Meet Canary7
The Definitive Guide to Retail Inventory Management

Canary7: making Retail Inventory Management easier.

Meet Canary7
The Definitive Guide to Retail Inventory Management

Canary7: making Retail Inventory Management easier.

Did you know that in 2022, global retail sales are projected to amount to around 26.7 trillion U.S. dollars up from approximately 24.8 trillion U.S. dollars in 2019? Not only that, but also out of the 50 senior retail executives that Deloitte interviewed for its 2022 Retail Industry Outlook, approximately one-third expect higher operating margins over year. 

This year, as the global market finally reawakens in full-force after a long and harrowing struggle with Covid-19, one thing becomes clearer than ever: the retail industry is growing to be bigger, better, and way more challenging than it ever was. With more competition and higher stakes involved in the mix, all retail businesses are pitted against each other to be on their best game. From sourcing materials to shipping products to customers: each and every aspect of the supply chain should be nothing short of immaculate if you are looking to outsmart your competitors and create an impact on your niche. 

Retail Inventory Management-Canary7_ making Retail Inventory Management easier

When the conversation is about succeeding as a retail business, how can we not turn to inventory management? An inventory is the most important non-capitalised asset for any business – but for retail businesses, it’s even more important. 

Which is why bring to you this: The Definitive Guide to Retail Inventory Management. Covering all essential aspects of retail inventory management, this guide will help you not only understand inventory management, but also realise its importance as a retail business. 

Contents: 

  • What is Inventory Management? 
  • Retail Inventory Management 
  • Retail Inventory Management Strategy 
  • Retail Inventory Management Software 
  • Canary7 for Retail Inventory Management

What is Inventory Management?

Inventory Management Definition

The best place to start is inventory management: what is it, what it means for a business, what does it consist of. 

In terms of definition, inventory management is defined as the process of ordering, storing, utilising, and selling a company’s stock of products. It is a holistic, well-rounded undertaking that may involve interaction and management of everything from raw materials to finished products. Inventory management is also heavily related to the warehousing of your stock as a business, so it is quite connected to the fulfilment procedure and in fact forms an integral component of it. 

Understanding Inventory Management

It is no surprise that inventory is one of your most valuable assets as a company. Whether you are a manufacturing business, an FMCG, or a company operating in the retail sector, your inventory is the number determining factor of how well you are running your businesses. This is because both your inputs as well as the finished products you deliver to your customers are dependent on how well you run your inventory management processes. 

Although managing an inventory may sound like an easy, straightforward job, in actuality, it can be far from it. At the end of the day, an inventory, despite being the core asset for companies, is also a huge liability. The bigger your inventory is, the more serious of a risk it poses in terms of facilitating shifts in demand, damage, or theft. Also, if the products your inventory already has are not sold off on time, you’ll have to resort to selling them off on a clearance price, or in some cases, destroying them. 

All in all, a lack of proper inventory management and organisation is not favourable for any business. It can lead to serious operational inefficiency, lower levels of customer satisfaction, and even monetary detriment for your business. 

In order to avoid the possibility of your company ever encountering the aforementioned problems, it is important for you to set up a robust system of inventory management. Regardless of the size of your business operations, inventory management is the key to ensuring that you are on the safe side of things. 

This is mainly because it is only through adequate inventory management that you can know exactly when to restock inventory, what materials to purchase and what to pay for them, when to sell finished products and at what price, and everything in between. Without inventory management, these seemingly trivial aspects can become quite complex to execute. 

All in all, inventory management will enable you to maximise the efficiency of all your business processes, and ensure that they are executed in a way that contributes towards the overall success of the company.

Inventory Management Strategies

There are many different strategies, or approaches, to inventory management. Usually, the kind of inventory management you implement at your company will be determined by the nature of your business, as well as its size. For example, small businesses find that they can benefit from as much as an Excel document keeping track of their stock, whereas larger companies benefit from ERP software. On other hand, many businesses today, regardless of their size, opt for warehouse and inventory management software thanks to the efficacy and the convenience it so readily provides. 

