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How to Manage Your Online Store’s Inventory

Ecommerce has made becoming a business owner far more accessible to the general public. It’s also allowed businesses to expand their customer base by catering to customers outside of their local area. That said, operating an online store for your business comes with its own set of challenges. One of those challenges is managing inventory. 

Use Software

Because of the nature of an online store, using software is less of an option and more of a necessity when it comes to managing inventory. Sure, you technically could keep track of everything by hand or use spreadsheets. By comparison, that’s an incredibly inefficient way to operate though. Using one of several inventory management software options helps reduce the opportunity for human error. This is especially helpful when it comes to making sure the inventory you have in your system matches the physical inventory you have on hand. 

Use Correct Terminology

Communication is essential to every aspect of business, including your inventory management. You need to be able to communicate clearly and accurately, both with those employed by your business and your customers. Using correct terminology is crucial if you are to be able to do so successfully. As an example, while many people think that backorder and out-of-stock are the same thing, there is an important difference. Using these terms correctly will help your customers make it through the ordering process so they can get the items they want or find appropriate alternatives if necessary. If you don’t use them right, you’re bound to run into at least a few customers who are dissatisfied because the products they want won’t be coming.

Use Data

One of the big issues with inventory management is making sure you have appropriate levels of inventory on hand at any given time. Data plays an essential role in this, allowing you to create sales projections that you can use to estimate how much of any given product you’re likely to sell. Once you have your projections, you can make a plan for how to stock enough products to fill your orders. Gathering enough data to make solid projections is easier if you’ve been in business for years. If your business is newer, study the trends for similar products, allowing for the likelihood that you’ll sell less until you’re more established, and use that to create some projections.

Use data to create projections so you can maintain an appropriate level of inventory

Properly managing your inventory is a crucial element of running an online store for your business. Taking advantage of software, using the correct terminology, and allowing data to drive your decisions are all things you can, and should be doing to keep your inventory at proper levels. If you’ve just started your online store, it will likely take some time to finetune your process. Be patient, yet persistent until you get all the kinks worked out.

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