BigCommerce Inventory Management: A Step by step Guide
Both big and small online stores need to have the right inventory management plan and processes in place.
If you monitor your own stock or collaborate with an independent reseller, inventory is a significant financial asset, both in terms of the purchase price and storage cost.
In reality, mismanaged inventory costs retailers billions of dollars annually.
Problems from the vendor, managerial or documentation errors, order refunds, and shoplifting are also possible sources.
The National Retail Federation polled a host of major brands in 2017.
The following article will give you a step-by-step guide on how to keep track of your products. We’ll explain BigCommerce features, introduce tools to help you, and provide helpful advice from industry experts to distinguish generic hurdles.
Table of contents
- What is BigCommerce inventory management?
- Why is BigCommerce inventory management important?
- What is a good Inventory Management Strategy?
- How to set up BigCommerce Inventory Management
- Common mistakes in Inventory Management and how to avoid them
- What BigCommerce tools are there to help you?
What is BigCommerce inventory management?
BigCommerce inventory management is the method of ordering, organizing, and leveraging a company’s inventory.
It covers the storage and handling of raw materials, parts, and finished goods and manages raw materials and finished products.
Balancing the uncertainties of product gluts and shortages is particularly problematic for businesses with diverse supply chains and production processes.
Firms also evolved two main product control approaches to accomplish these balances: just-in-time (JIT) and materials requirement preparation (MRP).
Financial services companies, for example, do not have actual inventory and must focus on service process management.
Why is BigCommerce inventory management important?
Increase accuracy for tracking your inventory
With just over 40% of customers shopping through various outlets, it has become more challenging to keep track of their habits.
Similarly, product monitoring through both of those networks gets more complicated.
Issues may occur, such as systems not coordinating with one another, leading to 15% of inventory inconsistencies in multichannel eCommerce.
Your product management will be on track if you use the right tools and procedures.
Make choices based on statistics
You’re more likely to get overstock and out-of-stock accidents if you don’t keep track of your inventory.
Handle inventory control correctly, and you will gain access to more details. Those inventories and sales data reveal how often, how much, and how rapidly merchandise is sold.
It is also beneficial if you look at customer behavior to assist data-driven decision-making.
This includes updates on individual SKUs’ performance, keeping track of the best and worst-selling brands, and product numbers.
Stock management isn’t all about keeping track of correct stock numbers. It’s all about extracting useful information from all reports and applying it to your company’s objectives.
Work smarter, not harder
Manual stock monitoring, looking for “missing” products, manual inventory changes in eCommerce sites, and dealing with consumer concerns due to inventory mishaps consume a significant amount of employee time.
Streamlining Inventory control in BigCommerce allows you and your staff to be even more efficient.
Third-party applications and warehouse management systems will increase automation even further, reducing the need for manual updates and lowering human error risk.
What is a good Inventory management Strategy?
Analyze Influencing factors
Inventory management aims to reduce the volume of merchandise you have to store while keeping the amount of product you need on hand to satisfy orders.
Having too much inventory in warehouses consumes money, while not having enough goods results in lost sales and a bad consumer experience.
Seasonality may have a significant impact on inventory for many online retailers. Buying a big shipment of swimsuits from a vendor in the winter is a clear example of this.
They’re unlikely to be sold because they’ll take up a lot of storage space. Instead, you should have used the room to store merchandise that was in greater demand at the moment.
Swimsuits should be purchased in the weeks or months leading up to summer, and bulky coats should be ordered in the weeks or months leading up to winter.
Determine who the rivals are and keep a close watch on them. They, like you, are attempting to gain a larger share of the market by lowering costs or launching a new or updated version of a commodity.
It’s an inconvenient reality that when a commodity becomes unfashionable or outdated, demand will rapidly decline.
It’s also not unusual for a market’s tastes and desires to change, affecting demand for a particular product.
Persuasive messaging aims to shift people’s tastes and desires, increasing desire. Keep ahead of the curve by conducting daily industry and consumer analysis.
Knowing your target customers and their tastes will also help you decide which brands to have in stock.
For instance, you can see that relative to the rest of your product, the black edition of a certain T-shirt type has the highest demand.
You’ll be able to have a larger supply of the black variation on hand at all times while keeping a smaller stock of the other shades on hand for those less regular transactions.
The amount of money spent on advertising will have a significant impact on product demand.
On the other hand, your paying advertisements run the risk of having the opposite effect if they don’t have proper targeting and messaging.
