Why your business needs an inventory management software?

Why your business needs an inventory management software?

A shocking amount of capital is tied up in inventory. Inventory along with accounts receivable and accounts payable has tied up $1.1 trillion in cash – equivalent to 7% of the U.S. GDP. (Source: REL)

In fact, U.S. retailers are currently sitting on about $1.43 in inventory for every $1 of sales they make.

Imagine the effect it will have on your small and medium sized business if you are managing your inventory manually or not managing at all.

As an online retailer, you do not want to tie up additional capital inventory carrying liability. Especially if you are still an old school managing it on a spreadsheet.

And no Kidding,

Your challenges for managing Inventory manually will cost you a fortune. For instance

  • It may happen at times that you run short of resources to lease your facilities, and hence you may end up operating a rather larger and ineffective warehouse then you need.
  • Under such circumstances, Inventory Management spreadsheet is often prone to errors and will drain you to the last drop of your time and energy in maintaining the same.  
  • You will never be assured of accuracy, and it’s not worth a risk.

Poor management is one of the top-notch reason why small business fail. Though Inventory Management Software is a crucial tool for retailers, 46% of SMB’s with 11-500 employees still don’t currently track inventory or use a manual inventory process.

It is vital to keep track of Inventory Management, as it directly affects the cost and time of your business. Hence, automating Inventory Management is crucial for business.  Automation facilitates your business in terms of ROIs, Diversification and most importantly in.. ( Click to read)

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How Orderhive’s order management app can decrease delivery time?

With the evolution of smartphones, today, they are not only used to make calls or text messages, but also, allows you process complex business operations in the most simplest ways.

Lately, mobile apps are proving to be a real time-saver for many business owners that allow a quick access to their important data and manage operations at the tip of the finger.

In this article, we will discuss on how using an order management app will help ecommerce business owners decrease delivery time.

There are many order management apps, however, some of them are either costly while others offer complex interface. If you are looking for simpler and cost-effective app, then Orderhive is the answer.

Orderhive Order Management App

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Not being able to fulfill your orders in time can be frustrating for both, you and your customers. To eliminate such ugly scenarios, Orderhive management app will allow you process and ship orders from anywhere, anytime. Offering easiest order management tools and integration with leading shipping solutions(ShipStation, AfterShip, EasyPost), Orderhive app has already proven to be an ideal order management solution for many e-commerce business owners.

Key features that you can expect from Orderhive order management app

1. Automatically pushes order status

As soon as you create shipments or change order status, those changes will be automatically pushed to your channel in real-time. This means, you’ll eliminate the risk of fulfillment delays and boost customer service experience by offering in time delivery service, always.

2. Create full and partial shipments

There maybe times when you want to fulfill your sales orders partially, which means you want to ship certain products now and others later. Orderhive’s order management app allows you to do so. Quickly create shipments on-the-go for the ones you want to process, and gain access to the history of all your fulfilled products in real-time. This way, you can easily process orders as per your customer’s requirements, as well as, ensure you don’t miss out any order.

3. Print packing slips, shipping labels, and pick lists

One of the major advantage, you can also create packing slips and shipping labels. This way you can easily print them and make your package ship-ready from the place you are. Boost customer experience and bid goodbye to delay in order fulfillment, especially for those urgent requests from your customers.

4. Update shipping and tracking information on the go

Integrated with leading shipping solutions to enhance your fulfillment processes, Orderhive’s management app updates shipping information like carrier name, tracking number to your Orderhive account immediately when an order is processed. This makes it easy to access informations immediately and provide updates to customers whenever they contact you.

5. Create invoices with just a few taps

Another time-saving advantage, you can create invoices and insert a customized message for every sales orders that is to be fulfilled. Invoice generated via Orderhive management app are simple and have an aesthetic appeal, which you can quickly email it to your customers in just a few taps on your mobile screen. Also, Orderhive being well-connected with Xero accounting software, therefore integrating your Xero account with Orderhive will automatically push products and customers that are fetched from the invoice and immediately export the same to your Xero account.

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Adopting Orderhive’s management app, you’ll be able to fulfill order management processes quickly and efficiently, helping you to save loads of time, money, and effort.
Available on Google Play Store: https://goo.gl/LQxzQ3

How Companies Can Solve “Out Of Stock Issues”: Tips And Tricks?

The worst situation for any retailer, is not being able to fulfill customer’s orders due to unavailable stock. Because, unable to process orders in time directly hampers the brand value (customer service + profits).

Out-of-stock

What are the key factors that lead to out of stock scenarios and how you can get rid of them?

1- Inefficiency in the supply chain process

No matter how good you build up relationship with your suppliers, if they are unable to supply you with products when needed the most will create an imbalance in your fulfillment process that leads to delay in order processing and most of the time, you’ll have to deny your customers. Apart from offering a bad customer service, you also lose profits for your business.

