What is ecommerce multichannel inventory management?
Inventory management across several sales channels and storage sites is known as multichannel inventory management. This comprises online, retail, marketplace, and wholesale inventories. Your firm can effortlessly monitor stock levels, reorders, and inventory forecasts using multichannel inventory management, allowing you to precisely plan for inventory turnover every quarter.
Instead of wasting time and money dealing with the ins and outs of your inventory, multichannel management solutions allow you to focus on the growth of your company.
A multichannel approach can only succeed if all channels are managed in a consistent manner, avoiding self-competition, which occurs when one channel’s success causes others to fall behind. Multichannel e-commerce management attempts to define an appropriate communication strategy that encompasses all channels in order to define:
- improved channel coherence, in accordance with goals and internal communication guidelines;
- a coherent and harmonious approach to dealing with consumer contacts in a multi-channel ecosystem
How does eCommerce multichannel inventory management maintain inventory?
There are a few key ways that retailers can maintain healthy inventory and movement of stock for their eCommerce environment.
1. Buffer Stock
It’s impossible to predict when something unexpected may occur. As a result, it’s critical to have buffer stock.
There might be a variety of reasons why you require this. We simply have to look at recent panic purchasing incidents to realise how supply and demand may change unexpectedly. Keeping track of your goods will ensure that you are prepared for any eventuality.
It’s as simple as avoiding overstocking or understocking your inventory and striking the appropriate balance.
You don’t want to be forced to liquidate your stock because you have too much. However, you don’t want to have so little inventory that you have to notify a consumer that you don’t have the item in store, so alienating your target demographic. Both factors might result in a loss of earnings due to clearance sales and negative evaluations.
This may be avoided by using the right software and properly managing inventories.
Kitting is the process of putting together items to offer as a package. For example, Buy 2 Get 1 Free deals. It aids in the sale of any excess inventory at a reasonable price. It also increases the average order value and communicates to clients that they are receiving a good bargain.
4. Purchasing History
By looking at past purchasing history, you can build a feedback loop of learning how stock operates. You can determine if the stock needs to be increased or decreased. You can discover which goods are selling the best by keeping track of stock. It also aids in the evaluation of annual patterns and may be done as often as desired.
5. Warehouse storage optimisation
It’s critical to consider physical storage of products while amassing stock to sell. Whether you’re storing products in a store or a warehouse, you want to make sure they’re easy to find.
Keeping them in a location where you can quickly pack and ship them ensures that the consumer receives the item sooner. If necessary, rearrange items from time to time. This will allow you to keep track of your inventory and provide excellent customer service.
Ready to leap into a Distributed Order Management System?
Check out out Infographic to see if you’re ready!
How do you manage inventory online and in store?
While how you handle your online company inventory won’t change all that much from how you handle inventory in a brick and mortar store, the inventory management tactics you employ for an online store will need to be fine-tuned to be effective. With that in mind, consider the following inventory management suggestions to help your online company thrive:
1. Be Organised
Great organising skills and procedures are required for effective multichannel inventory management. There are several items to keep track of, thus keeping these products structured as strategically as possible is an important element of your organisational administration.
Keeping similar items together is one way to achieve this. To keep track of related components and pieces, make lists and organise them into particular categories. When comparable goods are put together in this way, you won’t have to waste time looking for certain pieces because they’ll already be grouped together.
2. Utilise an Order Management Software
It’s time to move away from spreadsheets and pen and paper. While it may seem cost effective, it is not a viable long term solution for your inventory management.
Inventory management software was created with the goal of making inventory management simple. Most inventory software is cloud-based, meaning there is no software to instal, and numerous users may access and make changes from any location at any time. These solutions will aid in the inventory monitoring process by encouraging and preserving accuracy, simplifying paperwork and record keeping, reducing paper usage, and saving time in general.
3. Take advantage of analytics for purchasing decisions
Your inventory data is the best predictor of how to efficiently manage future inventories. This means you can figure out which goods to replenish, when to restock them, and how often to maintain them in your warehouse rotation by looking at previous purchase orders and sales data.
Purchasing is one of the most important and difficult duties in any retail business. You want to please your consumers by offering items that fulfil their needs while also achieving your company’s financial goals. As a result, a buying department confronts two major questions at any one time:
- When do I need to reorder more inventory?
- What quantity should I order?
Many small companies have a strong sense of what to get and when to order when they have a few hundred goods since they are often involved in the fulfilment operation and can take a fast tour of the aisles to see what needs to be ordered. As you add more goods, sales volumes rise, and your team to support your operations expands, this process gets increasingly difficult.
Many businesses use a min/max reordering strategy to determine when to restock. You can use a spreadsheet for smaller firms, but most organisations (regardless of size) utilise their cloud-based inventory software since it has this feature.