Obtaining a high level of success in the world of e-commerce is no easy feat.
In order to have success with an online business, you will have to invest a lot of time in ironing out the kinks your website has. Whether you have a site constructed or buy an existing one, making sure it is running efficiently should be your top priority.
One of the main things you need to worry about when trying to keep customers happy with your ecommerce operation is inventory management. Selling products to customers will be pointless if you don’t have the inventory to facilitate these purchases. Tackling inventory management head on can be a bit easier when considering the following factors.
Establishing Inventory Thresholds
One of the most important things to do when trying to handle your inventory management issues is to establish thresholds. Knowing the minimum amount of inventory needed to operate your online-based business is important and can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. If you are buying an existing e-commerce store from a marketplace like Exchange by Shopify, make sure to do your due diligence and see what their inventory management process looks like, and what their shipping rates are. This will be important when you are determining the valuation of the e-commerce website you are considering buying
Once you are able to established these thresholds, you can enter them into the inventory management software programs available on most enterprise ecommerce solutions. Choosing the right tools here can help you establish and monitor inventory thresholds with minimal effort.
Learn How To Forecast Demand
In order to keep the right amount of product in stock, you will need to learn how to forecast the demand in your e-commerce store. Taking the time to look over your sales data for the last quarter of operation is a great way to find out which products are in demand. If you do not have any past sales to go by, then you will need to do a bit of market research. This is particularly important when you are considering buying an existing e-commerce store.
Checking to see how much buzz the types of products you intend on selling are getting before you launch of your e-commerce site is a great way to get an idea of how much inventory you need. While there will be months where your product demand is higher, you will be able to setup a base demand with a bit of careful planning and research.
Take Advantage of Drop Shipping When Needed
If you start to run low on inventory, then you will need to think about taking advantage of drop shipping. Simply put, drop shipping allows for goods to come to you directly from the manufacturer without having to go through normal distribution channels. By getting the inventory straight from the manufacturer, you will be able to get the products you need in a hurry.
Utilizing the power of drop shipping is a great way to test new delivery methods and increase the efficiency of your ecommerce business. In order to have success with this delivery method, keeping an eye on the supplier’s inventory is a must. If they run out of inventory without giving you notice, this could hurt your business and cause you to lose a lot of sales, as you will not be able to fill demand.
Centralize Inventory Management
Selling a product solely on an e-commerce website makes keeping up with inventory easy. If you start to expand and sell your products in other marketplaces, you will need to find a program to help you centralize the management of your inventory. Programs like ChannelApe or Quickbooks are great when trying to make heads or tails of the inventory you need to keep your customers happy. Taking some time to research the various inventory management tools on the market is a must when trying to have success with this type of business.
While inventory management is no easy task, it will be well worth the effort invested. As time goes by, you will start to get a handle on how much inventory you need to keep your ecommerce business running efficiently. With the help of inventory management professionals, getting on the right track regarding your ecommerce distribution needs will be much easier.