Tip:

Ensure your suppliers will provide you with inventory whenever needed, and are flexible to delivery at anytime, anywhere. This will ensure products are always available for instant order fulfillment.

For instance: When you realize a particular product is out of stock on receiving customer’s order, it automatically delay your fulfilment process. To avoid such cases, dealing with suppliers who can directly pack and ship your customers orders themselves can be one of the solutions to overcome out-of-stock situations.

Trick:

Having an integrated inventory management/dropshipment system will help you consolidate all your inventory and supplier’s data at one place, allowing you a real-time visibility of your stock levels. This will make it easy for you to enhance supply chain process, which is crucial for eliminating out of stock scenarios.

2- Inaccurate inventory level updates

You may be receiving your purchase orders in time that allows you to immediately fulfill your customer’s orders. But, if stock levels are not updated for every sale that is made will frequently result to out of stock situations.

Tip:

Once you ship your customer’s order ensure your stock levels are instantly updated across all your channels to maintain accurate inventory counts and know when to reorder products.

For instance: You sell over multiple platforms and receive an order for one of your channels, now updating stock levels for that particular product across all your channels will automatically eliminate the risks of not having products, when needed the most.

Trick:

Adopting an inventory management system will help you sync all your products in one system and auto-updates inventory levels across all your channels, whenever a sale is made. Doing so, you’ll permanently eliminate the risk of inaccurate inventory levels.

3- No safety lock practice

Though updating inventory counts after every sale is crucial to maintain a positive stock availability, but a relative function is also to safely stock products that will help you overcome out of stock issues.

Tip:

Know your product performance and calculate safety lock for the best selling ones that can help you fulfill and process orders in time, even when stock levels are inaccurate. Yes, you heard it correct.

For instance: During festivals, you’ll experience huge rush of orders and this is when maximum chances of out of stock issues arises. Considering such situations, you can buffer additional stock level for all those products that you think will sell good.

Trick:

Adopting a centralized system for managing inventory, means all your stock ins and outs are recorded at one place. This way, it will become easy to track fast-moving products for which you can calculate and add a safe lock and ensure orders are always processed as promised.

In the end, running out of products can hamper you from continual growth, however focusing on the above factors and practicing the tips and tricks will ensure your customers always get what they want.

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Macy’s Inventory Strategies: What every retailer can learn?

In this modern world, an organized inventory flow becomes necessary to fulfill your customer’s need coming from multiple sources.

With the advent of technology, modern consumers have multiple ways (that include in-store, online, call-center, mobile, etc.) to browse and purchase products they like. However, there are many retailers who still find it a challenge to reach out every customer’s needs due to supply chain issues. This why retailers need to consider Inventory management best practices.

Retailers

Having a successful inventory management practice in place, you can eliminate the risk of out-of-stock situations, while at the same time you ensure that inventory costs does not affect the bottom line of the business. This means there should be a balance between demand and supply.

In this article we will discuss, how Macy’s – a successful mid-range chain of department stores (850 stores in total) manages their supply and meets the demand for all channels.

Macy’s has mastered inventory and you can, too!

Today, Macy’s is considered to be one of the biggest brick-and-mortar store offering some of the best deals. Now, that doesn’t mean the department store is obvious to the advantages of online retail. Their much thoughtful decision, to invest in omnichannel solutions is an effort to offer better, and seamless shopping experience.

Omni-channel is very much about “inventory optimization through technology,” said Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO of Macy’s Inc., in a talk delivered last week in Tucson. Inventory visibility across all stores and channels is the key enabler, he added.

Macy’s key inventory management practices that benefited shoppers and helped them as well, improve inventory optimization  

– Real-time visibility

In most cases, retailers display 80% products in their showroom. Hence, 20% of their inventory are left unsold, as they are not seen. And, product visibility has a major role for inventory optimization. However, adopting a real-time program has helped Macy’s improve their supply chain flow. They can now allow customers get an access to all their inventory with the help of technology, even if is not present in the showroom. This way customers can order for the product that is in the warehouse, which is then shipped to the them.

For example, you are selling footwear and one of your customer is looking for size 8, however, it is not present in-store, but you have it in your warehouse. In such cases, you can allow customers make a purchase for the size 8, which later can be procured and shipped to the customer.

– Omnichannel

Having a real-time visibility has no doubt helped Macy’s to manage inventory, however offering omnichannel solutions was their key to a successful inventory optimization.

Investing millions in an effort to allow customers an ability to purchase products whenever and however they want, has made Macy’s one of the leading department stores. Their omnichannel solutions included flexibility in order fulfillment for customers shopping in-store, online, or even a combination of both including in-store pickups and allow home delivery, too..

