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The Ultimate Guide to Shopify Inventory Management: Apps, Tactics, and More

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Around 43% of small eCommerce stores in the US don't track their inventory. If you’re one of these store owners, you might want to act upon it immediately.

Inventory management is a must if you want a long-lasting and sustainable eCommerce business.

In this article, we will define inventory management, tell you why it’s critical, and list down the ten best inventory management tools for Shopify.

So let’s get started!

Outline

What Is Shopify Inventory Management?

In simple terms, inventory management is a process that helps you track products and raw materials you have in your Shopify store. 

Let's take an example to understand it better:

Suppose you own a small pasta shop. 

If you want to track sales, revenue, and future projections, you must know how much pasta you need to sell. 

But to know how much to see, you ought to know how much to buy. This is where inventory management comes into the picture. 

If you don’t know how much pasta you have or need, the following things can happen:

  • You might be low on pasta packs and lose potential sales opportunities
  • You might have extra pasta packs and would end up throwing them
  • The worst, you might promise a customer that you can fulfill their order, but you don’t have any pasta packets left

To avoid all these scenarios leverage Inventory management.

Benefits Of Inventory Management

  1. Reduced Risk: When you have a proper inventory management system, you know exactly what raw materials and products you have for your store; this reduces the risk of going out of stock or piling up products that aren’t selling.
  2. Cost Saving: By knowing what needs reordering and what does not, you can save a boatload of money.
  3. Increase in Productivity: With inventory management in play, the guesswork goes out of the picture, thus increasing your productivity as you know about every product in your store.
  4. Increased Profits: Track inventory of all the products in your store; this keeps you from ordering unnecessarily, thus increasing profits.

>>> Read more: How To Use Shopify Gift Cards: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Why Is Shopify Inventory Management Crucial For Your Business?

01. Avoid Spoilage

As in the case of the pasta example mentioned above, if you sell a product that might rot over time or has an expiration date, you might want to leverage inventory management. 

Getting to know which product/ingredient will be expiring soon is essential in such cases.

02. Avoid Deadstock

Deadstock is the one that can’t be sold to your customers anymore. 

It’s not just because the product has expired; maybe the product has gone off-season or out of style, perhaps. 

If you have a store selling Halloween costumes, you want to ensure you sell all the costumes before Halloween. 

Inventory management can help you predict your sales, keep tabs on the inventory, and avoid deadstock generation.

03. Optimize Cash Flow

The basic working of an eCommerce store is - you buy a product from a supplier, hold it in your inventory, sell it when a customer orders it.

The only stage where you make money via your eCommerce store is when someone buys a product. 

You have no profit till the products sit ideal in the inventory. In fact, you have to pay to buy and keep a product in some warehouse. 

With a proper inventory management system, you can optimize cash flow.

How?

Based on the sales projections and prediction of when your inventory will go out of stock, you can manage ordering and selling products.

04. Save Storage Cost

Store costs depend on the number of products you store in a warehouse. The more you store, the more is the cost. 

With inventory management, you can know the optimal quantity of products you need to balance ordering and selling. 

This will help you save a big chunk of money that you might be paying for warehouse storage unnecessarily.

05. Improve Customer Experience

Depending on the products in your inventory, you can promise customers when they receive the product. 

This way, you can get into the good books of your customers and get better reviews.

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How To Build An Inventory Management System For Your Business

01. Know The Product Demand

When you open a new eCommerce store, you must know how your product demand fluctuates throughout the year. It’s essential to get a better idea about your potential sales each month.

Let's say you have a store that sells snowboards.

You can head over to Google Trends and see how the search traffic for the word snowboard fluctuates.

To get more accurate data, you can select Category as Sports and Change Web search to Google Shopping.

Here’s what we got for the past 12 months when we ran a search for the term ‘snowboard.’

Google search trend for snowboard

The above graph shows that there are good chances that you might not have many sales from March to August. 

So based on these projections, you can plan how to devise your inventory management strategy.

02. Forecast Future Sales Projections

If you have a sales history, you can simply go through it and know which month is the most profitable for you. 

You can also look for events/holidays where you make more sales comparably. 

Doing this will let you order and stock products in your inventory before peak sales. This way, you won’t be out of stock and lose potential customers when you need them the most.

If your store’s new, you can refer to the Google Trends method mentioned above.

03. Set Minimum Stock Levels

A minimum stock level is a threshold value of your inventory. You shouldn’t allow the stocks in your store to fall below this value.

Note: When it comes to inventory management, any eCommerce store’s goal is to know the lowest possible inventory they could keep to fulfill their customers’ needs without delays.

