With 95% of purchases projected to be through eCommerce by 2040 using a stock control system is one of the most important facets.

Even way before COVID-19 forced shop owners to begin setting up online stores, eCommerce was moving upwards at a rapid rate as customers move towards the World Wide Web to find goods and services. If we take into consideration the fact that around 95% of purchases are projected to be through eCommerce by 2040, then every shop owner worth their salt needs to know everything there is to know about shopping online. One of the most important facets of eCommerce is that of using a stock control system, which we’ll explain below.

For the uninitiated, stock control helps to keep a business on track with regards to stock quantity and ensuring that customer demand is met. This means that customers are never left disappointed when they buy an item, only to receive an email to state that the product is actually out of stock. Stock control systems help shop owners know when to reorder new products and stay on top of purchases.

There are several stock control methods, such as Just-in-time (JIT), First-In-First-Out (FIFO), economic order quantity, vendor-managed inventory, and batch control, but whatever you end up choosing, you’ll find that optimizing your online store with a stock control system is a necessary and worthwhile step for better business management.

How can a stock control system help?

A stock control system assists with the managing and maintenance of your inventory, including purchasing, tracking products, product turnover, shipping details, returned items, and reordered products, for example.

Old school methods would have seen shop owners writing everything down in a stock book or a spreadsheet, but while these are acceptable for a while, the amount of manual effort starts to increase before long, which could lead to stress and potential mistakes. A stock control system should boost productivity and ensure the business stays competitive with the following:

  • Provide real-time data with perpetual inventory tracking
  • Generate fulfillment documentation such as invoices and notes for packing and pickup
  • Support procurement options like automated reordering
  • Integrate with CRM, ERP, accounting, and other business management software
  • Create reports for inventory summaries, order history, etc.
  • Support different users at the same time
  • Serial/batch tracking
  • Can cover various currencies
  • Has the option to be cloud-based so that stock can be controlled anytime, anywhere

Helpful tips to remember for stock control systems

It’s true that there are many different types of software for stock control, but there are still recommendations that remain the same no matter which company you go with. Keep up with demand forecasting and sales history to ensure you’re ordering only the worthwhile/popular items. You could actually order less stock more often to improve liquidity and maintain constant sales. This also means that you’re not left with surplus stock if an item drops suddenly in popularity (a good example are fad items such as fidget spinners, yo-yos, and so on).

Always check that you have the right stock requirement before launching a promotion and ensure that you can get rid of slow-moving or out-of-season items easily. Perhaps most importantly, store your items in a way that makes them easy to get out and in, as you don’t want popular items right at the back or mixed up in the wrong section.

Stock control systems generally make life easier for online shop owners, as you can always find data readily accessible and simplified. Many companies offer free tests of their software, so try out a few before committing.

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