What can you learn?

Having a real-time software  for your inventory across all your stores and warehouses is a must to manage your supply chain. And, adopting a real-time inventory solution, you can come with unique inventory optimization tactics to improve omnichannel shopping experience. With more and more retailers experimenting different ways to offer omnichannel solutions, it’s time for you to seriously think about leveraging the above best inventory management practices to better serve your customers in this modern retail world.

Top 5 Repricing Software for Amazon and eBay

If you are planning to sell your products on leading marketplace Amazon or eBay, you’ll have many advantages that include increased visibility and conversions. In order to gain those benefits, online retailers need to overcome few challenges inherent to marketplace selling. Among those, products pricing has always been a biggest challenge for Amazon and eBay sellers, regardless to the one  selling unique/antique products, having no competitors.

A common frustration amongst most of the sellers on Amazon and eBay, is not being able to have a competitive pricing pricing strategy in place. And, most of them overlook the importance of pricing strategy, when selling over marketplaces. Ignoring this very important aspect of marketplace selling, new sellers find its very difficult to compete with larger players selling on the same platform. In order to cope up with this dangerous challenge, adopting a repricing and inventory management software solution will be an ideal choice for managing products, when selling over Amazon and eBay.

In the article, we will highlight the top 5 repricing software that will help you automate your pricing structure, allowing you more time to focus on important matters, like providing superior customer service.

1. Seller Dynamics

seller-dynamics

If you sell on variety of marketplaces, including Amazon and eBay, then take a look at Seller Dynamics. This software enables sellers to set their pricing structure on autopilot, it mean repricing will be set according to the principles of supply and demand. And, whenever you list a new product, it’s in-built inventory management software will update inventory levels and prices on-the-go. By adopting Seller Dynamics, you can ensure that your products will always sell on profitable rates based on Amazon and eBay rules.

Website:  www.sellerdynamics.com

2. SolidCommerce

SolidCommerce

SolidCommerce is an Amazon and eBay repricing software that allow sellers to automate their pricing structure based on the competition. Allowing an ability to set different prices for the same products on multiple marketplaces, you can adjust your shipping offers as per the product and it’s demand. Offering a number of price and inventory management solution, SolidCommerce can run of your cost when selling over Amazon and eBay.

Website:  www.solidcommerce.com

3. Repricer Express

repricerexpress

Repricer Express is another preferred repricing platform for Amazon and eBay sellers. This platform is considered to be an ideal, as it not only allows sellers to set customized pricing rules, but also gives them an ability to lock a minimum and maximum prices. This way sellers can ensure that their products are not selling too low or too high. Designed with the latest technology in mind, Repricer Express even takes competitors shipping rates into calculation. This way sellers are rest assured that their products are priced to win a profitable business.

Website:  www.repricerexpress.com

4. Appeagle

Appleagle

Considered to be a multi-channel pricing software, Appleagle provides competitors product pricing that allows them to stay on top of others selling on Amazon and eBay. The most powerful feature, is it’s “Continous Repricing” tool that automatically updates product prices, allowing retailers to stay ahead of competition all time and increases their chances for winning the Amazon  Buy Box.

Website: www.appeagle.com

5. Teikametrics

teikametrics

Offering a team of experts to configure your repricing parameters, pre-test your results, as well as  provide unlimited ongoing pricing solution, Teikametrics is proving to be a dynamic repricing as well  inventory optimization software for Amazon and eBay sellers. This technology has an ability to spot trends before competitors and allow sellers to make real-time pricing adjustments to optimize profit.

Website:  www.teikametrics.com

Reviewed and researched by Orderhive Team – http://www.orderhive.com/

Crucial Metrics for sellers to be future ready

If you are into selling products/services, you know how important are metrics for the success of your business.

You being a seller, metrics provide key insights into your business that helps you identify areas between success and failure. If you are still confused, or you don’t know what’s happening in your business, metrics are going to be particularly helpful.

There are a number of metrics that you can consider for your business, but as per your capacity and tools to track metric become easier and more prevalent, the question remains: what are the most important metric for sellers to be future ready?

In this article, we will discuss about the most crucial metrics that will help in predicting the future demand of buyers.

buy-and-sell

1. Email list  

Email marketing  is one of the oldest and the most important metric for you as a seller to divert potential customers who can be your loyal ones in the future. Many online shoppers don’t tend to purchase at their very first visit, they are either on your site for a window shopping or researching for a further purchase. Offering a compelling option to “stay in touch” via email subscription will help you develop a relationship, and by measuring those email list you can target them when they are ready to purchase.