Your inventory strategies will also depend on the industry you operate in, which is why it is always a good thing to stay in touch with industry trends, news, and updates if you want to ensure that you are not falling behind in any regard.

Retail Inventory Management-Inventory Management Strategies
Retail Inventory Management-Accounting for Inventory

Accounting for Inventory

In the realm of accounting, your inventory is considered to be a current asset. This is because your goal is to sell the finished products within a relatively shorter period of time, most likely a year or so. To merge inventory with accounting, you have to physically count or measure your stock before you put it on a balance sheet. However, even this process can be simplified with the help of inventory management systems, especially the ones that are advanced enough to track real-time inventory levels and help you maintain a holistic grip on all your relevant business operations. 

Typically, inventory is accounted for using the following three methods: FIFO (first-in-first-out) costing, LIFO (last-in-first-out) costing, or weighted average costing. Other than this, it is helpful to understand that an inventory account usually consists of four separate categories: raw materials, work in process, finished goods, and merchandise. 

Inventory Management Methods

As mentioned earlier the answer to what is the best inventory method lies in your business, its size, and the industry it is a part of. However, there are some prominent inventory management methods that are important to your understanding of inventory management in the 21st century. Let’s have a look:

Just-in-Time Management (JIT)

Just-in-Time, more commonly known as JIT, is a manufacturing model that originated in Japan in the 1960s. It is most commonly used by manufacturers as a form of inventory management. This inventory management mode is aimed towards saving a considerable amount of money and reducing waste. The idea with JIT is to only keep the inventory you need to produce and sell products. If you implement a JIT strategy, you can easily cut down not only storage space, but also the costs of production, insurance, and excess stock upkeep. So, this form of inventory management is great for businesses that are aiming to pipe down on their budgets. 

Retail Inventory Management-Just-in-Time Management (JIT)

However, JIT is not all sunshine and rainbows: it can be quite risky! For example, if there are unexpected spikes, you may not be able to meet your targets which will lead to customer dissatisfaction, and may cause your business to bear the brunt of a serious loss. 

methods too frequently, it gives off the image that they are trying to portray their business in a better light than its true – so stick to one strategy for as long as possible!

If you have made it so far, you can tell that inventory management, although seemingly quite a simple process, is not actually that way. In fact, it can be quite a complex procedure – especially considering the sheer volume of facts, figures, and numbers that have to make it worthwhile. 

And now, let’s dive right into retail inventory management, and what the importance of inventory management to a retail business truly is.

Retail Inventory Management-Planning

Materials Requirement Planning (MRP)

MRP is another prominent inventory management method. It is sales-forecast dependent, which essentially means that you must plan your inventory in accordance with an accurate sales record. The idea is that you use the record to timely plan and communicate the needs of your inventory with anyone involved in the process. If you forecast your orders beforehand, you will know exactly what materials to order. 

With MRP, the most important thing is to maintain an accurate record of your sales, since this is what is going to help you forecast your orders. Even small discrepancies in your sales records can mess up the whole strategy for you and lead to an inability to fulfil orders, which may lead to even more harm. 

Economic Order Quantity (EOQ)

EOQ is another popular model of inventory management – it involves calculating the number of units a company should add to its inventory with each batch order, so that the total cost of its inventory can be reduced without affecting the constant consumer demand. Basically, this inventory management method works by ensuring that you order just the right amount of inventory per batch so that the company does not have to make orders too often. It also ensures that there is no excess inventory on your head that you need to work to get rid of. 

This model is a good long-term practice as it allows you to minimise total inventory costs by setup costs and holding costs. Again, if you are a business that is looking to adopt an inventory management model that helps you cut down on costs, the EOQ is definitely something you should look into.

