As your Shopify store grows, inventory management becomes more complex. You’ve got a growing library of SKUs, multiple warehouses stocking inventory, and may be selling on multiple channels now. All these factors make it challenging to keep products in stock in the right places and avoid overselling.
It’s time to find an inventory management app to keep operations running smoothly.
The benefits of using inventory management software for your Shopify store
There are several benefits to using software to automate inventory management. You’ll be able to manage inventory across channels, fulfill orders from the right warehouse, and maintain product stock. Automating these things makes your business more efficient, reduces costs, and makes fulfilling orders easy so your customers stay happy.
Manage inventory across multiple selling channels
As you expand your ecommerce business, you might start selling on multiple channels like Amazon or eBay. You’ve got two options when it comes to multichannel inventory management. Your first option is to have fulfillment centers dedicated to each channel. The problem is that you might run out of stock on certain channels and have extra inventory sitting around on other channels.
Your second option is to have each selling channel pull from the same fulfillment centers. However, it can be easy to oversell without an inventory management app. All these channels are pulling from the same stock without communicating with each other, making managing inventory a challenge.
An inventory management app can sync product stock across all online selling channels to avoid overselling.
Fulfill orders from the warehouse closest to the customer
If you’re stocking inventory in multiple warehouses, an inventory management app can help you keep track of product stock across locations. That way, you can fulfill orders from the nearest warehouse to the customer.
You’ll save on shipping costs, and the customer will have their order in hand faster.
Keep inventory levels in line with demand
Out-of-stock products are frustrating for customers and can hurt your bottom line. But, on the other hand, if you have more product than customers are buying, you’re paying for the extra warehouse storage space.
Inventory management apps can help you track stock levels. Then you can adjust orders to suppliers accordingly and scale warehouse space up or down as appropriate.
Features to consider when choosing a Shopify inventory management app
Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of using an inventory management app let’s go over the features to consider when choosing one.
Works with your 3PL (third-party logistics provider)
The most important factor of any inventory management software you use will be that it integrates with your fulfillment center. That’s where your products live, after all.
Even if you update stock manually when a new purchase order comes in, there may be reasons the fulfillment center needs to update product stock. For example, a returned product may be damaged and shouldn’t be added back to the inventory. So you can’t rely solely on Shopify sales and returns to depict inventory levels accurately.
Detailed and up-to-date inventory levels across channels
A good inventory management app should also be able to track product stock in as close to real-time as possible to avoid overselling.
Imagine running a BFCM (Black Friday Cyber Monday) sale where inventory is only updated every few hours. In that time, you could easily oversell a product. Then, you’ll wind up with many unhappy customers who thought they scored a deal but ended up with a canceled order instead.
To avoid disappointment, choose an inventory management app that updates stock levels in real time or at least very close to it.
Integrates with your sales software
Your inventory management system relies on sales data to determine product stock, not just what’s in the warehouse. However, the actual fulfillment of those orders will take time. So it’s important that your inventory management app can see orders as they come in to track inventory levels accurately and avoid overselling.
So while any app on this list will integrate with Shopify, double check that the app you choose integrates with any other sales software you use, like your POS (point of sale) system at your brick-and-mortar shop.
Inventory forecasting capabilities
Products have seasons, so you can’t just set a low inventory alert at the same level year-round and expect to maintain stock at your warehouses.
If you choose an inventory management app with demand forecasting capabilities, it can predict swells in demand so you can place a new PO (purchase order) at the right time and avoid running out of stock.
Automatic PO placement
Automating POs to your factory or supplier can save you a lot of time, particularly if you have a deep catalog of product SKUs.
You can preset reorder points for each product in your inventory management app or rely on its forecasting abilities. Then, when stock gets low, the app will automatically place a PO for you.
8 best Shopify inventory management apps to streamline operations
Now that you know what to look for in Shopify inventory management apps, it’s time to review your options. Here are some of the best tools on the market.
Skubana aims to be a centralized operations platform for ecommerce stores. It automates every aspect of inventory management you could dream of.
Syncs inventory across Shopify, POS systems, marketplaces, and warehouses
Finds the cheapest shipping rates for fulfillment
Automatic POs based on advanced forecasting tools
Determine accurate profit margins by accounting for all business costs
Sellbrite is a multichannel product listing software that keeps product details and inventory up-to-date.
Sell on Shopify, Amazon, eBay, Google, Walmart, Etsy, Sears, and Newegg
Automatically keeps product listings up-to-date across platforms
Updates inventory every 15 minutes
Supports multiple warehouses
Real-time inventory management
Drag-and-drop manufacturing priority based on raw material availability and production deadlines
Identify supply chain delay risks to manage expectations
Track manufacturing costs to make decisions on accurate product margins
Stocky is Shopify’s answer to inventory management. Because it’s a native app, you can expect a smooth experience, and Shopify can support you if you run into any issues.
Inventory forecasts help you decide when to reorder products
Create POs in the app
Transfer stock from one warehouse to another as needed
Detailed analytics shows you stock levels, SKU-specific reports, and best sellers
5. EasyEcom Inventory Management
EasyEcom helps ecommerce businesses with inventory and warehouse management as well as fulfillment.
Sync inventory across multiple warehouse locations and online sales channels
Choose the cheapest shipping carrier based on order weight and package dimensions
Machine learning provides accurate inventory forecasting
Automate purchase orders based on forecasting
ShipHero is a 3PL that has its own inventory management software. So you can get fulfillment and inventory accuracy in one. This is a great option for small stores that are selling on multiple channels but don’t need advanced automation features like stock forecasting.
Integrates with Shopify, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Walmart, and Google for multichannel selling
Faster delivery to customers with a fulfillment network of 8 warehouses in the US and Canada
Reallocate inventory to different warehouses as needed
Set reorder levels, so you know when to place a PO
SKULabs is a tool that combines inventory management with fulfillment features to unify your operations.
Real-time stock sync across sales channels and warehouses
Automatically get the best shipping rates for every order
Use reorder rules to place POs from multiple suppliers
Eliminate picking errors with barcode order verification
8. SKU IQ Inventory Management
SKU IQ is ideal for smaller ecommerce stores that aren’t expanding beyond Shopify. This app helps manage inventory between your online store and your POS system.
Keep product levels up-to-date between in-person sales and your ecommerce site
See online and POS sales in one place
Choose which channels products are available on
Run reports to check for inventory accuracy
More ways to automate your ecommerce store
Once you’ve tamed your operational woes with one of these inventory management apps, why not automate more of your ecommerce shop?
More automations means less human error, improved efficiency, and better customer experience.
Next, check out this list of 9 ways to use ecommerce automation to streamline your business operations.