For as long as businesses have been selling goods, they’ve needed to track their inventory. While inventory management is as important in 2020 as it was in 1820, keeping accurate, up-to-date records is more complex than ever before. Not too long ago, a small business likely only sold their products through a storefront. Even in the event they took a phone order, they probably did so on the same POS (Point of Sale) system as they would for in-store purchases. We don’t need to tell you that adopting such a narrow strategy in today’s marketplace inhibits growth. If you want to succeed, you want to sell across as many channels as possible. And to achieve that goal effectively, you need to excel at tracking inventory online.
To meet the needs of the modern consumer, a business must be flexible, agile, and responsive. Whether a customer is buying in-store, via an eCommerce platform, on Amazon, or through any other channel, their experience should be frictionless. That’s not always an easy task. To properly manage inventory, you need to monitor every layer of interaction simultaneously.
The in-store layers
Unless a business is online-only, they’ll need a POS system that works in a brick-and-mortar establishments. Modern POS systems like Square, which combines credit card processing and POS software, are hugely popular because they streamline both consumer experience and business operations. Many businesses also used dropshipping, ordering goods after a customer makes a purchase, to increase product mix without tying up resources in inventory.
The online layers
Selling online isn’t a one channel proposition. At the very least, most businesses are going to want their own ecommerce platform and a presence on the Amazon Marketplace, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to digital channels for selling goods. Businesses want to attract as many eyeballs as possible while making sure that customers needs are met no matter where they buy.
Online orders, like dropshipping, also require thorough fulfillment management systems, including the ability to process returns efficiently. Aggregators like Shipstation allow you to process all your online orders in one central location, acting as a sort of hub for your online selling operations, online inventory management is essential in always meeting supply and demand.
The accounting layer
Finally, of course, you have the area where the financial data lives. Accounting software is essential for not only tracking online inventory and onsite inventory, but also providing essential insights into the relationship between inventory and cash flow. Good accounting software can help a business identify trend patterns, pick out dead stock, and plan for future success.
Only when all of these layers work in concert with one another can a business truly say they excel at online inventory management. When a customer orders in store, inventory needs to be updated online. If an order is made via Amazon, it should be fulfilled, updated across all channels, and recorded in accounting software automatically.
How AccountingSuite can help
AccountingSuite with eCommerce offers integrations to help seamlessly connect each layer of your inventory tracking system. Not only does it connect to Square, but also integrates with Shipstation, putting all of your essential inventory data in one place. Furthermore, you can use tools like Zapier to create even more specific integrations.
For SMBs who need to thrive in the eCommerce marketplace of today and tomorrow, AccountingSuite with eCommerce is an invaluable resource. Head to our pricing page to learn more.