Retail Inventory Management-Economic Order Quantity (EOQ)
Retail Inventory Management-Daily Sales of Inventory (DSI)

Daily Sales of Inventory (DSI)

DSI is essentially a financial ratio that can be optimised as an inventory management model. It indicates the average time in days that a company takes all its inventory stock into sale. This includes the goods that are still a work in progress. It is a very popular method of inventory management, and goes by a number of names. The way a business chooses to interpret and implement this ratio is also likely to vary. 

A DSI indicates the liquidity of your inventory and also shows you how many day your current stock will last. If you have a low DSI, it means that your stock will be off your hands in a shorter amount of time and you can manage your inventory accordingly. The average DSI varies from industry to industry, but the general opinion is that it is much safer to have a low DSI than a higher one and hence, this is what most businesses strive for. 

Keep in mind that although these methods are the most important ones, they are by no means the only ones out there. There are many other methods and strategies of managing and controlling your inventory, as we will see when we discuss retail inventory management in particular. 

Other than that, it is always important to try and maintain a singular inventory management strategy for at least some time.

Typically, when a company changes their inventory management methods too frequently, it gives off the image that they are trying to portray their business in a better light than its true – so stick to one strategy for as long as possible!

If you have made it so far, you can tell that inventory management, although seemingly quite a simple process, is not actually that way. In fact, it can be quite a complex procedure – especially considering the sheer volume of facts, figures, and numbers that have to make it worthwhile.

And now, let’s dive right into what the importance of inventory management to a retail business truly is.

Retail Inventory Management

In the simplest of terms this relates to the inventory processes created by retail businesses. However, to truly understand the meaning of inventory management in connection to retail requires for us to take a glance at the retail sector to begin with. 

As you probably know, retail companies specialise in the sale of goods directly to consumers for their consumption, use, or pleasure. As such, your role in the market as a retail business is a lot different than B2B businesses such as wholesale companies or other similar ventures. As a retail company, you are dealing with customers up-front, which means that you are solely responsible for what is being delivered to them and when. If we look at things from this particular angle, we can come to the conclusion that a retail business possibly has a lot more to lose than any other kinds of businesses, and hence needs to especially focus on inventory management. 

Types of Retail

It would be better to look at retail inventory management from a contextual lens. For that, knowing what different kinds of retail setups are there as well as which is yours is important. You retail business can be:

Online

If your business sells products over the internet via an eCommerce website or marketplace, it is an online retail business.

Retail Inventory Management-Types of Retail (Types of Retail)
Retail Inventory Management-Types of Retail (Offline)

Offline

If your business sells products from a physical shop/store, it is an offline retail business.

Multichannel

If your business sells through both online and offline channels, then it is a multichannel retail business

You can think of many retail businesses that fit these categories apart from yours. Most big brands, such as Nike or Adidas are multichannel retail businesses. They both have physical stores, but also have eCommerce websites. There are many other retail businesses in the game from one category or the other – but you know what each one of these big names have in common?

A commendable retail inventory management system that ensures that the fulfilment process, from the source to the customer, is seamless. And by the end of this guide, you will know exactly what to do to have one too. 

But first – what is retail inventory management?

Retail Inventory Management-Types of Retail (Multichannel Retail)

What is Retail Inventory Management?

To define retail inventory management, we need to keep the general meaning of inventory management in mind. Quite simply it is the process you implement to ensure that you have the products your customers want and that these products are being delivered to the customer on time. It helps you meet customer demands without carrying too much or too less stock. 

Retail inventory management is a core operation that all retail ventures must focus on. The benefits of retail inventory management will become more clearer as we proceed, but as a whole, it is important to remember that it helps you stay in touch with not only your stock, but also the overall progress of your business. Retail inventory management is the foolproof way of understanding your sales pattern, identifying gaps, and optimising your strategies for even better results. 