To have a strong inventory management system, you must know the time it takes to replenish your inventory once the products dip below the minimum stock levels.

04. Prioritize Products With ABC Analysis

With ABC analysis, you can prioritize the existing inventory using three categories:

  • A: High-value products with low sales frequency  
  • B: Moderate-value products with moderate sales frequency
  • C: Low-value products with high sales frequency

Here’s a graph to understand ABC analysis better:

ABC analysis

ABC analysis is based on the Pareto Principle i.e. 80% of products are bought by 20% of customers. These customers buy the products that fall into category A. 

You don’t want to lose product A customers as they’re your major source of revenue. 

Therefore to have a leak-proof inventory management system, you must know which products need the most attention (A) and which ones the least.

Now that you know what inventory management is and how to build a proper system let’s look at some apps that will help you with inventory management for your Shopify store.

Top 10 Best Shopify Inventory Management App For 2022 

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01. Orderhive Inventory Management

Rating: 4.0 (123 reviews) 

Orderhive is an inventory management software that lets you track and manage your inventory in real-time. 

5500+ eCommerce companies trust Orderhive for their store’s inventory management.

Orderhive Inventory Management

Features of Orderhive Inventory Management 

  • Sync inventory online and offline
  • Leverages FIFO (First-in-First-out) inventory method
  • Handle pre, partial, and backorders all in one place
  • View order details as list or in kanban
  • Build custom order workflows and add or remove custom fields
  • Get real-time warehouse updates with Orderhive
  • Tag each product with a barcode and scan to get details
  • Get warehouse inventory reports whenever you want
  • Orderhive takes care of serial, batch, and expiry management

Pricing: Orderhive has four plans to choose from - lite, starter, growth, and enterprise. You can either pay monthly or annually. The lite plan is the cheapest and starts at $49.99 a month. You get a 15-day free trial with any plan you choose.

02. Stocky

Rating: 3.3 (206 reviews)

Stocky is an inventory management app built by Shopify. 

You can leverage it to optimize your inventory management decision.

The app lets you make decisions that help you optimize your profits rather than scratching your head around what products to order.

Stocky

Features of Stocky

  • Purchase Orders: Manage all purchase orders in a single dashboard along with communicating with vendors and suppliers
  • Demand Forecasting: Gives you a forecast of which products might go out of stock depending on the rate of sales
  • Staff-Friendly: If you have a team managing your inventory, add them on Stocky and manage them on a single platform
  • Stock Transfer: Replenish your supplies quickly and leverage Shopify POS to transfer products from one location to another
  • Stocktakes: Your staff can conduct stocktakes by scanning the barcode assigned to each product

Pricing: To use Stocky, you don’t have to pay a single penny. But there’s a catch! It’s free only when you leverage Shopify POS. Shopify POS has two plans, Lite and Pro. The Lite plan starts at $29 and to get the Pro plan you have to pay $89 monthly.

03. EasyEcom

Rating: 4.4 (25 reviews)

EasyEcom is the best Shopify inventory management software if you want multichannel inventory management. 

The software has processed 17M+ orders and served 40+ countries.

EasyEcom

Features of EasyEcom

  • View all your sales and products in a single dashboard
  • The tool helps you aggregate inventory across channels with which you can evenly distribute your products across multiple sales channels
  • Helps you with accurate forecasting
  • EasyEcom can bridge the gap between your store and warehouses and connect them for seamless inventory management
  • Aggregate inventory, so there are no stockouts.
  • Re-route orders to the closest warehouse for optimal delivery.

Note: The pricing model of EasyEcom is a bit different from other inventory management Shopify tools. You only pay for the orders you process.

Pricing: EasyEcom gives you a 7-day free trial to test and get the hang of the platform. After seven days, you have two plans to choose from Simple Pricing - 39 cents per order and enterprise plan. 

04. ShipBob Fulfillment

Rating: 4.5 (84 reviews)

ShipBob is a tech-enabled 3PL. You can leverage ShipBob to store your products in multiple warehouses. 

5500+ businesses have shaken hands with ShipBob to date.

ShipBob

Features of ShipBob Inventory Management Shopify App

  • Strategically split your inventory to different ShipBob warehouses to get your products from one point to another effectively
  • Keeping your products in multiple ShipBob warehouses will lower your shipping cost and time
  • Filter orders by their status and track them in real-time
  • Search orders manually with the search icon provided on the dashboard
  • See your inventory balance for multiple products and replenish products wherever required

Pricing: The pricing page of ShipBob has a calculator where you can know exactly what amount you will have to pay for each product you store at Shipbob’s warehouse.

