Emerging online sellers have a million tasks to keep up with on a daily basis. Manage marketplace listings. Monitor accounting. Order new stock. Keep their head above water. The list goes on and on.
Managing inventory is sometimes at the bottom of the to-do list. In fact, 43% of small businesses said they don’t track their inventory at all (or use a manual process to do so). That’s not something to brag about.
A warehouse management system (WMS) can often be the last piece of the puzzle in an online seller’s tech stack. But that doesn’t mean ignoring this tool is healthy for a business.
In fact, it’s a piece of the puzzle that can solve many of the headaches new sellers face everyday. In this post we will examine three reasons why emerging online sellers need inventory software to grow their business.
WMS saves you time and money
New e-commerce sellers have a lot going on, and the last thing they want to do is stop operations to implement WMS. Stopping operations means losing precious time and the opportunity to make more sales.
In reality, the time it takes to launch a software solution is made up for in increased profits and time saved from inefficient processes.
WMS options like SkuVault (a ChannelAdvisor partner) are designed to automate manual processes that often leave business owners with money tied up in bad inventory, like unused product from mis-shipments or overstocked items.
Users can utilize quality control and customized workflows to eliminate mis-shipments and mis-picks. Mis-shipments result in wasted time spent putting orders back on the shelf and wasted money spent in return costs. The longer inventory sits on a shelf, the more money it costs.
Wouldn’t you rather avoid mis-shipments in the first place?
Overstocked products that don’t sell (“dead stock”) are the result of poor planning, likely from using a manually updated spreadsheet that can’t keep up with demand. Business owners waste their time and money in dead stock not only because they can’t sell it, but also because it takes up valuable space for other important inventory.
WMS software is equipped with reporting options that make dead stock a thing of the past. Purchase and reorder inventory with confidence using your own sales data within reports.
You can take a vacation
As an emerging online seller, a vacation probably sounds like a fantasy — something you can’t imagine taking the time to do. But with a cloud-based WMS managing your inventory, you can.
When you’re managing both your inventory and a growing business via spreadsheets as a member of a small team, stepping away from operations isn’t really an option. But when you automate processes like pick routes and store inventory information, you can take a little time off without worry. And hire more people to handle some of your responsibilities.
Cloud-based WMS also affords users the ability to monitor their business transactions and inventory from anywhere in the world. Imagine checking inventory levels while you’re sipping a nice cold drink at the beach.
Make more sales faster
As mentioned earlier, the thought of launching a new software solution sounds like time taken away from making sales. But an automated WMS solution will make sales faster, more frequently and more accurately.
Because it’s designed to eliminate manual processes that rack up back orders and sales that left you with poor ROI in the first place.
Maybe you’re struggling with out-of-stock inventory or backorders because you can’t keep track of how much product you have at any given time, and therefore your marketplace listings can’t keep up in accordance.
You’re losing valuable sales online and your Amazon Seller Ratings are taking a hit in the process. Furthermore, you’re losing customers to your competitors. According to a study by Veeqo, 70% of shoppers said they would shop at a competitor rather than waiting for an unavailable item.
That’s when it’s time to implement quantity buffers. Quantity buffers can be used either on a channelwide or individual-product basis across marketplaces and are used to create a sense of urgency in customers.
For example, with quantity buffers you may set a ‘maximum quantity’ of 100 pairs of socks across your Amazon, eBay and Walmart listings when you actually have 500 pairs in the warehouse. Once those sell, WMS software like SkuVault will update the listings back to the max quantity of 100.
This process limits the amount of a particular product that you are making available, therefore preventing oversells.
Quantity synchronization across marketplace channels, warehouses and storefronts increases sales volume far more than a spreadsheet could.
This automated process syncs quantities across each sales channel simultaneously, similar to quantity buffers. So when you sell two of an item in one location, and that item is listed on each marketplace, website and storefront, the new quantity available is reflected accurately to each channel to avoid oversells and out of stocks.
Navigating the waters of a new business venture is scary, especially in the ever-changing waters of e-commerce. It’s imperative to set up a smart, efficient tech stack at the beginning to create a sustainable business in the long run.
A WMS solution can take your business from cluttered, newbie seller mess to organized, seasoned and successful e-commerce enterprise, And its automated processes allow you to focus on other aspects of your growing business and successful future.