The Importance of Inventory Management in Retail

You might be tired of hearing us say this at this point, but inventory management is very important for retail businesses. The very reputation of you as a retail setup depends on how well you manage your stock and the way you handle your merchandise across your warehouses. It directly contributes to your success, and therefore should not be taken lightly at any cost!

With that being said, let’s dive into some of the reasons for the importance of inventory management in retail and look at them in detail:

Retail Inventory Management-Saving Money

Saving $$$

As any business would know, inventory costs can turn out to be quite heavy on your pockets. If you don’t leverage top-notch solutions to handle your inventory, it is much easier to overspend and unwilling (and unknowingly) go beyond the budget set.

However, if you have an adequate system in place to handle your inventory, stock, warehouse, and everything else in between, it becomes a lot easier for you to stay within budget. Since retail inventory management helps you understand exactly how much stock you have and how much you need, it becomes more convenient for you to pinpoint inventory levels more accurately. This also means that you are reducing your storage space, your carrying costs, and any other costs you may incur with excess stock. 

Additionally, retail inventory management can also help you save up on shipping, depreciation, opportunity cost, and logistics! 

No out-of-stocks, ever.

There is nothing more challenging for a retail business than going out-of-stock. Businesses that are frequently out-of-stock hardly become customer favourites, which is why one of the biggest challenges for you is to ensure that you are doing your best to never go out of stock. This is where good retail inventory management comes in. 

As a retailer, you can make use of inventory management solutions and tools to ensure that you never go out of stock again. Yes – you heard that right! You can actually make sure that you never run out of inventory if you are managing it properly. Good inventory management will equip you to know what amount of stock is right, which means that you will never be going over or under that amount – ever. 

What’s even better is that depending on your inventory management solutions, you can ensure that you are constantly in touch with the state of your retail stock. So, you’ll be getting real-time updates on your inventory, which can further help you make quick decisions and ensure that you have the right amount of products to work with. It’s truly a win-win situation when it comes to depending on retail inventory management. 

Retail Inventory Management-No out-of-stocks, ever
Retail Inventory Management-More profits

More profits.

Profits are the number one priority for all retail businesses. Not just because they mean more revenue and ROI, but also because they are one of the most authoritative indicators of success, and can be used by businesses to determine the trajectory of their operations. Luckily, retail inventory management helps you increase your profit margins by a lot!

As already discussed, inventory management means that you are spending less money on your inventory. A lower spending mean and enough supply to meet the requirements of every order you get means that you are improving your profitability, which then becomes one of the core reasons behind paying attention to inventory management. 

Very less chances of obsolescence or spoilage.

Another cost and operational inefficiency that retailers might have to address is the expiration, obsolescence, or spoilage of products. This is most likely to happen when your retail business is dealing with perishable items with a limited shelf-life. So selling anything like milk, meat, vegetables, and fruits comes with inventory-handling complications that may lead to you having to deal with fast expiration. On the other hand, non-perishable items are not risk-free either. So for something like fashion retail inventory management, you must know that almost anything you sell as a retailer depends on consumer tastes, and hence can become obsolete in accordance with a shift in consumer attitude or even other social/technological changes.

Although these risks are an inherent part of the retail industry, having a strong retail inventory management system in place can help you minimise the effect they have on your business. Knowing what products expire when can help you ensure that they are sold on time, and obsolescence can also be dealt with and avoided by fast and efficient sales that it allows you to execute.

Retail Inventory Management-Very less chances of obsolescence or spoilage
Retail Inventory Management-Better performance and order fulfilment for each channel

Better performance and order fulfilment for each channel.

In the 21st century, more and more retail businesses are opting for multichannel/omnichannel business models. This means that retailers are selling their products not only at brick-and-mortar physical stores, but also on websites and through third-party merchants simultaneously. As profitable as this is, it complicates retail inventory processes even further. 

Working across different channels means that it becomes increasingly hard for you to keep correct inventory counts, which can lead to wrong order fulfilment and all the other issues that come with it. A robust retail inventory management strategy can help you overcome all of that. Because it equips you with accurate and fully updated inventory data across multiple selling channels, it becomes easier for you to streamline your overall inventory processes. 