Larger promotional budgets can improve, but a costly, lavish advertisement does not always translate into revenue. When done correctly, advertising will influence demand for your inventory.
If you want to run a promotion for the whole store/brand or a single product, make sure you have plenty of the advertised products on hand.
Get your products from quality sources
You should keep a consistent stock of your best-selling items and store them separately from your secondary and less common items.
You will better manage the warehouse and simplify the storage and bin selection process by keeping them apart.
For example, a company’s main product may be notebook computers, but it sells products like portable mice and screen cleaner wipes.
A warehouse or inventory manager would like to ensure that the company’s most essential items are readily available and given top priority.
Daily, they give the laptops prime warehouse real estate, such as being on the first floor, right next to the shipment staging area.
The ability to reliably forecast sales volume based on availability, demand, and seasonality is needed to determine how much room to assign for such inventory and when to keep it on hand.
Carry out research
A retailer can use Google Trends for keyword popularity and trending searches to estimate a product’s current demand, which can help explain how quickly it will sell.
Historical statistics will tell you things like why those goods’ revenue volumes rise or decline at different times of the year. Use the built-in analytics in your control panel for useful sales data, eCommerce Insights, and third-party systems like Google Analytics for still more data.
Get a Timetable
Create a schedule to help you keep track of what you need to have in stock and its position, based on what you heard and what you expect to need. And if the first edition of the calendar doesn’t appear to line up with the current business activities right away, you will modify and refine it with time.
Although you want to have your stock levels consistent depending on consumer demand and seasonal supply, you still want to have stock ready for buyers who buy out of season, someone who loves to take advantage of discounts.
This information would allow you to retain lower demand products in just enough stock and higher demand products in stock at a pace that enables you to keep order delivery running smoothly without creating a surplus.
The scale and location of product storage or housing have a significant effect on your overall management plan.
A continuous loop of merchandise coming in from the vendor/manufacturer and out to the consumer is created by making the correct amount of room available and keeping that space well organized.
In an ideal world, you’d have just enough room to handle your anticipated volume. You’re paying rent for vacant space if you have so much space. Simultaneously, a lack of space prohibits you from taking advantage of unforeseen vendor/supplier discounts or offers, resulting in lost revenue opportunities.
Choosing a warehouse’s location is equally critical, particularly for larger companies that can need several warehouses.
There could be opportunities to reduce the spending overhead by taking advantage of reduced electricity and labor rates in certain regions.
Having a warehouse close to your vendor, seller, or producer will give you an edge over the competition by receiving new goods and shipments ahead of the competition.
A retailer can also recommend locating a warehouse in an environment where supply for their specific commodity is scarce, giving them the chance to fill a market gap.
Third-party logistics companies (or 3PLs) are a growing category of companies that can handle warehousing and other logistical needs.
3PLs will save you time and resources, help you scale your activities, and encourage you to concentrate on your company’s other facets, depending on your business model.
Quick and easy order process
Customer loyalty will increase as products are delivered quickly and accurately.
Analyzing the handshake between the product processing and order fulfillment procedures is one of the first steps to enhance this.
Check out our order processing applications or contact one of our integration partners to see if they can help you scale whether you’re ready to boost or streamline your inventory or order process.
Make use of technology
Technology will free up time and money for you and your staff to work on streamlining and automating operations and reducing the chance of mistakes that come from manually handling processes.
“Respondents listed performing inventory counts (32 percent) and sales order picking (20 percent) as the top two processes that could benefit from mobile technology,” according to NetSuite’s Order Management Strategy for Efficiency and Development.
If you sell online only or have a brick-and-mortar store, many POS systems, such as Square, have barcode scanning functionality that simplifies inventory management.
How to set up BigCommerce Inventory Management
Set Inventory Tracking
BigCommerce helps you to keep track of inventory prices and adjust them as they change.
One product can be constrained by the amount of stock on hand, while another can be programmed to accept orders at all times.
When monitoring is disabled, the commodity is assumed to be constantly visible and always on hand, even though it isn’t.
Inside the files, the device can also have information about the number of sales for each item.
Navigate to Products > View in your BigCommerce dashboard to accomplish this.
By clicking on a product’s name, you can edit it or add a new one. Click the Inventory tab on the Add/Edit Product screen.
Fill in the stock level fields after selecting Track inventory for this commodity.
Stock Level – This indicates how much of a specific commodity you have on hand.
Low Stock Level - This is your par standard if you have a low stock level.
