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Inventory management: Using real-time data to optimize inventory levels and minimize waste.

How leveraging real-time inventory data can help businesses streamline operations and boost profitability.

In the world of e-commerce, managing inventory is a crucial aspect of running a successful business. Having the right amount of inventory on hand can mean the difference between meeting customer demand and losing out on sales. On the other hand, having too much inventory can lead to waste, increased storage costs, and decreased profitability. That's why utilizing real-time data to optimize inventory levels is key to success. 

Real-time inventory data.

Real-time inventory data refers to the accurate and up-to-date information about the availability of products in a business's inventory system. This data is constantly updated as products are sold, returned, or received into the inventory system, and it provides a real-time snapshot of the products that are available for sale at any given moment. In an e-commerce business, real-time inventory data can be utilized in several ways, including: 

  1. Accurate product availability: Real-time inventory data ensures that customers have access to accurate product availability information while browsing your online store, which enhances the customer experience.  

  2. Efficient order fulfilment: Real-time inventory data can help you streamline your order fulfilment process by providing visibility into the availability of products in your inventory. This allows you to quickly identify which products are available to fulfil orders and prioritize them accordingly. 

  3. Inventory management: Real-time inventory data can be used to optimize your inventory management processes. By tracking inventory levels in real-time, you can identify which products are selling quickly and which ones are slow-moving, allowing you to adjust your inventory levels accordingly. 

  4. Demand forecasting: Real-time inventory data can also be used to predict future demand for products. By analysing historical sales data and current inventory levels, you can identify trends and patterns that can help you forecast demand and adjust your inventory levels accordingly. 

Inventory management systems.

Inventory management systems are software solutions designed to help businesses manage their inventory levels, track product movement, and automate key inventory-related processes. These systems typically include features such as real-time inventory tracking, order management, purchase order creation, and demand forecasting. Statistics show that businesses that invest in inventory management systems are more likely to succeed.

According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, companies that utilize real-time inventory data achieve an average 10% increase in inventory accuracy and a 20% reduction in inventory-related costs. 

Businesses need an inventory management system for several reasons:

  • First, an inventory management system helps businesses track their inventory levels in real-time, ensuring that they always have the right products on hand to meet customer demand. It also helps businesses avoid overstocking or understocking, which can lead to lost sales or excess inventory costs. 

  • Second, an inventory management system can help businesses optimize their order fulfillment processes. By automating key inventory-related processes, such as order picking and packing, businesses can reduce errors and improve efficiency. 

  • Finally, an inventory management system can help businesses make more informed decisions about their inventory levels and purchasing decisions. By providing real-time inventory data and demand forecasting, businesses can adjust their inventory levels to meet changing customer demand and avoid stockouts. 

Commercetools and BigCommerce offer powerful e-commerce platforms that can help businesses manage their inventory more effectively. With commercetools' modern, API-first approach to e-commerce, businesses can easily integrate real-time inventory data into their workflows and automate inventory management tasks. BigCommerce's platform also provides robust inventory management capabilities, including real-time inventory tracking, automated reordering, and customizable low-stock alerts.   

With an inventory management system in place, businesses can effectively manage their inventory across multiple channels, such as online marketplaces, physical stores, and social media platforms. This allows them to have a centralized view of their inventory levels, reduce the risk of overselling or stockouts, and ensure timely and accurate fulfillment of orders. Additionally, an inventory management system can provide valuable insights into customer demand and sales trends, enabling businesses to make data-driven decisions to optimize their inventory and improve their overall omnichannel strategy.