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Managing multichannel inventory

You may be selling through your own website, via marketplaces or even through multiple platforms across multiple territories. But however you’re selling, you need to keep a close eye on your inventory

Mangaing inventory

Overselling is bad news for your metrics and it gives the customer a negative experience of your brand before you've had the chance to engage with them. Ensuring that you never lose an order due to stock is something that should be a high priority, especially during the highly competitive Peak period.

And the best way to achieve this is with a buffer – setting your inventory to show as slightly lower than what you actually have in stock – unless you can be absolutely confident you can fulfil down to the very last unit.

For example, if your import from eBay is hourly and your import from Amazon is every 15 minutes, then you might want to lower your available to sell stock on eBay as you could have sold more via Amazon by the time your eBay update comes through.

Multichannel software can be easily used to set buffers so you can have different ones for each channel or even product type. A multi SKU product doesn’t need to have the same buffer as a single SKU item as the chances of everyone purchasing the same size at the same time is less likely. So, if you sell shoes and bags - you should set the available stock lower on the bags than the shoes as a bag in one colour will sell out faster than a pair of shoes in 6 sizes.

You can also tailor your range to sell different products via different channels. Again this can be easily done via multichannel software using business rules. You will need a way of separating the products whether that be via category, season, type etc. so it highlights the needs to have a comprehensive set of accurate data on each product.

This would be useful if you sell on eBay UK and say, also in Australia. You may want to block your winter items from listing on Australia, to help stay within your listing limits and ensure you have space to list all your summer focused products.

Once you go into a sale period you can remove the buffers to clear through all the stock, but it might be worth a stock check to make sure no units have been misplaced in the warehouse or storage facility.

Keep in mind these simple steps and make sure that your customers never need to look elsewhere.

Lorna Beament E: lorna.beament@gs1uk.org
T: 0207 092 3532
 @lornabeams




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