Ecommerce Inventory Tracking Software Buyer’s Guide
Selling products online is easier than ever with feature-rich eCommerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, PrestaShop, and WooCommerce. They let brick-and-mortar store owners sell their products and services online, and in return, sellers must pay monthly or yearly fees.
However, like any physical store owners, online store owners may also need help managing their eCommerce inventory.
Well, no more.
Sellers can manage and ship their products effortlessly using the best eCommerce inventory management software. Not just that, they can automate many routine processes like reporting tasks to increase their employees’ efficiency.
If you are new to eCommerce business and looking for a solution to improve an inventory management system for eCommerce, you are at the right place.
In this complete guide, you will find; why an eCommerce inventory management system is crucial for the business, its features and characteristics, what problems it can solve for you, its cost, and most importantly, things to consider to get the best eCommerce inventory management software.
Before going any further, let’s start with the basics, like what is an eCommerce inventory management solution and why it is important.
» What is eCommerce Inventory Management Software?
eCommerce inventory management is the process of maintaining online stock levels to fulfill customer demands in such a manner that may eliminate overstock or understock situations.
The online cloud-ready tools that assist in doing so are eCommerce inventory management software. They can provide in-depth stock reporting for better visualization. They consist of powerful features like automation, customization, and reporting & notifications to make online sales faster, more reliable, and safe.
Many advanced eCommerce inventory management systems can forecast stock requirements in advance and automate the ordering process or notifies concerned authority to streamline the workflow.
» Why is eCommerce Inventory Management Software Important?
Managing and maintaining stock levels all the time is the most prominent concern for any eCommerce online seller to scale the business. That’s why eCommerce inventory management software is important.
In today’s tech-driven era, where online sellers use advanced tools to justify customers’ requirements, one must stop using spreadsheets or other old-school methods to manage eCommerce inventory to beat the competition.
Sellers need powerful eCommerce inventory management software that tracks eCommerce inventory numbers and provides crucial details about stocks, like where they are stored.
Furthermore, the tools can analyze selling data and generate metrics that help sellers manage eCommerce inventory efficiently to increase ROI and customer satisfaction.
» Best Features of eCommerce Inventory Management Software
Top eCommerce inventory management tools offer many fascinating features. Sellers can seamlessly maintain and manage eCommerce inventory and grow their businesses using these features. Let’s have a closer look at some features. They are as follows:
› List of Core Features
Here is a list of the core features that every eCommerce inventory management solution must have:
- Single Dashboard: eCommerce inventory management tools provide a dashboard where sellers can easily monitor inventory with better visualization and receive important alerts and notifications to streamline the workflow.
- Barcode Tagging: This feature allows sellers to tag their products and saves vital information about products, like product ID and vendor name, directly to the system by simply scanning the barcode.
- RFID Tagging: The radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging feature allows sellers to track products in real time. Using the feature, sellers can place tags on products and items that cast signals to RFID readers that are operable with software. This process helps in various tasks, such as real-time inventory counting, purchase order history, and location of products.
- Inventory Tracking: Using this feature in eCommerce inventory management software, sellers can track their online inventory using various filters, like product type, size, color, SKU, and expiry date.
- Alerts and Notifications: This feature enables sellers to receive various alerts and notifications. I.e., online new order placed, product delivered successfully, product return initiated, and products near to expire.
› List of Popular Features
The following are the top features that are popular in eCommerce inventory management software:
- User-Friendly: This functionality is one of the most popular features due to its importance. It allows sellers with less technical knowledge effortlessly performs tasks related to managing eCommerce inventory.
- Dynamic Inventory: Best inventory management software for eCommerce offers a dynamic inventory management system. The system continuously tracks inventory levels based on orders and shipped products and updates them as required.
- Automation: The tools enable sellers to automate many crucial tasks to keep sellers and suppliers connected. I.e., sellers can automate the new order placement process by applying conditions for products, like initiating the process as soon as stock levels drop a certain level.
- QR Code Support: This feature enables sellers to save digital product data like serial numbers, date of manufacture, factory address, and other crucial data into an eCommerce inventory management database quickly.
- Multi-Warehouse Management: This feature is a lifesaver for sellers who store their products in multiple warehouses. It provides comprehensive product data visualization of all warehouses so sellers can easily track and maintain products from one place.
- Purchase Order Management: This feature allows sellers to perform tasks to manage purchase orders efficiently. Sellers can easily create, ship, and track purchase orders, including shipping logistics optimization per weight, cost, and other variables.
