For e-Commerce business owners, it has become crucial to leverage the power of multichannel retail platforms. Not only is it needed to sell on multiple marketplaces, but they also need to overcome the difficulties related to the sales model, such as tracking, managing, and shipping inventory.
Inventory management through multiple inventory management platforms is simple as it is compatible with all the major marketplaces. At the same time, it can be very challenging for new sellers who are unaware of the structure and tools to secure inventory and fulfil orders.
As purchases and production orders make the inventory management process difficult, sellers need to streamline the process with a multichannel operations puzzle.
What is Multichannel Inventory Management?
Multichannel inventory management is how sellers can track their orders from multiple sales sources on inventory stored in different locations, such as marketplaces, e-Commerce, retail, and wholesale.
Undoubtedly, inventory management is the backbone of the e-Commerce business, and it has become essential to maintain a competitive edge that turns into a strong customer experience externally. With multichannel inventory management, your company can easily manage stock levels, reorders, and inventory forecasting, so you can carefully plan for inventory turnover every quarter.
Sellers can take advantage of inventory management as it allows them to focus more on business growth rather than spending excess time and money managing the ins and outs of your inventory.
Why is it Important?
Being organized is the key to successful store fulfilment. Today, as more and more sellers are leveraging multichannel inventory management, it’s become a competitive advantage for new sellers.
Here are some of the benefits of multichannel inventory management tool:
- It helps sellers to prevent overselling their items
- It helps to organize products based on the categories
- It saves time and money
- Avoids human error
- Pre-sets reorder levels
- Can be accessed anywhere
Multichannel inventory management can help sellers to make data-driven decisions regarding the stock.
Inventory Management Best Practices
Managing inventory carefully is essential to reduce any potential loss of sales. However, it is time-consuming. With the below inventory management practices, you can decrease your inventory problems. Let’s take a look.
FIFO refers to first-in, first-out. Its concept is simple – the first items stored in the inventory will be the first to leave, i.e., the oldest items will go first.
If you sell biodegradable items, then FIFO is a must. Otherwise, you’ll end up with spoiled inventory that you’ll have to consider as a loss. It requires an organized warehouse capable of rotating every new item as it is received.
2. Minimum Product Levels
Several businesses keep the stock more than necessary. However, such practices have several disadvantages, and it takes a lot more space. Moreover, products also have some expiry dates, which is a serious issue.
As a seller, you must maintain a stock somewhere between the minimum and maximum stock.
3. Regular Audits
Even with a good inventory management tool by your side, you still have to count your inventory to ensure what you have in stock matches what you think you have.
Businesses use different techniques, including an annual, year-end physical inventory that counts every item and on-going spot-checking, which can be most helpful in moving fast or having stocking matters.
So, you should conduct regular audits for your stocks which can create a standard for productivity, stock levels, and inventory methods.
4. Inventory Analysis
In an e-Commerce business, regular inventory analysis and optimization are essential. With the help of multichannel inventory management, you can collect data such as which are your top-selling products and which are not. Additionally, you can also gather information for your business growth.
For example, you can get a deep insight into how much product you need at any upcoming festival. Accordingly, you can optimize your stock levels. As a result, you can boost your business productivity and satisfy your customers.
5. Sales Forecasting
Sales forecasting means predicting potential future profits by estimating the amount of product a sales unit sells in the next week, month, or year. This can be by an individual salesperson, a sales team, or a company.
Forecasting refers to get predictions about potential sales in the future. However, it’s hard to emphasize how important it is for a company to generate an exact sales forecast. An inventory management system can do the right things for you. You can customize your system forecasts based on factors that only you know and are specific to your business but don’t follow business criteria.
To sum it up, choosing a multichannel inventory management tool is the right way to go. It offers businesses many benefits such as to keep track of inventory, to avoid overselling, conducting audits, etc.
Multichannel inventory management helps sellers, optimizes the customer experience, and provides a smooth customer journey.
If you want to avoid overstocking, send high-volume emails, and improve user experience, then you need to develop a sophisticated multichannel inventory management process. Choose the right software, and you’re good to go.