Tips for Successful Inventory Management

Do you sell physical products in your WooCommerce store? Then you already know that inventory management is key to a successful shop. Thankfully, you can take advantage of tools that go beyond the basics so you can fulfill orders with confidence and speed.

Why advanced inventory management matters

When you’re managing a sales system, all your income streams must work together cohesively. This will save you time and money, allow you to manage your stock levels effectively, and make sure that your customers are happy. Effective inventory management means that:

  • You’re not losing sales. Inventory tracking enables you to effectively manage your supply chain and make sure you never lose a sale due to out-of-stock products.
  • Your customers trust you. If your customers know that you’ll have what they want, when they want it, your shop will be their first — and only — stop when placing an order.
  • You understand what’s working for your business. Tracking your inventory means that you’re also tracking business growth. You can use this information to focus on your best-selling products.
  • You’re able to automate business processes. Don’t waste time manually updating inventory levels and trying to restock products before they run out. By automating this process, you’ll be much more efficient.

Ready to take your online shop to the next level? Then make sure your inventory management and order fulfillment is top tier.

Sync inventory with your physical location

One of the biggest challenges in managing inventory is balancing availability between your online storefront and your physical shop. You can overcome this challenge with the Point of Sale for WooCommerce extension.

WooCommerce POS screen on a tablet

Share one cohesive interface — and all of your data — with your WooCommerce store and physical location. Convert any tablet or phone into a checkout station, or use tools like credit card scanners. Your point-of-sale terminals can scan barcodes, enter customer loyalty information, and handle manual changes like discounts and refunds with ease.

When both stores share the same WooCommerce data, tracking your inventory is a piece of cake. You’ll keep your supply chain flowing, sales happening, and customers happy.

Update in bulk

Online shops can sometimes feature hundreds of products, and keeping track of inventory for each variation can become a full-time job. You don’t want to have to manually update stock information for each and every product when it comes in.

The Bulk Stock Management extension makes managing your shop much easier. Use bulk operations to update stock information for multiple — or even all — of your products at once. Also handy? The current inventory report feature, which gives you an up-to-the-minute snapshot of what’s in your store.

Automate reorder notifications

Don’t want to handle the day-to-day numbers of inventory yourself? Keep your support staff in the loop using the Advanced Notifications extension. 

You’ll be able to let the right people know when inventory is low and it’s time to re-order, whether it’s someone on your own staff or a third-party supplier. Easy rules allow you to set up notifications for various thresholds and control exactly who receives which notifications. 

Instead of hovering over numbers all day, you’ll be able to spend your time on the more important parts of your business, knowing that your inventory is being taken care of behind the scenes.

Predict your inventory future

As a business owner, you need to know where your business is now, and where its future lies. Managing your inventory means not just keeping items in stock, but knowing what’s selling well, what’s likely to sell well in the future, and what just isn’t working.

WooCommerce offers a variety of detailed analytics reports, which are key to understanding your business needs. They can guide your decisions by giving you complete access to your data in easy-to-read, sortable charts. You can learn:

  • What your total sales were for a given time period.
  • How many items you sold on an individual or category basis.
  • How many refunds you issued.
  • Which coupons were the most popular.
  • And more!

With these key metrics in place, you can accurately decide what to reorder, and when, for maximum profit margins.

Keep customers in the loop

Running out of your most popular items can — and will — happen from time to time. Make sure your customers are always kept up to date with the latest stock information, to avoid disappointment and encourage future sales. 

product available for pre-order

Consider adding extensions like:

  • WooCommerce Waitlist. Notify customers when an item they want is back in stock and export a list of customers waiting for each product.
  • WooCommerce Pre-Orders. Make sure you have enough stock on hand for product launches by allowing your best customers to place their orders in advance.
  • Follow-Ups. Notify past purchasers about discontinued products or popular items that are back in stock.

Successful inventory management means a successful shop

When you’re on top of what’s coming in and going out, you can keep operations running smoothly. Reduce missed sales because of out-of-stock items while maximizing efficiency by identifying and eliminating underperforming products. 
Most importantly, an automated, accurate, and efficient inventory management system is a major requirement if you want to scale your store. It allows you to delegate responsibilities and reclaim your time for the most important tasks.

Congratulations! With just a few of these tools, you’ll be on your way to a larger, more efficient store. 

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