Retail is a booming business these days. eCommerce has made retailing a global affair. A small store or an individual located in a corner of the world can reach millions of customers around the world on online platform. But this requires the catalogue to be available online along with its attributes like colours, sizes etc. and rates. With the introduction of Retail inventory management system, the retailers would easily establish their presence everywhere. Retailing basically involves reaching out to a large number of customers who spot-buy directly or online. Some of these customers may need more than one piece of the same product or a different colour or attribute of the same product. In this case of a very small retailer with very limited stock, finding that out is very easy. But in the case of a retail chain or a large retailer, the difficulty arises, if they do not maintain the digital data. The inventory software system for retail can be very advantageous for the retailers in such cases. If the catalogue is maintained in a digital format, a minor query or report can easily fetch the availability of an item along with the location details. As far as the retail chains are concerned, they cannot survive this tight competition without digital inventory management. It may take at least a week to check the inventory ifÂ booking system is followed for tracking. A week’s sale missed can severely affect the retailer’s revenue. The system simplifies the employee’s work also and makes them more efficient. Since the stock can be checked anytime within the click of a few buttons, the employees will be more alert in handling the stock. As far as the retailers are concerned, they have the stock levels, sales data, customer data, purchase data etc. at their fingertips. With cloud and mobile ERPs trending in the market, they can access the data from anywhere, at any time.
For large retail chains like supermarket chains, a multi-warehouse inventory software will be beneficial as they have a huge volume of stock stored in multiple warehouses which may be in different locations. The retailer or the wholesaler can check the stock levels from any location and ensure that the fast moving items are well-stocked. A competent inventory software system will keep the inventory levels in check and alerts the concerned user in advance regarding the items that are low in quantity and requires re-order. The retailers can also know which stock is moving fast and which is stable, thereby promoting the slow moving ones with some special offers or campaigns. In case of stocks with an expiry date, the retailer will be alerted when certain items are nearing their expiry date so that they can either be sold on discount or returned. Most of the inventory management software have a basic warehouse or store tracking system too which is beneficial to the SMEs. They do not need a warehouse for keeping their stock, but can still track the exact location of an item using bin system or a numbered storage system. The wholesaler or the retailer can also track the order to sales time-tracking and the percentage of orders that turn to sales. For a multi-location retailer, if the orders of a particular store are not getting converted to sales, it can be tracked quickly and corrective actions can be taken immediately.
Online stores are doing very good business as the retailer can reach out to millions of customers across the globe online. An effective retail inventory system will permit a retailer to go online by adopting a few simple steps. The digital catalogue is already available in the inventory system, so the task is only to open an online store and display them in the digital showcase. Since the inventory is the same as the one accessed in the physical store, if the item is sold over in the physical store, it automatically shows “No Stock” or “Sold Out” on the website. With cloud and mobile ERPs available in the market, even the smallest retailer can get their products showcased in an online store without having to bear many expenses. Big players like Amazon are making huge success stories with cloud-based ERPs. For bigger retail chains, the centralized inventory can help the store managers to request for internal transfer of high-demand items in their store from other stores where the same products are available and are not much in demand. Similarly, if a customer request for some product which is not available in a store, the store manager can check in the system and request for the item immediately. Some inventory management softwares even allow the delivery of the product to the client’s place in order to avoid inconvenience caused to the customer.
A wholesale inventory system can reduce a considerable amount of physical workload involved in stock checking, billing and accounting work. Since the wholesalers deal in large volumes, and mostly deal with regular customers, they can utilise the software to analyse the volume of sales done with each type of customer and improve marketing based on the details. The purchase, inventory and sales analytics can make a big change in the way a wholesaler or a retailer operates. A good inventory software can help the retailer and a wholesaler in understanding the right stocks to order, the right time to order and the right place to sell them. This improves the order processing time and effort, maintaining good stock levels of fast moving items and the overall customer experience which in turn makes them keep coming back to the same seller every time.
To sum it up, the right inventory software system can help improve the sales by keeping the right stock levels and making the data available at all locations. The cloud and mobile technologies have helped the retail and wholesale take a big leap in reaching out to millions of customers living in different parts of the world.