Navigating Multichannel Retail with Ease
As the modern shopper no longer just wants a multichannel shopping experience, but already expects it, the pressure to manage inventory is all the more for ecommerce retailers. The irony is that the more channels you have, the more visible your business is, and the more difficult it becomes to handle everything simultaneously.
Here is what you need to do:
Get real-time inventory management software
The most important thing for multichannel ecommerce retailers is to keep their inventory up-to-date. There has to be a mechanism to control out of stock, expired, and outdated items because if these are present on the website, it will only result in poor customer relationships and loss of prospective clients, hence giving a blow to your reputation. Getting good software will give you visibility into the history and trending patterns of a product and thus manage their availability accordingly. The software will also guide as to where you can offer discounts and where to you have to ramp up the stocks.
Invest in a warehouse management system
Every customer wants their orders to be delivered on the right time and in the right condition. Since people do not get to see and have the product instantly in online shopping, they rely on word-of-mouth recommendations and past experience to put their money into something whose arrival they have no control on. Therefore, it is extremely important for every retailer who wants to stay in business to give a good experience to their customers every time they place an order, so that they can earn their customer’s trust. And this is possible by integrating a good warehouse management system into the drop shipment process so that possibilities of human errors (which are huge because of the multiple steps involved) can be reduced to a minimum by automating repetitive steps. Automated systems will lead to right deliveries at the right time.
Make a plan for reverse logistics
While dealing with product deliveries and inventories, there is the inescapable monster of returned products that will always lurk around the corner. Returned products can be a pain because it requires extra effort and cost to get them back from the customer (in case there is no place available where the product can be dropped) and to get them repaired, repacked and ready for sale. If you have a significant number of such cases just because of the sheer bulk of products traded, you can rope in reverse logistics companies that will specially take care of your rejected products. These companies get the products back from customers, make them fit for resale if possible, and then offer them up on sites with discounts. These products generally fetch good returns.
There are a lot of options in the market when it comes to inventory management related software. As multichannel retailing is the new language of ecommerce, there are meticulous researches going on to generate the best possible solutions. Therefore, keeping a look-out for the latest technology is worth the effort.
Let us know your opinion on multichannel inventory management.