Say goodbye to shrinkage. 

Inventory loss caused by shoplifting, product damage, fraud, vendor mistakes, administrative errors, or employee theft is called shrinkage. As a retail business, shrinkage is probably your worst fear as it can cause a severe dent in your overall sales. In fact, according to research, shrinkage is the most prominent cause for a loss in sales. 

As you may have guessed by now: retail inventory management can help you minimise and even completely eliminate many losses caused by shrinkage. Strong inventory management is therefore one of the most effective ways of avoiding shrinkage. 

Retail Inventory Management-Say goodbye to shrinkage
Retail Inventory Management-Unrivalled supply chain management

Unrivalled supply chain management.

Your overall supply chain management is also contingent on how strong your inventory management system is. This is because understanding your inventory processes and knowing your stock inside out will help you identify sales trends which leads to you being able to optimise your supply chain in a much better and more effective manner. 

The whole point of retail inventory management is to provide you with the control and flexibility you need to figure out a retail methodology that works the best for you. In that regard, it is the most crucial way of ensuring that your supply chain has no discrepancies in it, and is actually seamlessly aligned with the nature of your business operations. 

Making way to the customer’s hearts.

Needless to say, retail is a very customer-centric field. The entire success of your operations depends on whether or not you are able to satisfy your customers. Everything from the customer’s behaviour to their tastes is likely to take a toll on your company, which means you have to be considerably more careful than ever running your business. 

You’d be surprised to know just how extensively your customer satisfaction is connected to the way you handle and manage your inventory. The better you handle your stock, the faster you can complete the fulfilment process and get customers’ orders shipped. The faster they get their orders, the better image they have of you. Not only that, but retail inventory management also helps you make fewer mistakes, avoid shrinkage, and reduce the number of stockouts: all of which contributes towards boosting customer satisfaction and ensuring that your customers perceive you as a brand they can trust. 

Retail Inventory Management-Making way to the customer’s hearts
Retail Inventory Management-Better predictions and forecasting

Better predictions and forecasting.

Another reason behind retail inventory management being an important aspect of any successful retail venture is that it can help you prepare better for the future. Inventory management enables you to gather powerful data, which can then help you navigate your journey in the retail industry a lot better. 

For example, inventory management can help you take hold of important historical sales results and available inventory to project future sales. Not only that, but the data you get can also allow you to understand your growth and capital needs much better. These forecasts are important in terms of mapping out your journey and making decisions on aspects such as staffing, product development, and guide spending. 

These are the most prominent reasons that make retail inventory management as important as it is for retailers! There are many more reasons behind its importance, but the main thing we need to remember is that it is beneficial on a holistic level and can really help businesses improve their operations by far. 

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Retail Inventory Management Strategy

So, we’ve established one thing: retail inventory management is important for any and every retail business. But how does a business ensure that the processes it has in place are worthwhile and actually making a difference to their progress. 

Well, it’s simple: through an efficient retail inventory management strategy. 

Whether you are looking at small business or a larger retail shop inventory management, a cohesive strategy is something you can greatly benefit from. 

7 Steps to Effective Retail Inventory Management

Inventory management should not be a shot in the dark. Instead, it should be a well thought out and well planned experience that takes into account all your strengths and weaknesses as a business, and aims to optimise your inventory in accordance with those. 

In that regard, the following 8 steps will help you ensure that your retail inventory management processes are on the right track and make a tangible difference to the overall progress of your business.

#1: Maintain accurate product data.

A centralised record of data for all the products you have in stock is possibly the best place to start when it comes to inventory management. This is primarily because your number one goal with your retail inventory management strategy is (and should be) making your inventory and stock more accessible. 

Having a centralised record of everything means that information on each of the products will be easier to access. You can then complete all the relevant inventory management tasks – whether it is reordering costs or department location or even tracking sales, having pertinent product data at hand will really simplify everything for you. 

