⭐PLUS our fav third-party integrations!
If you’re shipping physical goods, then inventory management is definitely something you want to be on top of as a boutique owner or e-commerce biz owner!
Whether you’re purely online, or you manage your own inventory and shipping, you’re dropshipping, or you’re also managing a brick and mortar store (or multiple!) I’ve got the low down on inventory management for y’all.
A good inventory management system is totally essential for your business - it helps you keep on top of stock levels and sales.
But honestly, there are so many ways to approach this, and I guess this is where some of the confusion might start to creep in, and then before you know it, you’re in a hot mess.
Well, that’s exactly what we’re here to help you with!
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But first - let's be clear about one thing: staying on top of your inventory game is mega important.
Inventory Management 101
The essentials of any inventory management system are basically to know at any moment in time:
👗Current stock levels - this might be by item, brands, or seasonal stock.
👗Re-order levels or par levels - levels that you must re-order at if you drop below, taking into account lead times. This is especially important if you have a storefront or sell at shows.
👗When to purchase - you should have an Open-to-Buy plan, which is something you can also work on. (An open-to-buy plan is a purchasing budget for future inventory orders that a retailer creates for a specific period.)
👗What to purchase - what’s selling well, and what isn’t.
Of course, this also helps you:
- Plan other aspects of your biz like your cash flow,
- Reduce wastage,
- Anticipate your storage needs and shipping requirements,
- And anticipate demand (Super important!)
While you might be able to do this manually, to begin with as you grow and scale your business, it becomes more and more critical to be able to meet your customer's needs and fulfill those orders - especially if you’re selling across multiple channels.
Inventory Management With Shopify
Within Shopify, you can:
🛒 Set up inventory tracking,
🛒 View all your inventory (which you then match with what's actually on hand.)
🛒 Adjust your inventory counts in the Inventory area of Shopify.
🛒 You can also view the history of inventory adjustments for products and variants whose inventory is being tracked by Shopify.
⛔ But beware ⛔ If you're using Shopify POS, you can continue selling products when inventory reaches zero and below. This is because the Shopify POS app assumes you have the inventory on hand if you are selling in person.
But now what happens when you're selling on different platforms?
Where you’re using different platforms, or different channels to sell your products, like Facebook groups, and maybe you’re even using CommentSold - or a POS - you need all these different platforms to be able to speak to each other to keep your inventory management up to date. You need them to INTEGRATE!
Just picture this: if you are going to use two different platforms for your website (like Shopify) and then in your brick and mortar store - and you have somebody buy online but then you ALSO sell it to somebody standing in front of you in the shop... and now you've oversold and that's an issue.
Even if it doesn’t happen at the same time, there can still be flaws or glitches, so you want the most real-time, most stable integration you can get.
If you’re dropshipping - your inventory management is all going to be done remotely, and you’ll want a super tight inventory management set up. You don't want a customer buying something that your supplier doesn't have stock of, right?
What to focus on when planning integration:
- Managing your inventory & Shipping yourself versus dropshipping?
- Running a store (brick and mortar)
- Selling across multiple platforms (e.g. Amazon, eBay, Etsy, etc)
- Using POS?
Both Shopify and CommentSold manage inventory (or they can integrate, and inventory would be managed on Shopify).
But if you are using a third-party POS for whatever reason (Lightspeed, Square, Clover are the most common) - you need these to be integrated using third-party software to keep everything in order, especially as you begin to scale your biz.
Some of our favorites are:
⭐ Accumula for Lightspeed
⭐ SkuIQ for Clover
⭐ Shopventory for Square
These apps are designed to update inventory automatically, manage product pricing, and multiple suppliers, as well as export inventory and sync to vendor websites.
Accumula for Lightspeed helps you sync your Shopify or Magento store in real-time. It streamlines the Ecom workflow so you can focus on growing your biz. And the nice thing is that it comes with a 30-day free trial!
Here are some reasons why we love it:
- Accumula unites Lightspeed, Shopify, and Shipstation to simplify product info, order management, and fulfillment across channels
- From 1 to 100 stores, Accumula scales with you as you grow, supporting – social selling, multiple Shopify stores, even third-party apps like CommentSold, Zapiet, Returnly, Frenzy, Garmentory
- It can sync Unlimited Products, Orders, Customers & Discounts
- It integrates with existing eCommerce Stores
- Gift Card Sync, Full Multistore Support, Instore Pickup, and More
- Easy Bulk Data Import/Update/Export for Lightspeed Retail
- Great analytics and reporting
- Plus the support is amazing!
Clover for SkuIQ is all about connecting your Clover POS to your e-commerce site, like Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce.
It’s simple to use, stops you duplicating processes like creating products more than once, manages your entire online inventory, and also handles multi-store setups. So any products you have on Clover can seamlessly be integrated across multiple online platforms.
Shopventory is powerful inventory management software that integrates with your sales system whether you’re using Shopify, Clover, Square, WooCommerce, BigCommerce... the list goes on and on.
It also syncs with Alexa and Quickbooks so you’re getting full functionality across the board there. The backend reporting is super intuitive and is set up to help you optimize your inventory and your store. They also have a heap of support and rave reviews (and we love good reviews!).
The goal is a smooth system that works for YOU! 😎
We think that with the right set up and enough know-how, this can all be totally seamless and really help you run your e-commerce store successfully.
The real test with inventory management and integrating it with Shopify is that it all works smoothly.
When you’re deciding what app to use, it needs to offer extensive, real-time, and detailed inventory management, and that it integrates with all the other apps it needs to so that you can fulfill your orders.
Ideally, it should have a POS integration and some analysis and reporting for you too - and not cause you a million headaches like time lags or inaccurate stock reporting.
Well, that's all I have for you today! I hope this info is going to help you manage your inventory like the queen boutique owner you are! 👑
Let me know what you loved about this article and if YOU have any ama-zing tips of your own on inventory management 👇
Until next time!