5 Tips to Efficiently Control Your Online Store's Inventory

5 Tips to Efficiently Control Your Online Store's Inventory

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As much as the inventory control process of an online store involves several steps, it can be performed efficiently with good planning and with the support of adequate tools.

The fact is that monitoring the inflow and outflow of goods is one of the main management routines of an online store.

And this monitoring needs to be carried out periodically, so that it does not affect product availability, replacement planning, exchanges, and returns.

Despite the intense dynamics, this step is essential to ensure the financial health of your business and prevent products from being exhausted from your store’s stock. In other words: controlling the inputs and outputs is necessary!

In addition, information collected from stock can be extremely useful for your e-commerce results.

For example, you can highlight the products that sell the most in your online store and think of strategies to boost the least sold.

With that in mind, throughout this article, we’ve separated some tips so you can efficiently control your online store’s stock.

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Why control the stock of an online store?

In a scenario where e-commerce breaks expansion records, inventory control is essential for you to explore this moment.

And e-commerce purchases continue to grow. For example, in the first quarter of this year alone, virtual commerce had a turnover of $5.2 billion in sales.

In this sense, controlling the stock of your virtual store can help you, among other things, to:

1. Do not lose sales;
2. Monitor the increase in demand resulting from the growth of e-commerce;
3. Prevent products from being exhausted in the stock of your virtual store;
4. Avoid product shortages;
5. Control entries and exits for greater efficiency in financial management.

One of the aspects that poor stock management influences, by the way, is in the financial department of your store and in your cash flow.

Imagine, for example, buying a new shipment of products without the need or running out of cash to replace a high-selling item.

In addition, in the case of perishable products, a stopped stock can end up generating unavoidable losses.

The second point involves the customer experience. Suppose a shortage is purchased and the replacement takes longer than expected.

The customer can give up the purchase, not come back again, in addition to negative reports on social networks or complaint websites.

For these and other reasons, controlling the stock of a virtual store is an activity that should receive important attention.

In addition to avoiding problems, this practice can bring significant gains and support the growth of your business.

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Logistics and inventory control: 5 management methodologies

As indicated at the beginning, controlling the stock of an online store involves several steps. The production and storage stages, for example, are crucial.

When starting to plan to sell over the internet, the entrepreneur needs to analyze what is needed to be produced, and in the case of resale, who will supply it.

Next, you need to think about how much investment is available, and what would be the best strategy to start with.

Therefore, before exploring the tips to help you control the stock of your virtual store, it is important to introduce some of the stock management methodologies that are part of the group of knowledge in the logistics area.

#01. Internal stock management.

Here, we will call internal management the one in which the storage is carried out in our own warehouses and by professionals from the virtual store itself.

As it is an internal responsibility, it is necessary to adopt a series of precautions, such as: organization, conservation, cleaning, pest control, and maintenance.

In addition, it is necessary to have a team responsible for controlling entries and exits so as not to affect sales.

A strong point for this model is the possibility of greater control and centralization of activities by the company itself.

If well executed, internal stock management can more efficiently guarantee the quality of product preservation, avoiding risks with third parties.

Its main weakness is the cost: to maintain the space, pay monthly expenses, and hire specialized labor.

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#02. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a model where there is no stock; products are purchased according to demand.

Thus, there is no need for physical space, but it still requires good practices and great control of the entries and exits of items.

This model is mostly used by stores that do not have the available capital to invest in large volumes of inventory.

This, by the way, is one of the main strengths of dropshipping: the cost of maintaining this model is much lower than the others.

However, unpredictability can be a big issue here, so controlling your online store’s inventory is even more important.

In addition, to ensure on-time delivery and product quality, good suppliers and their commitment are needed.

#03. Just in time

Similar to dropshipping, it ensures that the stock should have the least number of products possible and needed to avoid losses.

For this methodology to work, everything needs to happen with maximum precision (hence the expression just in time).

Therefore, the control of sales, returns, losses, and cancellations, must be precise so that no customer is left unattended.

Another essential point is a partnership with efficient suppliers that guarantee on-time and fast delivery.

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#04. ABC curve

This methodology consists of classifying products according to their outflow. The “A” would be the ones with high turnover, “B” medium and “C” low.

By separating inventory in this way, it is possible to do good cash flow planning and avoid unforeseen sales.

With the maturity of your virtual store, it will be possible to stipulate the average time for the sale of an item, thus increasing the efficiency of your processes.

The ABC curve can be adapted to any other model, after all, its objective is to optimize the routines of inventory control.

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#05. FIFO and LILO

Respectively, these acronyms mean “first in, first out” and “last in, last out.”

These ideas, apparently opposite, complement each other: while the FIFO says that old items must have priority to leave; the LILO methodology explains that the new ones must be sold before.

Combined, the two strategies help your e-commerce boost sales strategies and avoid losses from the expiration of products.

Five tips to optimize your online store's inventory control

First of all, controlling the stock of your virtual store depends on a lot of dedication and maturity in carrying out the processes.

Management requires attention and some steps, can help you to further increase the efficiency of your e-commerce. With that in mind, here are five tips that will help you with this purpose.

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#01. Plan the methodology

We mentioned earlier some methodologies and concepts used in inventory management.

Decide the method that your virtual store will use to be done according to the reality of your e-commerce. That is, size, sales volume, and available employees.

Once this is understood, the next step will be to determine whether the inventory check will be done in real time – scheduling replenishment according to the stock status – or cyclically – from time to time.

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#02. Establish metrics

Establishing metrics is the most efficient way to ensure the success of a business – be it a physical store or an e-commerce.

Based on the information collected, strategies can be applied and analyzed to improve business performance.

Such indicators, in turn, help in actions such as creating promotions and pricing products.

A metric that needs to be on the radar is the time of the purchase process and the receipt of products.

Conclusion

Well, that’s it. We’ve got to the end of our article: 5 Tips to Efficiently Control Your Online Store’s Inventory.

We hope that you enjoyed reading this article and found some helpful advice from it.

Feel free to comment and share this post.
Thanks!!

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