When your inventory levels exceed this level, you’ll get a message that you’re running out of stock.
You can also keep track of inventory by products, which is suitable for items with variations, such as shirts in different colors.
Adjust Out-of-stock Status
An item would inevitably run out of stock. Any retailer will experience it at some point, and it will almost certainly occur several times.
As part of BigCommerce Inventory management, you have the tools to be prepared for the first occurrence, and it allows you to monitor the outcome.
BigCommerce has options for when a commodity runs out of stock. When a product’s inventory hits zero, these settings control what a buyer sees and what they can do next.
Go to Advanced Settings > Inventory to change these settings. This window allows you to specify what happens when a commodity, an option, or stock levels need to be changed when they are out of stock.
When a product is out of stock,
Hide the product completely — This option will hide the product from product listing pages (such as category and brand pages, the featured and current product panels on the homepage) and make the product description page inaccessible to visitors and search engines.
Hide product from product listing pages but leave product page open — This setting will hide the product from product listing pages but leave the product description page accessible to those who know the URL, and search engines will be able to crawl it.
Redirect to category page — With this setting, the product will be removed from product listing pages.
Anyone trying to enter the product specifics page’s unique URL will be routed to the product’s category.
- Don’t do anything — This option keeps the product available on product listing pages and allows access to the specifics tab.
When an option is out of stock
Hide the option — This configuration will remove the feature from the product information page entirely.
Mark the option as out of stock — This option will remain on the product description list, but there will be a visible mark with a slash to signify that it is out of stock.
If a shopper attempts to pick the alternative, the message “The requested product combination is currently unavailable” will pop up.
- Don’t do anything — This option will remain on the product information page, and not the out-of-stock mark will not appear.
If a shopper attempts to select the alternative, the message is as follows: “The selected product combination is currently unavailable.”
When a product is out of stock, you can also allow and configure the out-of-stock message that customers see. In the Stock level display settings, change the post.
Set Order Adjustment Behaviors
The next step in inventory control is to optimize your system as your clients place orders.
This way, once the inventory counts are identified, each commodity sold will be configured correctly.
The third area in the Advanced Inventory > Settings portion regulates Order Adjustment Behaviors.
You have the following options:
- When an order is successfully placed — When an order is completely processed, this setting will change the product’s stock level.
The condition of these orders is “Awaiting Payment” or “Awaiting Fulfillment.”
- When order status is changed to completed or shipped — When an order’s status changes to completed or shipped, this setting will alter the product’s stock level.
If you want to manually check stock levels in the distribution phase before updating stock levels, this is the way to go.
In addition to these, you should check the boxes in the picture above to see if stock amounts are automatically changed while editing, refunding, or canceling an order.
Transparency in Stock levels
BigCommerce inventory management options allow you to choose whether or not to inform consumers of remaining stock quantities. Make use of these options to instill a sense of urgency in the audience.
Creating a sense of urgency during the eCommerce shopping trip, according to GrowCode, will increase conversions by as much as 9%.
For this category, you can adjust Stock Levels in the Inventory settings.
When it comes to changing the Stock Level Display in BigCommerce, you have a few options:
Show stock levels — This option displays the amount of stock on the product details page.
Only show stock levels when stock is low — This setting displays stock levels on the product information tab.
Don’t show stock levels — The package information page will hide stock levels if this option is selected.
Show pre-order inventory — This setting only applies to pre-order items with inventory monitoring available, and it displays stock levels for pre-order products.
Put early warnings for PAR levels
To guarantee you’re never out of stock, the product and inventory manager must keep track of product levels.
When any stock crosses the minimum inventory account you add for products in the inventory settings, BigCommerce inventory management gives you customizable alerts.
When stock counts reach this threshold, an email is sent to the given address, informing you that it’s time to restock.
It’s a good idea to utilize BigCommerce’s pre-order feature to run back-orders of inventory rather than labeling items out of stock.
Tailor the pre-order message to let consumers know the product is on back-order. If you know when a back-ordered item will be available, include the information in your post.
Common mistakes in Inventory Management and how to avoid them
Overloading, on the other hand, is the polar opposite of overselling in terms of inventory.
Rather than having insufficient inventory to fulfill orders, merchants risk buying too much merchandise.
Overordering has a host of drawbacks, including the following:
It consumes a lot of computing space.
Demand for the commodity will dwindle until your inventory is depleted.
It locks up resources that are beneficial elsewhere in the company.
