As your online business grows, it’s incredibly important to know how to control your inventory so that you can expand successfully. Here are five tips on how to effectively manage inventory for your online store:
- Keep it organized. As you grow, you’ll have many different types of products to keep track of. That’s why it’s important to organize your warehouse by product category, so it’s easier to find products when orders come in. You may also want to keep the best-selling items closest to the packing stations for easy access.
- Upgrade to inventory management software. While an excel spreadsheet may work when you are just starting out, as your business starts to grow you will need to upgrade to inventory management software. Most of this software is cloud-based, so there’s nothing to install and multiple users can access it, making it easy to track inventory and keep records.
- Automate with barcode scanners. With a large amount of orders to process, it’s important to have a system in place that keeps track of inventory and minimizes human error in the picking and packing process. With a barcode system, you can easily keep track of products, store them correctly and locate them with no problem.
- Analyze your data to know when and what to reorder. Purchasing correctly is one of the most important aspects of any online business. When should you reorder inventory? How much should you reorder? By analyzing your inventory data on each item, you’ll know how much you should keep on hand as a minimum and a maximum, then be able to reorder in a timely manner so that you don’t run out.
- Practice regular auditing. While you’re managing your inventory, it’s important to regularly review what you have on hand to make sure what you’ve recorded matches up with what you actually have. This can be done with an annual physical inventory, with spot checks throughout the year. If this is too time-consuming, you can do cycle counting where you check a different product each day, week, or month on a rotating schedule.
With these steps in place, you’ll be able to run an organized, effective online operation with a lot of satisfied customers.