Best practices for E-Commerce inventory management

Managing inventory is a valuable aspect of any eCommerce business that you must take into consideration. This means that you need to keep track of your products and orders and update them as necessary. If you do this properly, you will make your eCommerce business more effective. And not only that, but you will also provide a better shopping experience for your customers. Managing inventory is not an easy task to do but there are certain things that can help you. There will always be some changes happening in regards to your products such as descriptions, prices, inventory levels, dispatching, etc. In order to keep things updated, there are some tools that you can use to make the job easier.  These include ERP and CRM systems, different integrations, and more.
Using an ERP System
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and this kind of software tool allows you to better manage your products. The benefits of using an ERP system include easier tracking of orders, receipts, inventory, and other processes related to eCommerce. Overall, an ERP can help your business to be more effective by providing you with updated info about products and accounting. If you use an ERP for your eCommerce business, this will also help you to make certain processes automated. As a result, you will be better able to plan your actions and make better predictions. In addition, this may create the need for making integrations that would be specific to your needs. These integration requirements may be of different kinds but there are some that arise more often.
Integrating Your eCommerce Website and ERP System
One type of integration is that you are able to connect your eCommerce website to the ERP system. When done right, you should only need to enter some data once and have that info be available in both places. Integrating your store with an ERP will not only help you but your customers as well. The information about your products and prices will be available to both your employees and customers. As your business grows, there will be more transactions going on, so having ERP integration will make things easier. This is because the data on important things such as your orders, products, customers, or dispatching will be present on the two systems. If you automate the eCommerce processes in regards to orders and products, this will help you with managing inventory:
  • You won’t have to spend as much time on updating the information on both systems. Doing it manually is an exhausting task.
  • This also saves you money because you won’t have to hire more people to do that task when your business grows.
  • Also, the time you don’t waste on manually updating information can be used in better ways. You will be more available to your customers and fulfilling their needs faster.
  • And the money you save by not having to hire more people to do the updates manually can be invested in other aspects of your business. For example, you can invest more in marketing which in turn could lead to bigger profits and more success overall.
  • You will reduce the number of errors in regards to your products and orders. You will be less likely to have improper product descriptions or wrong dispatching addresses.
 
