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Fitting Inventory Management Software Into Your Ecommerce Suite

Posted by Chadwick Jones

Jun 3, 2014

inventory management softwareAs an ecommerce business owner, you need your web storefront to be optimized for your customers – encouraging them to make purchases by making the process easy, fast and cost-effective. But, if your ecommerce software suite is working with inefficient or outdated inventory management software, your online business gets lost in a sea of smarter, faster competitors.

Your inventory management software should fit snugly into your full suite of ecommerce solutions. Inventory management software is a versatile solution that plays many important roles in your business, including:
  • Multi-Channel Inventory Management
    Ecommerce is certainly the way of the future, but there are still a few holdouts. Some businesses and consumers prefer to operate in multiple channels, and some products are better suited for one channel over another.

    Orders that come in from your online storefront should be handled the same way as all other orders – offline, phone order, mail order and catalog. It should be up to your customers to decide which medium they use. It's your job to make each channel as easy-to-use as all the others, so your business fits the needs of every consumer.

    The best way to achieve omnichannel success is to synchronize all of your business applications into one comprehensive ecommerce software suite. Your inventory management module needs to cover all of your products, regardless of where they're housed or how they're purchased. In addition, your online inventory must reflect your actual available inventory, so you need a real-time inventory management solution with no lags, no glitches and no inaccuracies.

  • Complete Product Detail
    One of the biggest pains online shoppers face is inaccuracies in product descriptions and images. When purchasing from your web storefront, your customers are putting their faith in your business and the details you've given about your products. Reward that faith by being very attentive to the minutest details about the product, including images, product descriptions and specific measurements. Your customers know what to expect when they receive the product, so you avoid the hassles of returns. Plus, your customers keep coming back because they know your online inventory is an accurate reflection of the products you stock.

  • Drop Shipping
    Drop shipping is becoming more and more popular, and it's easy to see why: Products are shipped faster, customers are rewarded with more immediate gratification and ecommerce companies eliminate the middleman role of order fulfillment.

    In order to keep up with today's consumer demand, your online storefront needs to offer drop shipping at the click of a button. Your inventory management software must be configurable to handle drop shipment processing from payment and customer service to fulfillment and shipping.

  • Payment Processing
    For ecommerce businesses, convenience is the name of the game. In regard to payment, your customers want a fast way to pay – but it needs to be secure. As a business, you want immediate payment and real-time processing. Your inventory management software should be fully integrated with your ecommerce solution to store customers' credit card information securely (to facilitate easier, quicker repeat purchases) and data synchronization to improve customer service and more efficient payment over every channel in which you operate.

    Part of any complete payment processing module is the ability to accept coupons, discounts and promotions. Make sure the inventory management module you choose is able to accommodate a wide range of discounts so your business provides a competitive price for the products you offer.

  • Order Shipment And Tracking
    Your inventory management software should be versatile enough to accommodate any shipping provider your customer desires. FedEx, DHL, UPS, USPS and ShipRush are all basic providers with unique advantages for each customer’s preference. Make sure your software is equipped to handle a number of vendors.

    Your customers want to be updated on the status of their orders. You're responsible for meeting those needs by providing them with tracking updates along the way, and your inventory management software is the right tool for the job. Alert your customers when their order has been fulfilled, when it's left your warehouse (and where that warehouse is located), when it's en route, when it's on the carrier's vehicle and when it's been delivered. Provide your customers the option to subscribe for text or email updates, allowing them to choose when, how often and through which medium they'd like to be kept informed.

The consumer marketplace has changed dramatically in the past decade. The prevalence of web storefronts has boomed, so competition is stiff. Ecommerce is becoming the norm, so every business is looking to make the switch to the retail forum. Consumers are searching for mobile-friendly applications to make purchasing easier, faster and cheaper, so businesses need to augment their services to give customers what they want. Ultimately, the trend has huge potential for your business, but it also poses a huge threat: Without the right approaches, you run the risk of being drowned out by your competitors. Fortunately, inventory management software – as part of your ecommerce software suite – is a good first step toward becoming smarter, faster and better than your competition.

Learn more about SMB Suite's comprehensive ecommerce software package, offering the flexible functionality you need to keep your business running, growing and thriving in any channel.

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