eCommerce Inventory Management and business growth


When starting your eCommerce business, you probably can’t imagine how challenging eCommerce inventory management can become as your business grows.

If you have just several products and started with only one platform, for example, Shopify, you don’t have to worry so much about your inventory. There’s nothing to be afraid of with just a few sales a day and 50 items in your stocks.

But the moment your business or your appetites grow, you will stumble on inventory management.

And the funny thing is that you can easily overcome this issue with automation. Still, most people don’t know much about it and probably think it’s a too complicated or too expensive process.

And for all of you who want to be well-prepared for expanding your business, I’ll point out the most common eCommerce inventory management requirements, expected outcomes, and the easiest ways to do that.

Why do you need an eCommerce inventory management tool

New eCommerce inventory management system: Manual work on inventory is long gone!

Okay, let’s start with the obvious. Yes, when you have 50 items in stock, you can manually add them to your eCommerce store. But why would you do that?

The question here is not if you can do that, but why not use the easy way?

You can keep your inventory updated automatically, and it will:

  1. Save time
  2. Save money
  3. Increase accuracy
  4. Enable you to manage extensive inventories and multiple sales channels.

Time-saving

Manual work consumes time, which means you have less time for doing something that will make a significant impact on your business.

Don’t get me wrong, your stock is essential, but you might want to consider the management method that provides a better outcome with less work and time spent on the task.

Money-saving

You need an extra workforce when you have multiple sales channels, extensive inventory, or simply when you need to do every task manually. That impacts your budget.

And if you want to keep your business growth steady, you will be forced to keep an eye not to exceed your budget every time the workload increases.

That’s why automated inventory management is the best option. You set it once and let it runs, and you don’t have to worry about hiring more people.

Let’s talk about mistakes!

How many times did you make a mistake during copy/pasting? Did you accidentally delete some crucial data in the process? If yes, then you know what I’m talking about.

And, believe it or not, most eCommerce businesses opt for automated inventory management just to avoid these annoying and sometimes too costly mistakes.

Enabling management of extensive inventories and multiple sales channels

First of all, you will reach the point where you have a more extensive inventory and probably multiple sales channels. And what will happen then?

You most likely won’t be able to keep an eye on the availability of your inventory for all these channels if you don’t sync and automate all of them.

And, as you might guess, it will leave your customers empty-handed after clicking on the buy button. Bad news for them, and bad news for you. I think it’s a no-win situation and one of the most common traps for eCommerce businesses when they start to grow.

Three most common situations that nudge eCommerce inventory management automation

Okay, now that we know how this more practical way of inventory management can positively impact your business, let’s see the three most common situations when business owners seek eCommerce inventory management solutions.

  1. Bulk upload listings on sales channels
  2. Bulk update/edit listings, those are already listed
  3. Automatically sync inventory across different sales channels

Does it ring the bell? Are you stuck in the same situation? If so, let’s find the solution together.

Why do you need an eCommerce inventory management tool

The third situation is connected with multichannel sales, while the first and the second situation may occur even if you sell your products only on one sales channel, for example, your own website.

Bulk upload listings on sales channels

What does it mean? It means you want to level up your business and offer your products on several online marketplaces and platforms.

When starting your eCommerce business, you’ll need to upload the list of your products on your website and online shops on other marketplaces and platforms.

And we know that you don’t want to do that manually because it will drain your energy and your time, and even less, you want to repeat the process repeatedly for every marketplace or platform you want to use as your sales channel.

In this situation, you need a software solution to upload the whole list, with all attributes (data) about your products at once, and preferably to all sales channels.

These data can include prices, variations, images, descriptions, quantity, SKUs, and other relevant information. In a word, everything you want to present to potential customers.

If you didn’t know, lack of information about the product features on a website or online shop is one of the top three challenges B2B eCommerce businesses face daily, and that’s something buyers mind the most.

Use case scenario

Let’s presume you have 100 products you want to upload to your Amazon store. How much time would it take for you to do that manually? Any ideas?

Well, to be honest, too much!

With the eCommerce inventory management tool, all you need to do is to create a CSV file, for example, and upload it to your Amazon store. And voila! Your products (with images, descriptions, prices, and other relevant information) are ready for sale.

Bulk update/edit listings, those are already listed

Yes, the second most common reason for reaching eCommerce inventory management is updating/editing existing listings.