Retail Inventory Management-Maintain accurate product data

Some of the important elements you need to keep a record of for each product are: 

  • All suppliers for the item
  • Supplier SKUs
  • UPC code
  • Product cost
  • Case pack amounts for stock orders
  • Lead times for reorders
  • Available inventory
  • Product name
  • Your internal SKU
  • Variants like colours or sizes
  • Your regular and sale pricing
  • Your sales category, department, or class
  • Brand or collection details
  • Related store promotions

The more comprehensive you are with keeping a record of your products, the easier managing and handling your inventory becomes for you in the long-run.

Retail Inventory Management-Keep a close eye on the stock location

#2: Keep a close eye on the stock location.

As you may already know, your stock location is a very important part to your overall inventory handling and management. This is because in order to properly merchandise and sell it, you need to know exactly where the stock is. 

There are many different ways that you can look into when it comes to tracking your store location. You can go for category or department mapping, make use of SKU numbers, colour code your goods, invest in barcode labels, or even for something high-tech and advanced like RFID tagging. 

Whatever way you pick to track your stock location, make sure it is not only easy to expand but also easy to implement as a long-term solution. So, if you feel like your business is at a level where it would be more favourable to go for SKU mapping than barcode labelling, you should opt for that. The key is to make your products accessible and the whole tracking process convenient and straightforward.

#3: Count your inventory regularly. 

The third step is to make sure that you are performing regular inventory counts. This connects to the first step: creating and maintaining an accurate record of all the products you have in stock. Counting your stock regularly will help you organise your inventory better, and make better decisions. 

Regular stock counts are supposed to help you get accurate insights to your inventory. This will allow you to know what products you have in stock and how many, which can help order accurate restocks. It can also help you know exactly when to reorder, identify inventory problems such as incorrect shelving, and even deal with inventory shrinkage like theft much better. 

Just like stock tracking, inventory counting can be done in different ways. Mostly, inventory count procedures are carried out to handle two different types of stock counts that retailers use:

  • Cycle inventory counting

This procedure involves cycle counts, which are essentially periodic counts of a line, department, or any other grouping of your products. 

  • Annual inventory counting

Annual inventory counts are year-end counts of the whole inventory that are mostly carried out for the purposes of tax and accounting. These are store-wide, and will probably require you to set aside some time to carry out the whole thing. 

Retail Inventory Management-Count your inventory regularly
Retail Inventory Management-Analyse and evaluate your sales and inventory metrics (1)

#4: Analyse and evaluate your sales and inventory metrics.

It is not enough for you to just collect data and then sit on it. In order for you to make sure that your inventory management efforts don’t go to waste, it is important to leverage the data you have gathered and use it to measure your success and make adjustments to your inventory management processes. This will also help you understand all the metrics with a lot more clarity!

When it comes to this step, you must remember that this is not a one time thing. In fact, this is a long-term process that can only be perfected with time. Only with consistent analyses and evaluation of your progress will you reach a point where your inventory management data becomes of your. It is also important to keep in mind that not only is this a step within your retail inventory management strategy itself, but it is also a way for you to measure the evaluation of your effectiveness.

#5: Make data-based decisions.

At this point in your inventory management strategy, you have all the data you need, as well as a clear direction in terms of what it means. The next step is to use it to make the right pricing and purchasing  decisions. The best way to do this is by merging your sales data with the data you get out of your inventory activity. This way, you can ensure that the backend of your retail operations (inventory) is well-aligned with the ultimate result (sales). 

An effective tip for this step is to use the data at hand to create proper purchasing procedures. Purchasing procedures help you understand just how much and how often you need to purchase. They act as a template that can be referred to you for future orders as well, and they can also act as a guide for when someone other than you has to do the job of making the purchase and makes task delegation easier to rely on. Hence, this step is important for the overall retail inventory management process. 

