When Batman (Justice League co-founder) said he was “your worst nightmare,” I get the feeling he never spoke to the warehouse manager that had to individually list every one of his costumes, gadgets, vehicles, and grappling hooks on Amazon, Ebay, and OfficialSuperheroCostumes.com. If he had, he’d know it’s a supervillain of monotony, time-consumption, and frustration, to say the least.
There’s a much easier way to manage inventory across multiple channels without breaking a sweat. But to get an idea of where you are as an eCommerce merchant, I want you to ask yourself if any of these problems are familiar to you:
- Unlisted inventory. Do you find yourself looking around at stockpiles of inventory that you just don’t have time to list? Don’t let the tedium of selling across multiple platforms prevent you from doing so. Using a channel management software will help you get all your superhero costumes and gadgets listed on every one of your channels in minutes (instead of hours).
- Inefficient and without automation. Have you ever revisited your channels only to discover you oversold jetpacks because you received orders for them on multiple channels? Manage inventory across platforms with systems that can replenish your online stock against your inventory on-hand and prevent over or underselling your product.
- Inability to focus on “big picture” business. Many businesses owners get tied up doing menial jobs (like inventory listing) that take them away from growing their business. By staying organized with channel and inventory management systems you can spend less time adding inventory to channels and spend more time where your business actually needs you (like determining ways to keep the Joker from setting your warehouse on fire).
Cue Justice League theme song. The good news for all of this is that we’re going to show you how to employ a team of warehouse-kickin’ Justice League-like inventory heroes to help you get your channels under control.
To start, what you need is integrated software power helping you, which means a combination of warehouse and channel management softwares. You need a team that can work together to keep you on-task and on-target quickly and efficiently.
You’ll see how all of these tools can come to play in an integrated system in our all-inclusive checklist below. We hope you use it as a reference so you can streamline your multi-channel management.
▢ Cross-Channel Management
Find yourself spending hours of precious time listing products and prices across multiple platforms?
Channel management systems like ChannelAdvisor ensure neither you nor your business, are slowed down by having to singlehandedly list every individual product on each of your selling channels. And, after setting up channel integrations with SkuVault’s intuitive easy-to-use software, you can easily manage inventory across all channels.
Channel management software enables you to browse your inventory, regardless of channel. You can monitor quantities, and even forecast your business, all in one place. Depending on product needs, you can list individually or in bulk and even manage different quantities, minimums, and prices without having to go to channels one at a time. You can also control multi channel promotions without having to… well, go to multiple channels.
SkuVault is integrated with Zentail, SureDone, ChannelAdvisor, ChannelSale, and SellerActive, which makes it easier for you to list your products and keep an eye on your inventory.
So, if your products are listed on multiple eCommerce sites, you’re doing yourself and your business a misjustice by not signing up for a platform that will help keep everything organized, automatic, and save you precious time.
Does your warehouse suffer from a large amount of mis-ships and inaccurate audits?
When your product is on multiple platforms, you don’t have the hours it takes update inventory manually on multiple channels on things like price changes. If you’re looking to expand to other platforms or already list across three or more channels, you should really consider looking at the benefits of channel management systems.
Why? Because using a spreadsheet means you’re not getting real-time inventory management which puts you at risk of over or underselling your product. Inaccurate quantities mean unhappy customers, or a missed opportunity to sell.
This is really one of the most important features a seller that wants to sell across multiple channels should look for. To sell and manage inventory that spans multiple selling platforms you need a software that synchronizes everything automatically, 24/7.
Spending lots of time replenishing online stock and wishing you had more control?
In fact, lack of automation may be costing you more than just wasted time. Like synchronization, it’s important to have an automated system to avoid inaccurate inventory. However, implementing this can be difficult when you’re trying to manage an inventory effectively on your own.