If you use multiple sales channels, editing one segment, like the price, on each channel can be time-consuming, increasing the chance of making a mistake.

You want something that will enable you to change prices (for example) in your sheet and for them to be automatically adjusted on every sales platform you use.

With the eCommerce inventory management tool, you can effortlessly change a large amount of data on all your sales channels simply by setting workflows and triggers.

You can set that the description, price, or any other information changes on all your online stores when you change the data on the source (your Google sheet, for example).

Use case scenario

Now, imagine you want to change the description of your listed products. And you have thousands of them. Let’s presume you have 1000 products on eBay. What will you do? Will you change the description manually for each of them? And what are the chances of making a mistake if you run it manually?

Again, the eCommerce inventory management tool allows you to do that automatically by correcting the description in your CSV file (for example) and uploading it to your eBay store.

Automatically sync inventory across different sales channels

The third reason is synchronizing various sales channels. Those who use only one sales channel might be surprised by how inconvenient and exhausting it might be to juggle between several channels.

And if you want your eCommerce business to grow, you need to use all available channels.

You stumble on synchronization issues when you start using two, three, five, or more eCommerce platforms, online marketplaces, or apps to present and sell your products or services.

Keeping track of your inventory is very difficult if you have several selling points and no centralized inventory management system. You might come into a situation where you’re selling out of stocks, damaging your reputation, and causing bad reviews from the buyers.

You surely don’t want that to happen.

That’s why successful eCommerce businesses use eCommerce inventory management tools. They allow business growth without enormous additional expenses, and it guarantees that you know exactly how many available products you have in stock at any moment.

Use case scenario

Let’s say you’re selling products on eBay, Amazon, Shopify, and WooCommerce, and you have sold five products in one day. Would you go manually and update the inventory on each store, or would you prefer to have an automated system that synchronizes all your stores the moment a change happens?

Yes, that’s right, the second option sounds much more appealing.

You just need to integrate all your platforms or online marketplaces you use, and the moment you get an order in any of the channels, the quantity of your product on stock will automatically get reduced on all other sales channels.

Most used sales channels

We could say that from our experience, in the last five years, the most used sales channels were Amazon, Shopify, eBay, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Etsy.

So, if you sell your products on these channels, one or several, or maybe all of them, you can integrate them and keep your inventory synced.

Even if you’re planning to grow your business and expand to several sales channels, you might want to think about the eCommerce inventory management tool as the best and easiest option for keeping your stock in order.

If you’re about to choose the perfect online platform or marketplace for your eCommerce business, you might find these facts interesting.

Online platform/marketplace Interesting facts and statistics
Amazon Most visited online marketplace in the USA
Shopify Most online shops created through the eCommerce platform Shopify sold clothing products.
eBay Most popular online marketplace among the USA sellers
Etsy Sixth fastest-growing online marketplace in a period 2019 to 2020
WooCommerce WooCommerce is the second-largest eCommerce platform with 23.43% of the market share.
BigCommerce 70.9% of BigCommerce stores are in the United States

What about combining a brick-and-mortar store with an online shop?

We talked a lot about syncing your online or cloud-based shops, but what if you have a brick-and-mortar store and want to expand your business and enter the eCommerce sphere?

Will you have separate inventories for your eCommerce and your offline store? Well, that would be inconvenient on so many levels.

  • First of all, you would need to hire a double workforce to manage your two (or more) stores.
  • Then, you would need them to cooperate and compare inventories on daily, weekly, or monthly bases, which is pretty much time-consuming.
  • And finally, you will never know exactly how many overall products you have at your disposal.

All of this brings us to the necessity of syncing online and offline stores if you want to grow your business without stumbling blocks, extensive workforce, losing time and money, and bad customer reviews.

Challenges you might face are related to the incompatibility of ERP or POS in-house software you use for your offline store with new online apps, tools, eCommerce platforms, and marketplaces.

Luckily, every problem has a solution, and so does this one.

You can use SyncSpider, as the connector, the bridge between these two worlds, and sync your online and offline stores, including your inventory.

For these cases, we have a unique feature: a Windows database connector, enabling businesses to run offline and online stores simultaneously without changing their software solutions.

Norbert Strappler

Norbert Strappler

The founder and CEO of MONOBUNT Digitalagentur, SyncSpider, and DragDropr

SyncSpider is the app-2-app integration tool built for eCommerce.

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