Many retail stores are realizing the potential benefit of adding an online component to their business model. It’s all about opening up new channels to reach a bigger marketplace. However, problems can sometimes arise if you’re not using the right type of inventory software to manage both sides of your operation.
For example, let’s say you operate a small clothing store and you have six of a particular dress available at your store. It proves to be a hot seller and you move three of them in a few days at your physical store, and you sell a few more through your website. All of a sudden, you realize you’re seriously low on stock and you still haven’t placed an order with your supplier for more. This could result in:
- Lost sales
- Customer dissatisfaction
- Negative word-of-mouth advertising
1. Keep Your Inventory in Check
Store management software that features an integrated inventory software module could help prevent your inventory from spiraling out of control. In particular, it allows you to set reorder values for each product you carry, so when the number of those dresses reaches a certain threshold, it will automatically trigger a purchase order to your supplier.
This type of inventory control software lets you know:
- What stock you currently have
- What is in transit
- What needs to be ordered
2. Report Sales Trends
You’ll probably start to notice that certain items move better in your store than they do online, and visa versa. Your store management software will confirm this with detailed reports that break down the sales trends both for your store and website. You can use it to determine things like:
- Top selling brands or products
- Seasonal trends
- Slow moving items
This can have a significant impact on your ordering decisions, and will keep you from understocking or overstocking items.
3. Determine Profit Levels
Selling on the Internet is a competitive business. Whether you sell clothing or car parts, you are going head-to-head with companies of all sizes in a truly global marketplace. As such, you may find you have to adjust your prices on some items to remain competitive.
Plus, if you’re retailing your products through online shopping websites like Amazon or Shopify, you will likely encounter different listing and selling fees. This can become confusing when you try to calculate what your actual profit margins are.
Not only will inventory software help you track which items are selling through which channels, you can compare your purchase costs with your selling values for each channel to determine whether it’s worthwhile, or if changes need to be made.
If you operate more than one retail store, read our post: Why Inventory Control Software Is a Must for Multiple Locations.
Effective inventory control is a critical component of any retail-oriented business. To manage your stock levels more efficiently, call the inventory software experts at Windward. Our fully integrated System Five platform has the tools and features to help manage every aspect of your business.