Achieve Effective Multi-Channel Inventory Management for Shopify

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By Jessica Hughes
Head and shoulders photo of Michelle Meyer
Reviewed by Michelle Meyer

Published August 19, 2022.

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Inventory management by itself is undoubtedly hard to monitor, but what about multi-channel inventory management?

Keeping track of your inventory across multiple channels is so challenging most of the time that a multitude of organizations have stepped up. They're focusing on the implementation of best practices and automation software to help you keep everything under control.

This article will explore what multi-channel inventory management is as well as some of the best software to enable you and your customers to get the most out of your Shopify experience.

What Is Multi-Channel Inventory Management?

Multi-channel inventory management (also known as multi-source inventory) is very similar to standard inventory management with one notable exception: your inventory could be located anywhere around the world and sold through many different channels. This includes retail stores, wholesalers, marketplaces, e-commerce, and warehouses.

Multi-Channel Inventory Management in Practice

Let's say you have an e-commerce storefront on Shopify and decide to sell computer equipment at an affordable price. Inventory management and order fulfillment are fairly easy to keep track of because there are only mouse and keyboard combo sets listed for sale and all customer orders come through Shopify.

Soon you decide to expand your inventory to include monitor screens. You also start to dream about selling your products everywhere and decide to set up additional storefronts on other platforms: Etsy, eBay, and Amazon. Before long, a large number of orders come through all the platforms, making it suddenly exponentially more difficult to track stock levels.

For example, if you have 25 mouse and keyboard combo sets ready to sell, you could set your inventory to 25 on all your storefronts. However, you're now at risk of overselling. You can try to keep track of everything manually with a spreadsheet, but if you want to keep up with demand, you're either going to have to write a whole lot quicker or adopt a new solution.

That new solution is multi-channel inventory management.

Best Practices for Multi-Channel Inventory Management on Shopify

You want to get the best out of your Shopify storefront—for both you and your customers so that they'll keep coming back for more. Below are some of the best practices to implement for multi-channel management on Shopify:

Perform Regular Audits

Regularly check and double-check your inventory to prevent either overselling or ordering in too much supply for the demand you have. Correct inventory metrics will ensure other calculations such as your inventory to sales ratio provides you with the correct analysis.

Eliminate Manual Processes

If your store is doing well and your inventory is flying off the shelves, it's not possible to write down all the information needed fast enough. To keep up with high demand and bulk edit your inventory, you have to upgrade to something more automated.

Use the Right Inventory Management Integration for You

Find the right inventory management integration solution for you and your setup. A wide variety of inventory management apps are available and not all of them will provide the same functions and benefits.

Multi-Channel Inventory Management Software for Shopify

As previously mentioned, if you want to keep up with high demand, you're going to have to adopt some form of automation. To that end, here are a few of the top-rated apps that you can integrate into your Shopify store with ease:

  • Multichannel Importer by CedCommerce has 5 stars out of 537 reviews. It imports from eBay, Amazon, and Etsy and has a free plan available.
  • LitCommerce Multichannel Sync by LitCommerce has 4.5 stars to its name. Additionally, it boasts an easy integration and allows you to import and sell on a variety of platforms including Etsy, Amazon, and eBay.

Conclusion

Multi-channel inventory management is an extremely useful practice because it introduces more automation to your inventory management, thereby ensuring you don't over- or under-order inventory and removing the risk of overselling across multiple platforms.

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