- Vendor Management: This feature allows sellers to manage their vendors to maintain healthy relationships by saving interactions, costs, and transactions.
- Mobile App: Many top eCommerce inventory management tools provide mobile apps to make tools accessible 24×7, anytime, anywhere. However, sellers require a supported mobile device with active internet.
» Characteristics of eCommerce Inventory Management Software
The following are characteristics of eCommerce inventory management systems that would make a difference:
The best eCommerce inventory management tools are flexible to users’ requirements. They give an edge to employees in performing flexible order management, inventory management, calendar management, and other crucial tasks.
Top inventory management systems for eCommerce are scalable. Suppose a seller wants to expand the business on a big scale. The tools are ready to scale to fulfill the business requirements.
› Integrations Support
The tools support native and external integrations, such as online marketplace integrations, retail POS integrations, shipping courier integrations, and payment gateway integrations.
› Multi-Channel Support
Sellers showcasing and selling their products over multi-channels can leverage this functionality to seamlessly maintain and manage eCommerce inventory over different channels.
› Order Predictions
The tools can predict new order quantities by observing stock levels, purchase order history, and selling trends. It helps sellers to stay away from understock situations.
» Problems Eliminated Using Inventory Management Software For eCommerce
Here are some common problems that every seller or retailer might face along with their solutions:
› Spreadsheets are Not Keeping Up with Business Growth
Using spreadsheets for managing eCommerce inventory might be a good idea for start-ups and small-sized businesses. However, when the business grows, managing inventory with the same old spreadsheets might give you a hard time.
Feature-rich eCommerce inventory management software is what you need. Many fine-tuned and scalable tools are available in the market that can handle any size of business to manage eCommerce inventory efficiently.
Sellers can use the tools to manage eCommerce inventory, from saving product data into a database using barcodes and QR codes to shipping them to desired locations using integrations.
› Customers are Angry Due to the “Out of Stock” Message
Many sellers are facing this universal issue. Suppose a customer needs a particular product, and when they try to purchase it, it shows an “Out of stock” message. Not only it makes customers angry, but they might never come back to your online store.
eCommerce inventory management solutions can help sellers eliminate this problem by forecasting orders. The tools monitor inventory levels, order history, and selling patterns to predict product orders.
Furthermore, sellers can automate the goods replenishment process by putting some terms and conditions to ensure trending products always stay well-stocked to meet customer demands.
› Tired of Doing Manual Time-Consuming Tasks
Many time-consuming tasks can be automated to increase employees’ efficiency and productivity. For example, when new stocks arrive, employees must manually add data to spreadsheets.
This process may consume employees’ precious time. No surprise if they forget to add one or two crucial data variables along the process.
A dedicated eCommerce inventory management software can speed up things for your employees with utmost accuracy. Employees can scan barcode stickers, and the product data will automatically store in the database. This way, employees can complete the tasks quickly and efficiently.
» Who Uses eCommerce Inventory Management Software?
eCommerce inventory management tools come in different scales, from the enterprise to the primary level. Their needfulness differs based on other users’ roles and responsibilities. The following are some roles of users that require different scale eCommerce inventory management software:
Whether they sell products online or in a brick-and-mortar store, all types of retailers need good inventory management software for eCommerce sellers to add, edit, track, and manage eCommerce inventory efficiently.
Big eCommerce companies have very complex supply chains to manage. And with companies’ reputations at the stack, they need enterprise-level eCommerce inventory management tools that are reliable and can handle complex inventory management issues.
› Multi-Channel Sellers
Sellers selling products using different channels need eCommerce inventory management systems to get comprehensive inventory data visualization. Sellers can keep an eye on inventory data of other channels on a single dashboard and keep up to date with stock levels.
› Warehouse Managers
Warehouse managers are responsible for taking care of eCommerce inventory from the moment they come to the warehouse from manufacturers till they are shipped from the warehouse. And to do that, they need the best inventory management software for eCommerce.
As for wholesalers, most of their customers are other businesses and retailers. Hence, they are required to keep track of eCommerce inventory with efficiently maintaining relationships with their customers.
Manufacturers are the ones that keep the supply running in the eCommerce marketplace. They also need eCommerce inventory management solutions to effectively and efficiently manage products and parts from the moment they manufacture till they are shipped.