Retail Inventory Management-Make data-based decisions
Retail Inventory Management-Integrate dead-stock friendly inventory procedures

#6: Integrate dead-stock friendly inventory procedures.

Being a retailer is not as straightforward as it seems. Selling the items in your inventory is just one, and perhaps the most straightforward and simple part of retail. Just think of this: why do you do with unsellable returns? Damaged or incorrect stock shipments? In-store damages? Unsold seasonal stock? All of this is referred to as deadstock, and poses one of the biggest challenges for retailers to face. 

This kind of inventory can very easily grow, and if you don’t know what to do with it, it will most definitely mess up your entire retail inventory management system. Therefore, you try to deal with deadstock regularly. By making sure that you leave space in your strategy for this kind of inventory, you will not only be reducing your costs of managing such products, but also be working towards making sure that you can ultimately minimise the amount of deadstock that you have to deal with. 

Use the checklist below to create an effective deadstock procedure: 

Log all unsellable returns, damaged goods, and other unsellable stock. 

Remove the logged items from your actual stock count. 

Designate a special holding area for the deadstock. 

Deal with pullbacks quickly.

Dispose of unsellable goods frequently. 

Note: Unsellable but usable items can always be donated to charity, and can help people in need. If you are looking for fashion inventory management, for example, you can easily donate the unsellable returns and damaged goods to local charities if they aren’t being shipped back to the supplier.

Retail Inventory Management Software

What if we told you that everything that we have discussed above: from different inventory management techniques, to retail inventory management best practices, right down to the strategy: everything can be achieved by businesses of all sizes and nature, without any hassle? 

It is possible, but only with retail inventory management software. 

What is Retail Inventory Management Software?

As the name suggests, a retail inventory management is a software system that helps you streamline all your inventory processes as a real business. At the most basic level, such a software can help you keep an accurate stock count for your retail products. However, thanks to the technology we have available in the market (for example RFID), retail inventory management software is actually advanced enough to take care of everything (yes, everything!) that we have talked about in this guide. 

Every retailer that aims to streamline their selling procedures across multiple channels needs a retail inventory management software. Whether you are in fashion retail, food retail, or have any other retail business – you can benefit from integrating a good software in your operations. 

Simply put, such a software solution is the best answer to “how to manage inventory in retail”

Benefits of Retail Inventory Management Software

Retail inventory management brings with it a multitude of benefits, efficiencies, and conveniences that you can enjoy as a retailer. These include: 

  • End-to-end automated management
  • Increased product traceability
  • Easy identification of more valued products
  • Real-time updates on inventory activity
  • Accurate data collection
  • Well-rounded insights to avoid shrinkage
  • Decreased stockouts
  • Quick stock closure
  • Easily-spotted and minimise errors
  • Increased scalability
  • Better forecasting abilities
  • Holistic and insightful accounting processes
  • Decrease in overselling
  • Reduced operational costs
  • More customer satisfaction and retention
  • Better supplier relationships

Important Considerations for Retail Inventory Management Software

So, we now know that the importance of inventory management in retail is palpable. We also know that retail inventory software is quite important too, considering how it brings a lot of benefits to the table. But how do you know that you are making the right choice when you invest in a retail inventory management software? 

The best way to go about this is to look at the kind of retailer you are: understanding your position in the retail industry will essentially help you understand what it is that you exactly need your retail inventory management software to provide. So, for example, inventory management for retail clothing store will be a lot different for retail inventory management for a food store: and hence, the first step to getting the right retail inventory management system is to ensure you understand yourself as a business.

We’ve compiled a list of the main kinds of retail inventory management software buyers below. Read through it and see which one you can relate to, and then take it into consideration before making your purchase: 

Single-store retailers

These are small retailers, or retailers with less than five stores. If you are such a retailer, you will benefit from small business retail inventory management: that is efficient yet simplistic to use, and does not require a very large chunk of your investment. You will also benefit from something that does not take a lot of time to learn, and can easily be operated on. Also a retail inventory management software that is focused on promoting efficiency would be a good fit. 

