4 Tips for Quality eCommerce Inventory Management
Contributed by Brighthaus.com.
When it comes to running a successful online business, inventory is everything. Mismanaging your stock can end up jamming your supply chain, alienating your customers and costing your company tons of money. A smart eCommerce management professional understands the delicate balancing act involved in maintaining a well-oiled inventory capable of satisfying multiple customer bases across all sales channels, platforms and access points. Here are 4 key tips for effective inventory management:
Keep it Organized
From the warehouse to the stockroom to the web-catalog, well organized merchandise is absolutely critical to the success of your business. Whether you use a bar-code system, inventory management software, or a classic—if outmoded—visual display system, you need to have a system in place that you can rely on for monitoring your stock levels and keeping up to date information on all your inventory across all platforms and channels.
Build and Maintain Beneficial Relationships
With the rapid rise of eCommerce and digital business solutions, many managers might have a tendency to forget the value of real face-to-face interaction. Managing inventory and maintaining a business, even one that is primarily digital, requires more than sitting behind a computer and placing orders from various suppliers. A good inventory manager goes out of his or her way to communicate, foster relationships and cultivate mutual trust with their suppliers. If done well and nurtured over time, these relationships can pay dividends in the form of lower prices, priority treatment and a willingness to work with you during shortfalls and moments of crisis.
Today’s customer has come to expect nearly instant results. From one click checkout to same-day delivery, if you can’t keep up with the lightning fast demands of the modern online shopper, your business is bound to sink. That’s why real-time data is so important. Real time data allows you to monitor flaws on key web pages and fix them before they start causing big problems. Real-time data allows you to:
- Monitor referral traffic, letting you know where your marketing is working, where you need to ramp it up, and which marketing avenues are just dead ends.
- Make key changes to your site by letting you know exactly when traffic is at its lowest. This enables you to go in and make adjustments without causing any serious disruptions to your customers’ shopping experience.
- Identify Trends that you might otherwise miss. Real time data allows you to monitor customer behavior with up-to-the-minute precision so you can recognize any anomalous patterns and take advantage of them as they happen.
- Monitor Revenue Goals and take immediate action. Real time data allows you to stay up to the minute on your revenue targets, letting you know instantly if you’ve fallen behind over the previous day, week, month etc. When you start to see sales dip, you can instantly spring into action with a key website fix, promotion, or flash sale.
Consider Investing in Merchandising Software
There are a number of incredible software solutions on the market that can save you valuable time and money on inventory management. Whether you run a small online store, or a major omni-channel enterprise, the right software can help you to streamlining your supply chain and cut down on costly losses. So whether you invest in Smart Merchandiser, IBM Websphere Commerce, or another top eCommerce system, having the right tool by your side is half the battle.