Running an online marketplace might sound like a simple job but be sure it has far more intricacies than it shows. If you ever decide to do something like that without proper planning, you will be jammed between government laws and growing customer expectations for a better buying experience.
StoreHippo can help you easily manage your marketplace without worrying about managing your inventory and such operations.
There is more to managing a marketplace than it seems from the outside
Only stocking inventory and creating an online storefront is not a turnkey solution. StoreHippo enables you to take care of every nuance there is regarding your online marketplace. You can focus on operations like order management, inventory handling, logistics, finances, marketing, etc.
These issues have to be approached upon with complete focus or else, not giving enough attention to them may lead to loss of time, money and resources. When you have an extensive inventory of different products, warehouses, and a big team, it's essential to be in sync with the entire process going on at different levels.
Managing your stock needs a proper understanding
The success of an online marketplace depends directly on your delivery. You ought to deliver the right product to the right buyer without fail, without delay. If you are starting in the world of online ecommerce, then there are some fundamentals you should know.
1. Organize your stock accurately
It's a complete no brainer that the first step to doing this is assigning Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) to your products. SKUs are unique identifiers allocated to each of your product to optimize the fulfilment and shipping process. You can assign SKUs as per your choice, but they are usually classified based on the product line, brand, etc. Building an efficient inventory management practice means basically to have an organized and straightforward system in practice.
2. Concentrate on Inventory Types
To guarantee a fluent workflow and reduce waste of time, you should have a precise understanding of the product type you are selling on your marketplace. Following are the major product types that online marketplace sellers usually deal with:
- Item: A regular product/object with ordinary storage or shipping plans.
- Case pack: A crate or package of same/similar items kept together. Such packages need special attention during storage or handling.
- Assembly: These items require assembly. They comprise of multiple parts and need proper assembly before shipping. All such things that can supplement each other while assembly, should be kept in the same section in storage.
- Family: These are the products that have variants in colour and size but belong to the same line. All such items have to be grouped accordingly.
3. There is more to Demand Forecasting
Analyzing historical figures and using other demand forecasting methods can limit negative sales results like stockouts. Carefully following your sales analytics to pinpoint the reason behind the rise and fall in demand for your product can help your online marketplace in the long run. You can also take into account variations like the season, location, etc. and consumer behaviour impacting the sales of your product.
4. Always have a contingency plan ready at your disposal
No one can foretell demand 100% accurately all the time, not even experts. There will come a time when even a small random incident will upset even the most airtight plan. You should be smart and always have a backup plan. For example, you should always have a surplus inventory of products that are the best selling in your online marketplace.
5. Make sure correct data is being fed into the system
Any way you manage it internally, inventory management ultimately involves numbers and data on the surface. Even tiny miscalculations can have a drastic influence on your business. One of the ordinary but easily avoidable mistakes include adding multiple SKUs into a single slot and counting case packs as a separate item instead of the individual pieces.
If you get these basics right to manage your inventory, your online marketplace will gain a firm status in the market.
"How?" Do you ask?
It's straightforward. There are several simple solutions in the market which can help you run your multi-seller marketplace and manage its inventory with ease.
Why use a marketplace inventory management software?
A thriving marketplace involves more than the listing of products on different channels. It demands adequate marketplace inventory management software too. You might face challenges in some of the factors like orders, inventory, shipping or accounting if you're not using an online marketplace software.
Following are some benefits of the same:
1. You can control your full inventory at your fingertips
No matter where you sell your products using ecommerce platforms like StoreHippo or any other solution, you can manage your inventory at your fingertips at all times and from anywhere.
2. Spend less time and money on managing inventory
You can free yourself up and automate every operation covered under inventory management. Online marketplace software enables you to run the entire sales process in just a few clicks. You can extend your reach without going through the administrative pain.
3. Manage proper stock levels
An online marketplace software lets you keep track of the inventory and alerts you for stock orders and replenishment automatically. These types of software aid you to dodge the risk of overstocking and stockouts.
4. Management of perishable products
If you are selling perishable products such as food items or daily groceries, to improve efficiency, it is essential to know about the products with impending expiration dates. Inventory management software can help you to limit product deterioration, increase the profitability by tracking the stock and shipments as per their expiration dates.
5. Grow your business without worrying about the operational hassle
Inventory management software can help your business grow in a manageable fashion. You also get the tools to explore new opportunities for your business across new channels, and in international markets. All this is achieved from a single platform.
Do you see it?
How using a turnkey solution to manage your online marketplace and its inventory can make your life easier? Not only that, efficiency and profitability increase a lot.
But do remember, don't just take off to buy off inventory management willy-nilly. There are some considerations you need to keep in mind as a user.
Ask yourself the right questions
- How much will it cost?
- Is it simple and easy to use?
- What features it has to offer?
- Which and with how many channels does it integrate?
- What kind of businesses use such software?
- Have businesses benefited by using such online marketplace software? How?
StoreHippo can help you answer all the above questions to your satisfaction, then you can explore it to check whether it suits your business or not.
When it comes to the ecommerce business, inventory management is critical. The showrunners need to keep an adequate inventory providing to the demands of the customers.
Inventory management is essential as it lets you properly manage and track your online marketplace inventory. It enables you to handle it & notify the customers regarding product availability properly.
By doing so, you can guarantee that you have the maximum number of the products that you intend to sell without stocking out.
Many ecommerce platforms on the market can help you run an online marketplace and manage its inventory efficiently. You can sign up for their trial versions and check them out for yourselves.