Implementing and email marketing tool like “MailChimp” will allow you easily capture potential email address and create a database that can be used for immediate follow-up. Easy-to-understand and use, most marketing tools out there in the market will help you churn qualified leads (customer’s email addresses) to identify future demand of buyers.

2. Product reviews and performance

For any sellers out there, product reviews and performance are a predictor of success.

Product reviews: This metric becomes important because it creates a psychological effect on future buyers. For instance, a number of positive reviews for a particular product – it will be a future demand of buyers. People’s purchase decision rely on others reviews and recommendation, therefore, don’t ignore the power of this metric. “Re-Vu” offers an excellent platform that will encourage your customers to rate, review, and share products after they make a purchase. Adding, this tool to your site will automatically predict the future demand of buyers.

Product performance: Obviously, you’ll be having a shopping site that deals with more than one product, hence measuring this metric becomes very important to identify the future and seasonal demand of buyers. “Google Analytics “offers a powerful tool that will help you track your product performance that includes the quantity sold, unique purchase, product revenue, average price and average quantity. Analyzing this metric, you can be future ready and offer product as per the customers demand.

3. Source  

I would consider this metric to be the most important one than the above two metrics. Analyzing and measuring this metric you can know where your customers behavior, acquisition and conversion rates which are important to predict future demand.

Implementing Google Analytics you can:

 -Know where your customers are coming from: This metric will show you the acquisition rate that will help your focus more on those sources that generate the most traffic. Measuring this metric, you can be future ready and implement marketing strategies targeting the correct source to generate maximum traffic.

 
-See what customers prefer: Analyzing this metric will make it easy to target your customers with the content/information what they like and encourage them to make a purchase from your site. Focusing on this metric, you can predict the future demand of buyers and upfront offer them the content/information/product that influences their purchase decisions.
 
-Identify conversion rates: Your site has different funnels to divert traffic, either through your mobile, email subscription, social media accounts, etc. Hence, it becomes crucial to identify conversion rates that are a predictor of success. By doing this, you can track and analyze what content drives them there, that will help you predict the future demand of buyers. This way you can take actions to increase conversion rates, drastically.

In closing

The above three metrics are the crucial ones that you should closely consider to predict future demand of buyers. Every sellers site is unique, hence your site might gain value from other metrics too. So, it is always advised to track, analyze, and measure their success and continue with the one that predicts future growth.

GodSpeed!

Are Manufacturers Ready For eCommerce?

Manufacturers who are willing to sell online, should understand that they don’t need to become web merchants, but instead step into the shoe of a retailer.

Many manufacturers already sell online to their business customers, while others are planning to do, and some are still investing further in their digital sales platform. Today, owners are seen to be adopting e-commerce over the development of their brick and mortar presence, but are not sound of the challenges in implementing an online sales operation.

Are manufacturers ready for ecommerce?
Source: internetretailer.com

Are you one amongst those who is planning to do so, then let me throw some light on the most common challenges that you will face while selling online.

Product offering and price not ecommerce ready

Manufacturer’s product offering are designed for retail business and are not consumer ready, so it hampers key decisions for making an online offer – that can include testing of new products, exclusive products and even pricing. So, it’s important that your product offering and price offer a competitive value to the consumer, and ensure that it does not affect the profit margin.

Lack of in-house talent

Your firm will have employees who are trained in a manufacturing environment, hence there will be no logical leader to understand the complexity of an online business. Lack of in-house ecommerce talent will hamper executing online business!

Customer support

In a manufacturing unit, there is no deep involvement of customers support and hence your staff may find it difficult to directly communicate with the customers. And, in the world of online, customers prefer shopping from sites having a complete customer support in place. Outsourcing your customers support to a third party may be a critical decision, so ensure you have a trained customer support team to reap the benefits.

Fulfillment process not set up

Inventory management and order fulfillment are one of the biggest challenges in e-commerce industry and if you think that fulfillment is the same as the manufacturing industry, then you are wrong. A strong process or ecommerce solution system in place needs to be set-up, to effectively manage shipments and returns. Your fulfillment process will determine the success of your business.

Marketing, a whole new start

Digital marketing may not be implemented in the world of manufacturing industry, so understanding social media, search engine optimization, email, affiliate marketing, and the whole balance between traffic and conversions can be a whole new start. And, without marketing how will you promote your products  to consumers. This is one of the biggest challenge manufacturers are facing in the world of online.

Lack of a research to work through the above mentioned points

If is always suggested to research well before plunging into the world of online. Start investigating on the e-commerce process to wrestle the above issues, as none of them are hard to overcome. But, always remember an online business requires a disciplined thought and decision making power to be successful.

In closing

Are you ready for ecommerce? If yes, spend time and make use of the internet and get help from experienced experts that will help you identify the challenges and opportunities, while you engage in a process to work through the answers.

Image Source: internetretailer.com