You’ve decided to open an online store, also known as
“ecommerce,” and after weeks of preparation you’re getting ready
for the final countdown. You’ve selected which products you’re
going to sell and you’re in the process of setting up a website
as well as figuring out which forms of payments to take, finding
suppliers and so much more – all important tasks, necessary to
getting the word out there on your brand.
But – what are you doing about managing your inventory? You’re
going to have to have enough stock on hand to quickly fulfill
customer orders without over-buying from suppliers. How will you
track your products once you’ve started selling?
In the not-so-good old days, tracking inventory usually meant
dealing with the drudgery of spreadsheets and rows and columns
of products – and a lot of time lost from actually running the
business. Time is money and losing time spent on manually
entering scores of products, updating sales and reorders as well
as activities at warehouses and other shipping locations is
neither cost-effective nor a productive use of your time.
Here are a few reasons why having top-notch ecommerce inventory
management software is so important:
A good inventory management system helps track items as they
sell so you’ll know when to place orders with suppliers
before you run out and risk having unhappy customers. For
manufacturers, this can mean being able to create
production-related documents, such as a bill of materials
and work orders.
At the same time, you want to avoid over-buying and
stocking, tying up money and space when resources need to be
Your inventory management software also needs to be able to
track deliveries – a critical component of any ecommerce
business. (And it would really help if it integrated
seamlessly into your shipping management software – but
we’ll get to that a little later.)
To summarize, your software needs to be able to perform these
- Product categories organization
Track sales and purchase orders (POs)
Automatically order new stock while reducing overall
Your inventory management software should be easy for
non-tech employees to learn, without expensive and
time-consuming training sessions.
As a new user, remember that your budget, the size of your
business and related factors are the determinations of what
type of inventory management software to choose.
With Ordoro’s user-friendly and comprehensive real-time
ecommerce inventory management software the above tasks can be
easily performed with a few easy plug-ins designed especially
for handling all of your online sales and product management
There are different types of inventory management software on
the market: open source, “free”, cloud-based, directly installed
into the hardware, and subscription.
Inventory management software open source is web-based,
downloadable or accessible with plug-ins, instead of a
program installed on your servers and physical computers.
Inventory management software free of charge is often used
interchangeably with open source.
One thing to keep in mind is that you may be trading important
features for saving a bit of money. Online (subscription)
software is usually less expensive than installed plans,
reducing hardware capacity requirements, while offering more
options and standard features than open source or free versions.
Shopify inventory management offers its subscribers a solid
platform in an easy-to-use format.
With so many options out there, finding the right software can
be overwhelming. Here’s what to look for in selecting software
for your ecommerce inventory management process:
Your software needs the ability to integrate with your
existing applications, such as accounting and third-party
CRM, as well as sync financial, orders and customer-related
The software needs to be secure and reliable by protecting
the business’ inventory data from unauthorized access,
making the administrator’s ability to assign permissions and
control access behavior.
Offer a user-friendly interface experience to enable easy
and fast adoption throughout your organization. It should
require minimal training to successfully use, as well as be
sufficiently intuitive for even non-technical employees to
Integration with warehouses is essential, including those
located out of state, to best serve customers located across
the country. Giving customers the ability to see inventory
levels at warehouses as well a choice in warehouse location
preference is one of the smartest business moves you can
make to ensure customer satisfaction and repeat sales.
You may not need a product that claims to do it all; rather, you
will want to find software that meets your immediate needs and
allows upgrades as the business grows. Ordoro’s assortment of
plug-ins can do the trick without leaving your budget high and
As you may know, good online store inventory management software
should be able to seamlessly connect to third-party logistics
centers (3PLs) as well as online sales channels.
Warehouse inventory management software is more often than
not focused on the needs and uses of very large warehouses,
serving anywhere from a single huge entity, such as Amazon,
or dozens of different smaller users and their customers.
