How to maintain Inventory and Stocks while Selling on different platforms
Hope, you have gotten the crux of multichannel selling and made up your mind to reap the profits of multichannel sales. The next big thing that comes in multichannel selling is the inventory and order management. The managing bulk of products across various channels requires a lot of effort and at the same time dealing with the modern customer to leverage him/her with quick service adds new complexity to the multiple channel selling process.
Prior to being panic for inventory and orders management across multiple channels, you should safeguard the listing process on each marketplace and each platform you have picked for selling. The listing cannot be summed up to only uploading the product name to the selling platform but more from that, while listing you need to keep keywords, content and more to this, an engaging image of the product in the consideration. This all process is required while listing and uploading a single product on the single platform when you have the bulk of products to upload and that too on multiple marketplaces-you might wish to have a single and integrated tool or service provider that can help you in listing all your products on various marketplaces and platforms in one go.
What issues do multichannel retailers face??
When selling online on multiple marketplaces and platforms, retailers need to store their items and products in the inventory and warehouses. Since they sell almost the same products from different stores, therefore it becomes difficult for them to manage the orders and stocks.
If you too sell on multiple platforms or channels you may relate yourself to the following situations:
Sometimes it may happen that you may run out of stock of any product in an inventory of one platform yet it is showing in stock at the product page of another platform- the result you might be stuck in the case of overselling or out of stock. It's worth to mention here that many platforms like Amazon, eBay, etc. take actions against such sellers considering them for violating customer’s experience policy.
You couldn’t calculate the inventory items and thus facing the orders mismatching and incompletion issues. Again tugging in between the customer’s experience and platforms policy.
Your time is getting consumed in listing and inventory management only, you have no time left for handling other things like product optimization, sales calculation, marketing strategies, maintaining a customer-buyer relationship and many important business tasks.
If you fail in maintaining stocks and order fulfillment, Amazon counts the ODR of its sellers and if the negative count in ODR increases then Amazon may suspend or even ban the seller’s account. Similarly, eBay has its own scale to measure the failure rate of its seller’s order fulfillment service and likewise, other platforms also have their criteria to measure the order fulfillment and inventory services and when you run out-of-stock and even taking an order from any marketplace without being aware of the vacant inventory then you might find yourself in a worse condition.
Thus inventory management is crucial and of utmost importance while selling on multichannel and multiple platforms.
How to handle inventory???
Before knowing how to handle the inventory, let us know what is the inventory management system.
Inventory Management System
With a mindset of selling on multiple channels, you would have given thought to multichannel inventory too. Inventory management is crucial and if you haven’t given it any importance then manage it first. The inventory management system can be accounted as the assembled place where you store all the data and information about each live product of your store of every marketplace and platform. In this inventory management system, it may be a software or any manual assistance that can include complete product information as product name, SKU and UPC number, size, color, product description, dimensions, weight.
Few Software tools for inventory management
After managing the listing tools for omnichannel selling, you will now need the software and tools for inventory management.
Here are the few:
This is a software system built for managing multichannel orders and inventory. This software integrates all your stores with multiple marketplaces and platforms to optimize the sales and order processes. Thus letting down the back-end process manually.
Ecomdash is a software tool that manages the inventory and order fulfillment across all the channels. It synchronizes all the channels sales on the multiple marketplaces. Ecomdash offers a single dashboard for all the channels that give extensive reports of all the sales and orders. It precisely monitors the data and manages the multichannel sales.
Apart from these software tools, Sellbrite, SureDone, ShoppingFeed, etc. are the software tools for inventory management over multichannel. But there is a limitation with all the software and also they may sometimes crash or even fail in proper synchronization over multiple channels and might leave you with the different hurdles of various selling channels.
So is there any solution??
For the multichannel inventory management, apart from software tools, you can hire the service providers to manage all your inventory with the efficiency. The service providers serve various platforms and therefore they have the ideas about the different guidelines and specific criteria of the multiple marketplaces. So they can easily synchronize all your accounts and inventory in one place and can safeguard you from overselling or out-of-stock selling.
What a service provider do ???
- A service provider with its multichannel inventory management system would:
- Understand the policies and selling criteria for multiple platforms.
- Help you in selling as per the guidelines of different platforms.
- Manage all your inventory in one place.
- Update products, SKU, UPC, listing information, product content, etc. all through from one place.
- When an item runs out-of-stock, it will update your inventory and list automatically, without giving you any hassle.
- Simultaneously manage all your accounts even through a single dashboard.
- Calculate the sales from multiple accounts.
The service providers make your inventory management an effortless and hassle-free so that you can focus on other important business strategies to achieve your goals in the market.
There are now many software tools available that may prove to be a complete and automated solution for inventory management over multiple channels. But since each coin has two faces, therefore, this software too may have few bugs which can add bugs to your selling and retailing strategy too. Therefore you should always work with a plan B.
Hiring a service provider team can prove an intelligent decision for your multichannel selling. The service provider companies like Evantage are enriched with the skilled professionals working on the different platforms and guidelines who understand the depth of omnichannel and multichannel selling and its fruitful results for the retailers. They have the guts to streamline all your accounts in one place and maintain and manage all simultaneously.