Written by David Renwick
Effective inventory management is a key component of a successful eCommerce business, but it’s not easy to get exactly right. Having the right amount of stock to keep customers happy without overloading your warehouse and storage base is a tough balance to strike at the best of times. Add in peak shipping seasons like Christmas and other holidays and keeping up with demand gets even trickier.
We’re here to help you learn the best inventory management practices based on the size of your eCommerce business and show you how integrating with a shipping partner can help you seamlessly get products to your customers.
First up, it’s good to get an idea of the established best practice for eCommerce inventory management to see how your current process stacks up.
One of our integration partners Cin7 outlines some key tactics of inventory management which are a great starting point.
Top inventory management tip...
Which products are purchased at specific times? Which ones are often bought together? Ensure you’re also in tune with greater trends for your specific industry.
What if you’re just getting started? Square put together an inventory management best practice guide specifically for smaller businesses.
Along with recommending small business owners to investigate inventory management software, the company encourages you to “remember your ABCs” when managing inventory by grouping products into three groups. According to Square these are:
These core elements of best practice inventory management are a good start, but how can you start to put them into practice? That’s where engaging with an inventory management company makes a real difference.
Partnering with a company that provides inventory management software can really help, no matter the size of your businesses. These companies have specialist expertise that you can leverage to ensure you’re maintaining the stock levels you need to satisfy customer orders.
So how can you tell which inventory management companies are the best fit for your business?
An effective inventory management company will help you tackle some of the key stock challenges we talked about earlier. To do this, you’ll need specific software features to make the most of your investment.
According to Shopify, there are four key features a good inventory management software should include. These are:
To get started with finding an inventory management software that best fits your business, you’ll want to start by looking at the essential features we listed above, but also think about the challenges you’re trying to solve and where you fit into your market.
GoDaddy found that the major inventory management challenges facing eCommerce business are:
For all of these challenges, and inventory management app is going to make a significant difference and help you track stock effectively and easily. To get started, you want to look into some options and see what they can do for your business.
For the best experience, you want to find an inventory management app that integrates with multiple systems across your business. It’s all well and good having a range of tools, but if they can’t all talk to each other then you risk creating more confusion, instead of streamlining your processes.
The following companies integrate with Starshipit’s shipping fulfilment platform, allowing you to track your inventory as you’re fulfilling orders. Take a look and see how they can align with your business and help you overcome inventory management challenges.
You can check out our full list of inventory and warehouse management partners on our Integrations page.
Cin7: This is one of the best inventory management systems for eCommerce retailers primarily operating in the B2C space.
It’s a cloud-based inventory management software that features robust tracking features and the ability to collate data into insightful reports that help your decision making.
Unleashed: Most suitable for B2B retailers, Unleashed is an inventory platform with a comprehensive list of stock management features. It promises simple stock takes thanks to its real-time inventory tracking, and is scalable to account for larger businesses that manage stock across multiple warehouses.
It synchronises with eCommerce platforms too, which is a key feature of the best inventory management platforms.
Tradevine: Created by NZ online auction platform Trade Me, Tradevine is great for sellers that rely on this platform for sales, as it integrates directly with the platform.
Like the best inventory management apps, Tradevine monitors inventory in real-time, and supports business with multiple warehouses which allows for scale.
Starshipit has integrations with dozens of warehouse management solutions, carriers, inventory management solutions and more. Head over to our integrations page to see our complete list.
And of course, if you have a platform which isn't featured, you can always use our API to build your own integration.View all integrations
Starshipit integrates with the above inventory management systems, seamlessly allowing you to manage inventory and shipping together. Here’s why you should pair Starshipit with an inventory management system:
Inventory management is a challenge for businesses of all sizes, but with the inventory management software you can keep track of stock and fulfil customer orders effectively. ECommerce businesses can integrate the best inventory management apps on the market into their existing systems to greatly simplify the process of managing stock.
By reading up on inventory management best practice, seeing which company is the best partner for you, and integrating an inventory management app with your shipping provider, you’re giving your business the best chance at shipping success.