When running an online store, you need to ensure that your store inventory is well-managed. Many Shopify stores deprioritize inventory management and end up with too many products of a specific variant. Your store inventory must be optimized to ensure that you keep your costs low and to avoid losing sales due to stockouts.
34% of businesses have shipped an order late because they inadvertently sold a product that was not in stock. Such issues on your Shopify store would result in fewer shoppers returning to your store due to poor customer experience.
We understand the importance of optimizing store inventory. To help you manage your store inventory better, we have 5 best practices you can implement instantly to ensure better inventory management.
5 Best Practices to Optimize Store Inventory and Improve Customer Experience
1. Capture purchase intent for out of stock items and upcoming products
Stockouts are, to an extent, unavoidable. You can plan your store inventory to ensure your products are stocked up. However, delays and errors could cause you to face stockouts for products from time to time. This doesn’t mean you should just let shoppers leave your store because the product they were interested in was out of stock!
Set up Back in Stock Alerts to let shoppers subscribe to stocked out products and be alerted when the item is back in stock. Shoppers can choose the communication channel through which they would like to receive back in stock messages. Once the item is back in stock, shoppers will receive an automated message and they can come back to purchase the item. See how Tesla enabled back-in-stock alerts on their store.
Besides, notifying about out of stock products, you can also use this feature to hype a product launch and capture shoppers interested in the new product.
Install Back in Stock – Restock Alerts app to set up back-in-stock alerts on your Shopify store and capture interested shoppers.
2. Monitor product sales with analytics
You need to be able to identify low stock and overstocked products at all times. With this information, you can pause restocks for overstocked items and focus on promoting them to bring in more sales.
To do this, you need a holistic view of which products are popular on which channels. Shopify analytics apps like RevTap are built to provide such specific data. RevTap identifies which products are popular via each channel, giving you a detailed report that you can analyze and turn into actionables.
For instance, you may find that overstocked products were selling via ads when they were promoted during a short period of time. You can use this information to set up ads for these products or share them on social.
3. Use Shopify POS to monitor inventory online and in-store
If you sell online and at a physical store, you can manage your inventory in one place with Shopify POS. Shopify POS helps you manage your inventory online and in-store and view your sales conversions in one integrated dashboard. This helps you streamline store management and manage customers, orders, and inventory without having to deal with multiple sales dashboards.
With this, you can keep a close eye on your inventory so that you can plan your in-store inventory based on which products sell better in physical stores. You can also arrange your products on your online store according to how they sell on your online storefront.
4. Share overstocked products on social media and within marketing messages
You can set up processes to avoid overstocking products. But what about products that are already overstocked in your inventory? We suggest setting up multiple marketing campaigns and messages surrounding these products. Share these products on social media or via email to subtly push them on your shoppers. You can write copy that highlights the products’ benefits or creates exclusivity, letting shoppers know it’s their ‘last chance’ to get the items.
If you find that these products aren’t selling at all, you can even run a small sale to give these products more visibility and give shoppers the much-needed incentive to shop. Once you’ve added a discount, you can display these items on your storefront for better visibility.
5. Do a weekly audit
Besides setting up different tactics and processes, it’s also important to have a system to implement them. You may have plans to analyze your inventory but without a set weekly time, you’re sure to forget it.
Ensure that you’ve blocked your calendar once a week to do an inventory audit. You can use this hour to do a few tasks:
- Look at low stock items and send messages to your team to stock up those items.
- Pinpoint overstocked items and pause new orders for them.
- Talk to your marketing team and let them know which products to promote on social and via ads.
- Run discounts on products that aren’t selling at all.
Rearrange products on your storefront based on which products aren’t selling/ aren’t visible to store visitors.
Optimize Your Store Inventory to Reduce Costs and Improve Customer Experience
We hope these 5 best practices help you optimize your store inventory and ensure you aren’t spending more than you need to for your inventory management. By managing your stockouts, monitoring overstocked items, and setting up a process for inventory management, you can improve customer experience and reduce inventory costs.
Stockouts, especially, is a problem that negatively impacts store sales. Shoppers will leave your store if the products they are interested in are unavailable. You can lower drop-offs and bring back these shoppers with Back in Stock Alerts.
Once set up, shoppers can subscribe to unavailable products via channels like email, SMS, web push, and Facebook Messenger. Once the item is back in stock, shoppers will be notified automatically, bringing them back to successfully make a purchase.
Install Back in Stock – Restock Alerts app to ensure you don’t lose sales to stockouts.