Big Marketplaces Integration
Of course, other than selling your products on your own eCommerce website, you should also consider making them available on big marketplaces like Amazon & eBay. This could help you to reach more potential customers and increase your sales. However, it may also complicate things in regards to making integrations with your online store and ERP system. On that note, keep in mind that our tool SyncSpider is designed to handle exactly these types of processes. It’s a universal middleware specialized for eCommerce that is able to connect your local ERP software, webshops, marketplaces, and more. Unlike with plugins, SyncSpider won’t crack under pressure when your business grows. Using it to connect tools is easy and we can also help you with doing integrations if needed.
Using a CRM System
CRM stands for customer relationship management, which is another important aspect of any eCommerce business. If you use CRM software, this will help you to organize the data in regards to your customers. In addition, you will be better able to keep track of new opportunities in terms of making sales. In other words, a CRM system will improve your interactions with your customers. The first thing that comes to mind when speaking of interactions with customers is making sales and offering services. However, if you keep track of the information related to your customers, you will be able to see some patterns emerging. From there, you can better predict the needs of your customers and provide them with a better shopping experience. This could mean more success for you.
Keeping Track of Customer Data
CRM software will help you to keep track of customer data such as personal details, information about their accounts, potential leads, and more. What’s great is that this data would be available across your company so that your stuff could conveniently access it. This will vastly improve the workflow of your employees, and allow them to better focus on filling the needs of your customers. If you improve the operations of your eCommerce business with a CRM system, this will benefit you in multiple ways. On the one hand, you will know your customers better and be able to get the attention of new ones. You will also improve the chances of your current customers continuing to buy from you in the future. In addition, your customer support will be improved which is important.
Other Benefits of Using a CRM System
When you keep a good track of your customer data, this will allow you to better construct your marketing efforts. You can create adequate campaigns and attract new potential leads. CRM software could also help you with the overview of your sales funnel. As a result, you will have better chances to increase your conversion rate. Moreover, you will have less trouble managing orders. This is because the CRM system also helps with things like placing and processing orders, as well as tracking and dispatching. On that note, remember that what may often happen is for a person to put something in their cart but without proceeding to checkout. So, once you have data on this, you could look for solutions such as sending reminders. This too could increase your conversion rate. Similar to ERP systems, if you implement CRM software this can help your employees to save valuable time. The way it works is by automating a lot of processes in regards to administrative tasks. Furthermore, CRM could be of great help when it comes to keeping track of payment data. Meaning, you will have easier time managing bills, and solving issues such as a failed payment.
CRM Integration
Earlier, we talked about the importance of integrating your eCommerce website and ERP system and making your products available on big marketplaces. We also explained how this integration could pose problems that our tool SyncSpider can solve. Well, if you include a CRM system into the mix, SyncSpider could be of further help. What happens is that when you receive an order from your online store, SyncSpider will automatically notify your ERP that you have one product less. It will also give customer data to your CRM and provide you with a chance to make an upsell. And if you also have your products on big marketplaces like Amazon & eBay, updating your stock will be easy.
Using CSV Files
CSV stands for comma-separated values, and using this type of files can be of help with managing inventory. CSV files are simple and very easy to create and edit. They are reminiscent of spreadsheets and make use of data in a tabular format. CSV files are very convenient when it comes to storing bigger amounts of data. This can include information about your customers and orders. In regards to your products, CSV files can be used for editing product names and prices. Also, you could use them for creating lists of products. Once a CSV file is ready, it can easily be imported and exported as needed. From there, it won’t be hard for people to access it and read it. Downloading CSV files won’t take long either, because they’re fairly small in size. In general, CSV files are awesome for making edits on a large scale in regards to your products and prices. However, you shouldn’t rely on them for making backups. They’re more useful when it comes to transferring data and you can also use them for making customer lists.  Overall, they could help you with organizing information in regards to your inventory and costumers, so do consider them.
Using APIs
API stands for application programming interface, and using one could help you with sharing data between different applications. They could also help you to provide a better shopping experience for your customers. There are several types of APIs and here are some of them:
  • Product Application API – This kind of API is excellent for obtaining information about your products from a larger database. This can include things like product descriptions, specifications, images, number of items available, prices, etc.
  • Catalog API – When you’re into selling products, you will likely have some of them listed in different catalogs. Using a Catalog API will help you in this regard by making it easier to organize your catalogs of items.
  • Social Proof API – Social proof is a very important aspect of any eCommerce business. If your products receive great reviews, this could prompt other people to make a purchase as well. Social media can be a good source for such reviews, and Social Proof APIs allow you to showcase things like your Twitter feed on your website.
  • Price Comparison API – The pricing of your products is something that any potential customer is going to consider. And when it comes to eCommerce, you’re likely to have a competition that is selling similar products as yours. This kind of API could help you to see how your product prices compare to those of the competition.
  • Site Search API – This one can help if you’re selling a large number of products that fall under all sorts of different categories. You wouldn’t want your customers to get confused and possibly miss out on some of your products. Their shopping experience will be better if they can easily search for items. And this kind of API helps with exactly that.
 
Conclusion
Managing inventory and customer information is definitely not an easy task to do. However, it is important that you do your best if you want your online business to be more successful. In this article, we have offered information that can help you in this regard. We have explained the importance of using an ERP system in addition to your eCommerce website and integrating the two. Same goes for making your products available on big marketplaces and reaching more customers. Speaking of your customers, we have also explained why you should consider using a CRM system. It will help you to keep track of data about them and improve their shopping experience. Next, we’ve covered the usefulness of CSV files, which are excellent when it comes to organizing large amounts of data. Finally, we have discussed APIs and how using these can help you with managing inventory and making things easier for both you and your customers. As you can see, managing inventory and updating your products in a timely and precise manner is crucial. On that note, remember that our tool SyncSpider is designed so that you can update all of your products at the same time. This includes your own eCommerce website but also big marketplaces like Amazon & eBay. SyncSpider is very easy to use middleware that allows you to connect your tools and solutions under one roof.

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