Who doesn’t cringe a little bit at the thought of taking inventory? In retail, it’s critical to track goods sold, know what’s in the store, and manage stock in back rooms and warehouses. Manual inventory processes can be a nightmare, requiring extra labor, costing valuable time, and increasing the likelihood of human error. Retail inventory management software can remove many of these pain points to help you save money and increase profits.
Retail inventory management software — particularly a cloud-based system that is integrated with your point of sale (POS) system (traditional or mobile) and paired with barcode, QR code, or RFID technology — has several major benefits:
- Greater accuracy
Inventory processes involving physical counts and coordinating Excel spreadsheets with purchase orders and sales reports are not only time-consuming and labor-intensive, but often inaccurate. Manual data entry introduces too many human errors. Incorrect counts can result in running out of stock, which often means lost sales when customers can’t find what they want. Automating processes with retail inventory management software will give you a much better picture of what you have, where it is, and what you need.
- Greater insight
Having a more precise accounting of exactly what should be on hand can help reduce another major cause of lost revenue: employee theft. According to the 2015 US Retail Fraud Survey, retailers lost $60 billion to shrinkage that year, and 38% of respondents said the biggest area of store loss was employee theft. Tighter inventory control helps retailers spot problems sooner so they can put a stop to them.
- Increased efficiency across multiple channels
Retail inventory management software can integrate seamlessly with your POS and accounting systems, syncing data from your physical stores and your e-commerce platform in real time. With cloud-based software, the data is available from virtually anywhere, any time. Sales associates can check for stock at their location or other locations with mobile devices in-store, and owners can keep track of sales, costs, and discounts across all operations.
- The ability to forecast
With retail inventory management software, you can generate reports on past sales to chart peaks and troughs of customer demand for particular items. You’ll have a better idea of what is selling well, and when, enabling you to make more informed purchasing decisions and increase inventory turnover. This information can help you avoid an overabundance of stock that isn’t selling, which takes up valuable storage space and may have to be discounted or donated just to get rid of it. And you can avoid running out of stock on hot sellers.
Don’t lose time, customers and revenue to inaccurate inventory data. Retail inventory management software makes having a reliable inventory count much easier, and it helps ensure that your customers will always find the right items in the right places at the right times to maximize sales.