» Things to Consider For Choosing The Best eCommerce Inventory Management Software
As discussed earlier, many feature-rich eCommerce inventory management software is available. Their scalability and flexibility differ based on the solution that sellers may choose. But which solution to choose and which one is the right for the business?
Here are some vital things that you should consider to choose the best eCommerce inventory management solutions:
› Free Trial
Before choosing any eCommerce inventory management solution for your business, ensure the tools provides a free trial. This way, you can test all the features of tools and how they help you keep track of inventory.
› No Hidden Costs
Ensure the prices are straight as they look. Sometimes tools may have hidden costs that may not be budget-friendly: I.e., hardware for barcode scanning and integration with third-party accounting tools.
Make sure that the tools you choose may support native and external integrations. You may require integration to perform various crucial tasks. For example, integrations with couriers or shipping companies are needed to deliver products.
› Customer Support
Customer support is one of the most crucial things you should consider before choosing any eCommerce inventory management solution. Good customer support is needed on many unpleasant occasions. Make sure the tools offer convenient customer support to get quick and reliable resolutions.
The eCommerce inventory management software you choose may save and process critical product data, like vendor details, purchase order history, and stock levels. Ensure the tools provide robust security to make data secure all the time.
» How Much Does eCommerce Inventory Management Software Cost?
eCommerce inventory management software prices differ based on the number of:
- Users: Allows a limited number of users based on the subscription.
- Sales Channels (Multi-Channel Inventory): Charge sellers based on the number of sales channels they use to sell their products.
- Products: Some solutions charge sellers based on the number of products they showcase.
- Orders Processed Per Month: Many solutions charge sellers based on the number of orders they process per month.
- Devices: Some software charge sellers based on the number of devices on which the tools will be operated, such as smartphones, tablets, PCs, and laptops.
The average cost of eCommerce inventory management software is around $20 per month. However, sometimes they cost more than $400 per month.
There is also some free inventory management software for eCommerce obtainable in the market with some essential features included. Free tools are suitable for start-ups and small scaled businesses. However, they may only have some in-demand features to grow the eCommerce business.
If you want to take your business to the next level, consider using eCommerce inventory management software to manage your inventory efficiently and effortlessly.
Suppose you are already using one and still not getting desired results. It would be best to consider changing the tool to the best one.
Many top-level eCommerce inventory management systems are available in the market with powerful features.
You should identify your business requirements and select the solution which you think may be able to fulfill your business requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best eCommerce inventory management strategy?
Every eCommerce business is unique. Hence, their requirements are different. It is possible that one inventory management strategy that works for a particular seller may not work for other sellers. Here are some of the best eCommerce inventory management strategies that might work for your business type:
- ABC Analysis: This strategy works by categorizing inventory based on its importance to the business.
- First In, First Out (FIFO): This technique works based on the expiration date of products. The first product that arrives in a warehouse is the first one that is used to fulfill customer requirements.
- Last In, First Out (LIFO): In this method, a product that arrives last in a warehouse is used first to fulfill customer demands.
- Just In Time (JIT): In this strategy, sellers receive the same number of inventory they need.
- Dropshipping: In this method, sellers do not require to hold the products in their warehouses. They can receive and fulfill customer orders by shipping products directly from the manufacturers.
What does Inventory Management Software do For eCommerce?
eCommerce inventory management software allows sellers to add, edit, track, and manage eCommerce inventory for business growth. The systems ensure inventory levels are well maintained to skip the overstock and understock criteria.
Which is The Best eCommerce Inventory Management Software?
Here is a small list of the best eCommerce inventory management software:
- Zoho Inventory
- SOS Inventory
- Finale Inventory
- DEAR Systems
- Access Mintsoft
How do You Choose the Best Software For Managing Your eCommerce Inventory?
To choose the best software that can efficiently manage your eCommerce inventory, you should first define your business requirements. Then list out the solutions that can fulfill those requirements. There are also other crucial things that you should consider. Check out the section Things to Consider in this guide, and you will have a complete list of those essential things.
What Features eCommerce Inventory Management Software Should Have?
Inventory tracking, barcode tagging, RFID tagging, alerts & notifications, automation, etc., are the essential features every eCommerce inventory management software should have. There are other in-demand features that you should look for to scale your business. You can find them in the best features section of this guide.
Are There Any Free eCommerce Inventory Management Software?
There is some eCommerce inventory management software available in the market that are free. Explore the list provided here, and you may find them.