05. Merchbees Low Stock Alert

Rating: 5.0 (59 reviews)

When you have an established online store with many products and sales, keeping a tab of your inventory could be a tedious task. 

Merchbees makes this work a piece of cake by sending you alerts about which products might soon be going out of stock.

Merchbees

Features of Merchbees Low Stock Alert 

  • Sends you a notification instantly as the products count goes below the set minimum stock threshold 
  • Set maximum stock levels if you need it
  • Receive low stock and out of stock notifications via email and slack
  • Choose a day and time to receive notifications via Merchbees
  • Create location-based inventory alerts
  • Get reports of out of stocks, low stocks, and export them as CSV

Pricing: Merchbees comes with a free plan which you can use to see how you like the platform. The paid plans start from $4.99 a month. If you think you might need an upgrade, you can choose from two plans Merchbees has - Professional and Enterprise. 

06. Shopventory

Rating: 4.4 (49 reviews)

Shopventory is an all-in-one inventory management Shopify solution. From alerts to vendor management, Shopventory takes care of everything.

Shopventory

Features of Shopventory

  • Create custom alerts with multiple conditions
  • Automatic email notifications
  • Unlimited alert creation
  • Cycle count inventory in batches 
  • Insert barcode to every product
  • Add notes for your vendors if you have no time to communicate with them
  • Organize vendors according to the location to fasten up inventory management

Pricing: Shopventory has 4 plans to choose from, the cheapest one priced at $99/month. With every plan you choose, you get a 30-days free trial if you pay monthly and a 60-days trial if you pay yearly.

07. Katana - Manufacturing ERP

Rating: 4.9 (122 reviews)

Katan is a manufacturing ERP built to give you complete control over your store. If you’re just starting an eCommerce store and want to grow rapidly, Katana can help!

Katana

Features of Katana

When it comes to managing inventory, Katana helps you optimize and control it.

  • Get complete inventory control for products and raw materials
  • Automate transactions and set up re-orders to prevent stock-outs
  • Track products across multiple warehouses
  • Leverage barcode to track each product

Pricing: With Katana, you can choose from two plans - Essential and Pro. With both the plans, you have a 14-days free trial. No card details are required to avail this trial. The plan starts at $129 a month.

08. Stock Sync: Inventory Management Software

Ratings: 4.7 (939 reviews)

Stock Sync is an inventory management tool built for managing multiple suppliers at a time. The app is used by ~8,000 businesses to simplify their inventory management to date.

Stock Sync

Features of Stock Sync

  • Set up new feeds, add, or remove products via Stock Sync credit
  • Set Stock Sync to update your inventory automatically when you need it
  • The app supports almost all kinds of file formats from a basic CSV to a .zip folder
  • Set quantity rules on Stock Sync and avoid overselling

Pricing: The app has a free plan, but it’s limited to 2,000 SKUs (stock-keeping units). The free plan is perfect for you if you're just starting. Other than the free plan, you get three paid options to choose from. The pricing starts at just $5/month.

09. SKULabs

Rating: 5.0 (53 reviews)

The last option in our inventory management Shopify apps list is SKULabs. Being an all-in-one solution, the tool is apt for large-scale businesses.

SKULabs

Features of SKULabs Inventory Management

  • See stock levels of all products in all sales channels in a single dashboard
  • Track what's coming in and going out with SKULabs
  • Manage products across multiple warehouses
  • Cycle count your stock and stay updated

Pricing: Unlike other inventory management Shopify apps in the list, SKULabs doesn’t give a 30-day free trial. It instead offers a 30-days money-back guarantee if you don’t like it. You have three plans to choose from; the basic plan is the cheapest and is priced at $499/month.

10. ecomdash

Rating: 2.1 (41 reviews)

ecomdash helps you in tracking inventory across multiple sales channels with ease. The software saves you time by automating several inventory management processes.

ecomdash

Features of ecomdash

  • Send purchase orders to your suppliers for replenishing your inventory
  • Manage all kinds of products from one dashboard
  • Auto-sync orders as soon as a customer orders from your store
  • Create reorder rules at the product level
  • Select a warehouse closest to your customers to get lightning fast delivery

Pricing: You can try ecomdash for 15 days for free and then select a plan depending upon your store’s average monthly order value.

Which Is The Best Shopify Inventory Management App?

Whichever app you choose for your store, you must strike a balance between the products you sell and the products you have in stock. 

After you do this you must have a tool that is able to give you inventory forecasting, check inventory levels, and give you a detailed inventory tracking report. 

Only then will you be able to run a long-term profitable Shopify store.

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