How to Manage Your Shopify Inventory Better

Kelli Harris
By Kelli Harris
Joel Taylor
Reviewed by Joel Taylor

Updated July 7, 2023.

Woman working on a laptop and tablet

If you run a shop on Shopify, you probably want to get the most out of your inventory, which means managing your stock carefully and efficiently. "Shopify inventory" is the term used to describe the products sold and stored through the Shopify platform. Inventory management in Shopify refers to the process of organizing inventory along the supply chain.

How to Manage Inventory in Shopify

When a merchant signs up for a Shopify account, they are provided with access to a hosted e-commerce store as well as a suite of tools to manage how Shopify works.

Shopify inventory is broken down into two categories: products and variants. Products are the main items sold and stored in a Shopify account, while variants are specific versions of a product, such as the colors and sizes.

Utilizing Shopify inventory management helps you minimize the cost of holding inventory by helping you determine when it's time for products to be replenished or to buy more materials to manufacture them.

Inventory Tracking

Shopify has a built-in inventory management system that helps you manage your Shopify merchandising and keep track of sales. The inventory area of Shopify allows you to track and view inventory while adjusting inventory levels. You are able to view the history of inventory adjustments for Shopify-tracked products and variants using this feature.

You need accurate inventory in your Shopify store for your customers to place orders. To view or adjust inventory levels for a product, you must first set up inventory tracking. Shopify lets you track inventory history for products up to 90 days in the past.

Follow these steps to enable inventory tracking:

  1. Go to Products in your Shopify admin.
  2. Select the product you want to track by clicking on the name.
  3. If the product has variants, select the variant you want to track.
  4. In the Inventory section, select Track quantity.
  5. Check the box Continue selling when out of stock if you want consumers to be able to buy the item even if it's out of stock.
  6. Enter the quantity information for each site in the Quantity section.
  7. Click Save.

Please note:

If you add or edit a variant for the online store and check Continue selling when out of stock, you can sell products even if your inventory is zero or less. Deselecting this option will prevent customers from purchasing the product since you do not want to sell an out-of-stock product.

» Learn what causes the "Inventory not tracked" message in Shopify and how to avoid it

Managing Out-of-Stock Inventory

Running out of stock is a common problem for Shopify sellers, and here are four strategies for managing out-of-stock items:

1. Move Out-of-Stock Products to the Bottom of Your Collections

An effective strategy to manage out-of-stock inventory is to simply move it to the bottom of your collection.

Unfortunately, there is no built-in way to do this in the Shopify admin. However, there are several third-party apps, like our own Out-of-Stock Police, that can handle it for you automatically.

Out-of-Stock Police

4.8/5(155 reviews)

2. Hide Out-of-Stock Products

Hiding products from your Shopify store until you are ready to sell again can be accomplished in a few easy steps. Here's how you do it:

  1. Go to your Shopify Admin and click Products.
  2. Select Product List.
  3. Select the product that you want to edit.
  4. If you are adding a new product, select Add a product.
  5. Under the visibility section, do not check Online Store if you want to hide the product.

3. Forecast Your Inventory

The goal of inventory forecasting is to predict future demand for products and ensure that the correct level of stock is available to meet that demand instead of trying to keep selling when out of stock. Several different methods can be used to predict future demand. The most common method is trend analysis, which involves studying past sales data to identify patterns and trends. Other methods include market analysis, consumer surveys, and sales forecasting.

Apps like Out-of-Stock Police let you view statistics per collection and create custom reporting thresholds to know exactly when to replenish stock.

4. Add a "Sold Out" Badge

You can include a badge indicating that the item is "sold out." This allows your customers to immediately determine the availability of your merchandise.

» Learn the difference between sold out and out of stock

Syncing Inventory Between Multiple Shopify Stores

Creating and maintaining an online store is a cinch with Shopify. Shopify inventory management, on the other hand, may quickly become a source of frustration for business owners with multiple shops.

Fortunately, with apps like Multi-Store Sync Power, it is possible to sync your Shopify inventory in real time. Your inventory will automatically update across all shop locations when you make changes, including adding or removing products.

Multi‑Store Sync Power

4.6/5(116 reviews)

» Is your inventory spread across multiple locations? Automate your multi-channel inventory management with the best Shopify apps

Key Takeaways for Effective Shopify Inventory Management

To summarize, efficient inventory management is crucial for the success of your Shopify store. By implementing the strategies mentioned, you can maintain optimal inventory levels, reduce costs, and ensure a seamless shopping experience for your customers.

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