For full efficiency, your management software(s) should also be able to offer you some degree of automation. Automated softwares mean immediate and automatic adjustments to your inventory listings across all selling channels to reflect actual inventory. In addition, you can set other parameters and “rules” that will help keep your warehouse manageable and organized.
- Set false scarcities- to drive sales and replenish stock after one is made
- Set buffers
- Keep reserves
- Set holds
Find yourself wondering where things are going wrong because you have no means of measuring progress?
Knowing which selling platforms work best for your business is extremely important. So, if you’re paying a listing fee on products that aren’t selling on a particular platform, you’re throwing money away. You wouldn’t have to if you had a reporting system that tells you which platforms your items sell best on. However, if you have to learn the reporting format of every selling channel you use, you’ll spend days just signing in, locating, reading, and analyzing reports. So now, imagine, having them all in one place.
In order to efficiently manage your inventory, you need transaction histories, purchase orders, and other data-driven reports. With intuitive softwares you can make notes on transactions and purchase orders to stay organized, generate forecasts and look at audit discrepancy reports for quality control. Re-order and brand/class reports are also available from the drop-down and created in seconds.
SkuVault’s integrations with channel management softwares allow it to calculate against pre-defined formulas and generate a report. This report is viewable right there or can be exported to a CSV file with a few easy clicks. By making it easier to access to all of your channels in one place, you can manage your inventory more effectively and enable you to make strategic and informed decisions to optimize your business. Do you like graphs? We have those too!
▢ Integrated Shipping
Is printing out and keeping shipping labels organized from various channels a huge part of your day?
Selling across multiple channels means having to go to every platform to import your purchase orders, make quick decisions on shipping costs, and send it off with a carrier that will get it there on-time for the right price. This is a daunting task when there’s UPS, USPS, and FedEx to choose between and multiple channels to draw from.
Shipping integration can save you precious time by keeping you organized and automated. Once you’ve made the sale, you pack and ship (regardless of the channel it sold on) using a shipping integration system. Some available integrations with SkuVault include ShipStation, ShipWorks, Temando, and TrueShip.
The benefit of using a shipping software and integrating it with your warehouse, inventory, and/or channel management system is, again, efficiency. Here are only a few of the many benefits using a system like ShipWorks can give you:
- Connect your shipping process with over 80 channels and marketplaces
- Multi-carrier support (domestic and international)
- Print forms and documents for customs
- Special plans through UPS & FedEx
- Shipment tracking
Shipping made simple, which means fewer miss-ships and more sales.
▢ Accounting Synergy
Do you hate numbers as much as I do? Is mid-April marked with a big, angry, red “X” on your calendar?
Accounting is the source of most business owners’ biggest headaches (right after cross-managing channels). You can make both of those things easier, with one simple change. Imagine being able to automatically sync all your POs, invoices, and COGS in just a few clicks.
Integrate your accounting software like Quickbooks, Sage, and Xero with ease. Spend less time preparing multiple spreadsheets or performing monotonous data entry. With systems that are integrated with your accounting software, you can get back to work on what’s important, instead of crunching numbers.
▢ Customer Support (BONUS)
Have you spent hours on the phone waiting for customer service, or days waiting for your IT department?
With any service you buy, your service provider should not leave you high and dry when things get tough. Read customer reviews and testimonials and go with a company you feel comfortable
If you have any questions, we’re here to help. We’re quick in assisting our clients in whatever way possible because we’re passionate about what we do. Prospective clients scoff when we say our initial response rate is under 15 minutes. Later, when we join forces, they see our average response time is under 9 minutes (8 minutes and 31 seconds, to be exact).
Spend less time bouncing from one channel to the next to manage your inventory. If you combine forces, you’ll have a justice League result, which means more efficiency and more sales (and fewer mistakes). Find a platform that will fulfill every item on this checklist to accelerate your business and propel you forward. Using systems that offer easy integration with other platforms will give you the best combination of benefits and make your business scalable as you grow. After all, The Justice League, like any other team of superheroes, works best when they work together.