Large, integrated store retailers

Believe it or not, even large retailers have the same needs as the one we have mentioned above for small retailers, so a large retail shop inventory management will be quite similar to small business retail inventory management. However, as a large retailer, you should be looking at robust, scalability-friendly solutions. Other than that, efficiency, speed, and convenience should be core components in your retail inventory management software. 

Multichannel retailers

For multichannel retailers, it is important to get a retail inventory management software that manages their operations both for physical stores and websites. As such, increased visibility is an important factor. Additionally, multichannel retailers also need a retail inventory management software that integrates important ERP software, so that they can create a seamless amalgamation between all their channels. A software system that provides real time updates is a bonus. 

After you have figured out which category you fall into, some other questions you should ask yourself are: 

  • What particular challenges do you want to overcome?
  • How much support will you need? 
  • How many people will be using the Inventory Management System?
  • What is your budget? 
  • What reports do you need? 
  • What integrations do you need?

Canary7: A Best Retail Inventory Management Solution

No matter what the nature or size of your business is, Canary7 is the ultimate software solution when it comes to retail inventory management. Created to prioritise the varying needs of different businesses, Canary7 offers retail ventures an inventory solution that can not only fulfil all their requirements, but also optimise the supply chain for them. 

Noteworthy Retail Inventory Management Features Offered by Canary 7

Looking for best inventory management for retail stores: one that doesn’t only handle your stocks but also enables your business to grow in other regards?

Let’s have a look at some of the things that make Canary7 the best real inventory management solution:

Accuracy

Accuracy is one of the top priorities of retail businesses, which is why our software solutions are built to bring accuracy to all inventory workflows and procedures. Our aim is to make inventory stock considerably more traceable: this is done through consistent real-time updates that allow you to keep an eye on your inventory activity at all times. The end result? Data that is powerful, reliable, and most importantly: accurate. 

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Planning

Retail business or not, Canary7 believes planning to be an integral practice when it comes to ensuring the success of your operations. For this reason, our tools enable you to map out your business journey from start to finish. By providing early detection solutions, Canary7 ensures that you can identify the gaps in your operations before they manifest into bigger, more serious discrepancies. With these solutions, your business will never fall off track ever again. 

Cost-efficiency

Canary7 is an all-in-one solution: it is inventory management software, but it also offers other important services that retail businesses in particular can benefit from. For example, you can use it as a WMS (warehouse management system), WCS (warehouse control system), order management system and labour management system. 

Essentially, what this means is that you are equipping your business with end-to-end automation. Automating these processes translates into a significant decrease of labour costs, reduced missteps and mistakes, and faster fulfilment: all of which leads to less spending on your ends, but increase profit margins. This is exactly what a budding retail business needs. 

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Integration

The best retail inventory management software will always offer you a range of integration options, since integration is one of the most important indicators of a software system’s functionality. This is the reason why Canary7 offers the top-level, off-the-shelf integrations. These include: 

  • FedEx
  • DHL
  • Amazon
  • UPS
  • DPD
  • Yodel
  • Magento
  • BigCommerce
  • Amazon Prime

Ease of use

Time is money – this rings specifically true if you are a retailer. We really don’t want you to be wasting time learning how to run our software system; we want you to leverage it as soon as possible and actually benefit from it. For this reason, Canary7 is easy to use and requires almost no extra attention in terms of its navigation. To make things even easier, we have comprehensive user guides available which will help you understand the retail inventory management software even better. Everyone from you to your managers to your warehouse operatives can work with Canary7 and use it for seamless management. 

Now that you know the importance of inventory management to a retail business, what are you waiting for? If you are planning to evolve your retail inventory management game, Canary7 is your best bet. Book a free demo today, and stop worrying about how to manage inventory in retail store for good!

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