by Rhiân Davies
Published on 4 January 2017
How many times have you made the trip to a specific store for a specific item - having purposefully checked the availability online in said specific store - only to be told, "We're out of stock, have you checked online?"? In my case, it's too many times. Sometimes, I've also then encountered the added bonus of the item being out-of-stock upon trying to add it to the shopping cart online, without any prior indication of it being sold out.
How annoying. For retailers, too, the dreaded out-of-stock notifications can harm their customer loyalty and drive them to competitors, as well as cutting into their own profits. In fact, the price of sold-out products, overstocking, and returned items is said to amount to around $1.75 trillion a year. Keeping track of inventory really is that important.
As we embark on a fresh new year, why not invest in a cloud-based inventory management solution that will help you keep your stockroom organized, updated, and accurate, and your customers satisfied?
To help you decide which solution is best for your business, we've devised a list of five of the top inventory management systems on the market.
If you're running an eCommerce store alongside taking offline orders, Finale Inventory's multi-location functionality makes it easy to sync and centralize both your online and in-store orders by seamlessly collating your inventory into one location in near real-time. Enabling you to manage your inventory to and from several locations, and the ability to customize sales order and product lists also helps to prevent your store from overselling and overstocking. The big finale? With over twenty preexisting reports, from accounting to sales, and custom report creation, you'll have your finger on the pulse of your business at all times.
One GetApp reviewer says: "We started out with Finale a little over a year ago after spending several months researching every program on the market, reading reviews and really doing our due diligence before finally zeroing in on Finale. We have not looked back since and have never second guessed our decision, Finale has delivered on every possible level and beyond."
Pricing: Starting from: $149.00/month, with a free trial available.
If you're looking for something to manage inventory across your multiple sales channels, Orderhive is a great option, sitting in first place in GetApp's Category Leaders ranking for inventory management. Sales channels such as Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce integrate with Orderhive, and adding shipping providers FedEx and UPS is simple, enabling you to manage orders and the shipping process in one app. Don't want to be caught short? Set alerts to notify you of low and zero stock, and let Orderhive take care of automatically adjusting stock levels across all of your channels.
GetApp users love Orderhive, with one reviewer commenting, "This is a fantastic app for anyone selling across multiple eCommerce channels. Completely eliminates overselling and its forecast reports make it really easy to plan our next production cycle. The customer service was extremely good, very fast responses."
Pricing: Starting from: $49.99/month, with a free trial available.
Stitch Labs acts as an 'operations command center' for busy retailers, by connecting inventory management, shipping, accounting, and POS into a single interface. Future-proof your business with Stitch Labs' sales forecasting and reports, which provide you with an overview of your business's trends to help you predict and plan ahead. Stitch Labs also frees up valuable time that you could be using elsewhere, like this GetApp reviewer: "It's been the greatest backend to my business. Tracking all my orders fluidly and effortlessly allows me more time to be working on new designs. One of the best features is the reports and being able to track all the little details to make sure that I am on top of my game through and through."
Pricing: Starting from $199.00/month, with a free trial available.
Growing your business internationally? On top of keeping track of your inventory, TradeGecko's multi-currency function allows retailers to sell in additional currencies, and its 'Tax Types' feature enables you to set specific taxes for differing cities, states, and even countries. What's more is the TradeGecko app is available on iOS, which is perfect for a travelling sales team.
Or, if you're looking to make your B2B sales process a little easier and more effective, TradeGecko's B2B eCommerce platform is useful for bulk invitations to customers, creating unique store URLs, and custom pricing options.
GetApp reviewers say: "If managing inventory is an important aspect of your business, but you are still not able to do custom development, nor are you able to outsource it, then TG is a great solution for you. We used it to integrate in all our eCommerce efforts and it is perfectly working so far."
Pricing: Starting from: $99.00/month, with a free trial available.
Integrating with other Zoho products like Zoho CRM and Zoho Books, Zoho Inventory is a great option for retailers who are looking for automatic inventory level updates and a centralized platform for multiple sales channels. Zoho also takes the stress out of creating sales orders and shipping instructions by automating the processes, and also tracks your shipments with 'latest transit status updates' and successful delivery notifications.
Pricing: Starting from: $29.00/month, with a free trial available.
What's worked for you? Leave us a comment below to let us know which apps have been useful for managing your inventory, or leave a review on GetApp.
Looking for a fully-fledged inventory management solution? Be sure to check out our Category Leaders ranking of inventory management software.
This article was originally published in June 2014 and has been updated.