Selling more merchandise than you have on hand is one of the most common problems online retailers face.
If stock levels are incorrect, items can appear to be available when sold out in reality.
Undoubtedly, this creates a negative encounter for the client. They’re just going to cancel the order and go shopping somewhere else at this stage.
Worse, they can leave a negative review or publicly criticize you or your business on social media.
3. Unreasonable Prices
For many companies, pricing is a tricky matter. To ensure that your rates are fair in your industry, you can check your pricing policies regularly.
Out-of-date pricing will cause your goods to remain on the shelves for weeks or months at a time, wasting shelf space and exhausting your operating resources.
4. Poor warehouse management system
Warehouse administrators also struggle to find more effective ways to plan their operations.
Merely rearranging the goods to make them easier to transport will save you thousands of dollars.
Employees sometimes waste too much time searching for an object in the building. Keep in mind, time is money.
Finding out which goods sell the most and placing them near the delivery area so they can be shipped out quickly is a standard alternative. Sales reports should help you figure out which things to keep by the entrance.
Designate a special zone for that commodity depending on its profitability and make it easier to locate.
5. Ineffective inventory check
Many businesses shut down for a day to inspect inventory, resulting in a loss of revenue.
It’s also harder for large manufacturers with sizable catalogs, which can go weeks without making a profit.
This approach is out of date and ineffective. To save the company from closing down production and losing out on revenue, schedule more periodic inventory assessments.
Once you have an online inventory control system, all this headache will disappear. A dependable framework in our App Marketplace would keep you up to date in real-time on the status of your inventory.
Inventory processing is time-consuming, so having a simplified approach — ideally, including a reliable method — can significantly minimize errors and boost processes, resulting in additional revenues.
6. Human error
One of the most common misjudgments by vendors is relying on empirical information when making decisions.
They might remember something as trendy based on personal experience, but they do not analyze actual sales/return data to provide a more holistic, reliable view.
Mistakes are unavoidable, so with a consistent training schedule for your staff, you will reduce their frequency and effect.
Every six months, having staff dealing with inventory go through a refresher course will help detect uncertainty in existing procedures and provide an incentive to brainstorm changes and share recommendations.
What BigCommerce tools are there to help you?
A few helpful apps for your business
Brightpearl connects your sales orders, shipping, inventory management, billing, monitoring and preparation, warehousing, maintenance, and more, and it’s interconnected with all of your sales networks.
The app accommodates peak trade efficiently as well as interacts with the complete retail innovation ecosystem. With its omnichannel-native features, a recording system that offers critical trading results, real-time trading analytics, you can remain in charge and navigate by exception.
Brightpearl’s industry-leading BigCommerce adapter effectively handles high order volumes and growing retail or wholesale operations dynamics.
Brightpearl’s benefits have enabled our merchants to increase sales by 60%, order volume by 68%, and delivery times by 13% on average year over year.
2. Google, Amazon, eBay & Walmart Channel Cloud by Codisto
Codisto Channel Cloud is a BigCommerce app that combines a Google channel, an Amazon channel, an eBay channel, and a Walmart channel into one excellent app.
Channel Cloud is an application listing service and a full-featured multichannel solution that syncs real-time inventory and pricing from BigCommerce.
Other BigCommerce multichannel selling tools require you to import your existing product page to their platform.
But with Channel Cloud powering your eBay, Google, Walmart, and Amazon integration, you can connect to all of their global marketplaces and sales channels directly from BigCommerce, giving you complete control.
AVADA is an eCommerce-specific email and SMS marketing automation tool designed to help small businesses grow without adding to their workload. One-click BigCommerce shop integration, pre-built workflows, and intuitive drag-and-drop editing make it simple to get up and running without getting overwhelmed in the minutiae.
Over 50,000 eCommerce companies use AVADA to expand their businesses automatically by attracting consumers with easy-to-create, highly-relevant emails and texts.
If you work in the E-commerce industry as a service provider, you should be aware of how taking advance of digital tools will impact your business and the organizational performance you oversee.
Spreadsheets and accounting platforms were not intended to run a storage facility, and they would only help you expand your company to a certain extent.
Isn’t it the case that you don’t want to get in the way of your own accomplishment?
For “New Age” online distribution companies like yours, BigCommerce offers plenty of choices on tracking systems and applications.
Your company needs solid intelligence and data regarding buying and revenue records to maximize inventory distribution.
You should schedule and conduct product movements through several locations in this manner, ensuring that you get the best out of your stocks