Frequently it’s an installed stand-alone program, rather
than Web-based, that is periodically upgraded as need
arises. In addition, warehouse inventory software may be
combined with other functionalities to cover internal
movement of stock as well as management of employees and
storage systems within the whole structure. Newer versions
may also be cloud-based for faster access.
Online inventory management software, on the other hand, is
aimed at the smaller business, is usually Web-based with a
nimble online presence. It may or may not be “free” or open
source, as well as subscription, but is capable of meeting
the logistical demands of a growing ecommerce business in
its ability to connect third-party logistics (3PLs) as well
as all online sales channels, including multi-channel
Multi-channel listing software is an important aspect of
inventory management software allowing the user to connect to
all of a business’s sales channels to warehouses in one software
setup. Why does multi-channel ecommerce matter? In a word:
Remember when everything had to be entered manually into columns
and rows of spreadsheets – including sales and new products?
Developers of the best inventory ecommerce inventory management
software, such as Ordoro, have freed business owners from the
drudgery of data entry and streamlined the process as well as
offering a far greater degree of accuracy in predicting
real-time future needs of their inventories.
Multi-channel software allows users to easily update and
expedite product listings, streamline order fulfillment,
optimize inventory control and use analytics to measure the
channels’ effectiveness. Giving customers more channels through
which to purchase has been shown to result in significant
exponential sales growth for the business.
For example, online stores with an additional marketplace such
as eBay, Etsy, Shopify or Amazon can see an uptick in revenue by
as much as 38%.
When another channel is added, sales growth leaps to 120%. You
read that right – 120%. According to a study by
PriceWaterhouseCoopers customers themselves now come from all
kinds of channels and increasingly are driven by social media
sites such as Facebook or Twitter - the biggest influencers of
consumer purchasing decisions.
Ordoro’s plug-in app allows you to easily handle shipping
and related inventory management, Amazon, eBay and other
major marketplaces including accessing carts from such
powerhouses as BigCommerce and Shopify.
Ordoro also gives you the tools to multi-channel inventory
sync of your shipping locations, customer sales data, with
the ability to oversee each sales channel from the same
Using top-flight multi-channel ecommerce inventory
management online software gives your customers more
flexibility in choosing which warehouse or other shipping
location best serves their needs.
To recap, attempting to track inventory for online businesses as
well as coordinate multi-channel sales listings, is all but
impossible with the old spreadsheet methods, making inventory
management software a must. Using a nimble web-based software to
manage inventory tasks can enable ecommerce businesses to know
what’s selling (and what’s not), what, when and how much to
reorder, choosing the best shipping options, and interfacing
with your supply centers and warehouses.
When choosing the best inventory management software for small
businesses, remember that your business’ unique needs,
especially if a new start-up, as well as your budget will have
the most impact on your choice.
Remember to start with software that supplies what you’ll need
in the beginning, but is flexible enough to allow for the growth
of your business.
In summary, when considering the best ecommerce inventory
management software to choose, your software needs to be able to
perform these essential functions:
The ability to accurately and quickly track sales and
purchase orders (POs).
Organization of product categories, including kitting and
multiple bundles of products.
Automatically reorder only necessary new stock as indicated
by adaptable filters while streamlining inventory management
and reducing overall inventory management costs.
Be easy for non-technical employees to learn, without
undertaking expensive and time-consuming training.
Enable centralized multi-channel listings for increased
sales and customer convenience.
Ordoro’s online ecommerce inventory management software and
other web-based sales management solutions offer numerous
plug-ins to maximize your ecommerce inventory management
potential: access to markets, shopping carts, shipping options
and much more. As a true one-stop shop for everything ecommerce,
Ordoro goes beyond the rest of the competition with its
drop-shipping services, label printing, interface batch shipping
and API documentation services.
Ordoro’s website is easy to navigate to help prospective users
learn more about their array of ecommerce services and see how
much more streamlined and easier inventory management, order
tracking and fulfillment can be.