it can deliver to the customers, you have probably noticed that there is a problem with keeping your inventory in check with what your customers want to purchase.

There are a lot of issues that online stores can run into, especially since online stores are designed to be slightly divorced from the companies that produce the various products that they are selling. Whether you have had an online store for a few months or several years, you’ve likely run into some of these problems and want to get them fixed up.

Thankfully, there are plenty of different tools that you can use to both manage an online store’s inventory and also to mitigate these problems.

Here’s what you need to know about the common problems many online stores face, and also the various tools you can use to fix them.

inventory

Inventory Management Challenges That Plague Online Stores

The biggest problem is often the disconnect between the online storefront and the actual warehouse where the products are stored. If there isn’t a strong connection between both items, then information can get changed.

For example, if an online storefront doesn’t have access to how much product is in the warehouse and available for purchase by customers, the demand could overshoot the supply before the website can update about the low stock.

Now you’ve got a lot of customers who have placed an order your warehouse is unable to fill, leading to delays, lost money, and general mistrust in your company.

Additionally, manual errors can mess up the data flow from the storage side to the warehouse. Even the best of us make mistakes and using several different tools in order to enter the data manually can lead to mistakes and errors that can present false results.

Additionally, working to manage a large inventory system with a pen and paper doesn’t scale well if you really want to grow your business. It might work while you are small, but if you get more warehouses and locations, it will be impractical at best and impossible at worst.

Finally, the constant changes in global supply and customer demand for your products can shift at an almost daily pace. It’s unpredictable, and you can’t manage everything to make your customers do what you want, and if an online storefront can’t quickly adapt to these changing times, it will go under.

Being able to use the data that you already have to predict shifts in both the global supply market as well as customer demand can help your business remain ahead of the curve, and then you can continue to market your business no matter what is thrown at you.

As you can see, most of these issues involve data and how it needs to be as current as possible for both the business owners, the warehouse workers, and the customers. Thankfully, plenty of tools can help you manage your online business and can get you the data that your business needs in order to run well.

The Best Inventory Management Tools

1. Katana

Katana

One of the biggest issues that inventory systems have is the lack of real time updates on what is where in the warehouse and how much product is available for you to use and sell to your customers. Katana comes with all of the end to end software you could need, but the real strength of this warehouse comes from the various inventory management features that it offers businesses.

These include barcode part tracking, assembling tracking, the management of storage and shop floor systems, and supplier logistics services. Additionally, it comes with 24/7 phone and email support, as well as an online knowledge base for all your question and answer needs.

The name of the game with inventory management tools is getting the most accurate data as quickly as possible, and Katana gives you everything you need for that.

2. Ollie

Ollie

If you are looking at opening a brewery and promoting your goods and services online, then you need to use Ollie as your brewery management solution. For starters, you can use the service to keep track of the finished beer products that all of your customers purchase. But you can also use it to keep track of the entire beer making process from start to finish.

How many barrels of wort do you have? How long have those hops been sitting out? What is the progress on the latest beer you are brewing?

All of those questions need to be answered in order to prevent spoilage, wasted food, and a loss of profits. With Ollie, they can and will be answered, allowing you to use the software to get a bird’s eye view of several aspects of your business.

Any store that uses food is going to need a strict management system for their inventory, because you don’t want the food to go bad. That will really set you back, but with Ollie, you will be able to see all of your business and can make decisions based on the data the service gives you.

3. Sortly

Sortly

Now, some online inventories are for small businesses that might need help tracking inventory and may need some help making sure that the orders go out on time, but they don’t need all the bells and whistles of a massive management campaign. For those businesses, Sortly is the name of the game.

Sortly works very well if your business has a specific need for inventory management. What Sortly does well is tracking where your items are and how many of each item you have.

It does this by generating barcodes and QR codes, and gives you all of the information once the barcode is fully scanned. You can also assign certain items to different groupings in order to make items easier to track.

It might not reinvent the wheel for online inventory management, but if a smaller company just needs some extra help tracking everything, then Sortly is what they need.

Take The Time To Get Comfortable With The Solution You Pick

Finally, as you look through these tools, don’t be afraid to put yourself and your business through a trial run. As much as you might want to see your business instantly start to grow with your chosen inventory management software, this is going to take some time. So give yourself a trial period where your online store and your inventory storage get used to using the tool.

After a few months of working with the tool, do an analysis and see how well the tool has worked for your business. Are things easier? Are you finding that the problems with your inventory have gone away? Or do you need to rip off the band aid and work with a completely different tool?

But once you find the perfect tool for your business, then you can step away from all the chaos of constantly putting out inventory based fires and instead get back to developing new products and services for your business.


About the Author

Jessica Perkins

Jessica Perkins – a growth hacker at heart – helps SaaS companies rapidly scale their inbound leads through lean marketing strategies. She views content marketing and advertising as the perfect concoction of growth, and loves to write about her insights and experiences.

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