Top 7 WordPress Inventory Management Plugins for 2021

Top 7 WordPress Inventory Management Plugins for 2021

wordpress inventory management

 

Ecommerce had been on a meteoric, industry-redefining economic rise for years already when 2021 hit and vaulted the industry into hyper speed. With the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, online shopping took on a whole new level of importance for entire swathes of the global population. 

Many consumers still perceive brick-and-mortar stores to be unsafe. Therefore, sales have been pushed online to an unprecedented degree.

Paradoxically, this isn’t necessarily the best of news for online retailers. This seismic shift in shopping behavior has left many businesses reeling, with smaller enterprises finding it particularly hard to keep up with demand. 

Even Amazon, the imperial behemoth of ecommerce platforms, has had difficulty coping with the recent surges in orders and simultaneous disruptions in supply chains and delivery mechanisms.

It’s now more urgent than ever for organizations of all sizes to get their inventory management under control. They cannot risk unfulfilled orders, incorrectly filled orders, or even worse, out-of-stocks, all of which seriously erode customer trust.

On the other hand, there is an upside to running an online business in 2021. By now, there’s a smattering of easy-to-use technological solutions to facilitate inventory management at any scale.

The thing is, some of those solutions are better-equipped than others to assist companies in managing their stock. 

In particular, for those online retailers depending on WordPress-powered sites (which, let’s face it, is the majority of online retailers), the available WordPress plugins for inventory management, as convenient and easy-to-use as they may be, often come up short.

Let’s take a look at why WordPress might be a great option for setting up an e-shop, but might not offer the best ultimate solution to inventory management.

Why WordPress Dominates the Market for Ecommerce Storefronts

If you have an online store, chances are your site is powered by WordPress. Today, WordPress powers over 455 million websites, or 35% of all the sites on the web. It’s come to dominate the ecommerce systems marketplace over the past decade.

Here’s how it happened. 

In September 2011, WordPress theme developer WooThemes launched WooCommerce, an open-source, simple-to-install WordPress plugin developed by programmers Mike Jolley and James Koster. 

WooCommerce initially targeted small-to-medium-sized online merchants, but quite quickly, even the larger retailers noticed the ease and effectiveness of WordPress’s architecture, SEO attractiveness, and the simplicity of the WooCommerce plugin.

By 2015, over 60 ecommerce platformers were competing for online retailers’ business, but three companies dominated more than half of the market.

eBay’s content management system Magento had the most significant market share at the time, with 28.3%. In comparison, runner-up WooCommerce had already grown to a healthy 17.9% in those intervening four years, and by then was WordPress’s most popular ecommerce plugin. 

In 2015, it was also leading the growth for new customers among those top three companies.

Now, five years later, WooCommerce has definitely taken the lead, with a roughly 29% market share.

 

Leveraging WordPress for Inventory Management

WordPress knows it can’t meet all the specific needs of its millions of different customers—that’s why, since the beginning, it was designed as a flexible, customizable CMS that accepts third-party plugins to extend its functionality according to user demand.

As for WooCommerce, there was immediate user demand for inventory management add-ons that could help businesses keep track of their products across the sales cycle and reconcile their on-hand product inventory with their online shops.

There are now dozens of such WordPress inventory management plugins, both free and paid, available to online merchants.

But these plugins are a mixed bag: they’re often easy to use and implement, but they’re not always scalable or customizable for your unique business needs. 

They also require a significant time investment in website maintenance since you need to keep an eye out for updates to make sure you’re running the most recent iteration. And if the plugin hasn’t updated to be compatible with the newest iteration of WordPress and WooCommerce, you’re really out of luck.

Most worrisome of all, though, is the fact that WordPress plugins seem particularly prone to bugs and cyber-attacks—reports in tech journals abound with news of patch-resistant bugs that can compromise customer privacy and security.

That’s why SMEs who want to optimize their inventory management ought to consider a third-party solution, like SkuVault’s WooCommerce Inventory Management Integration platform: a highly advanced, granular approach to stock management that comes with robust tech support and customer service.

We’ve gone through the WordPress plugin page to find the seven most-popular inventory management plugins for your WordPress site.

 

The 7 Most Popular WordPress Inventory Management Plugins for 2021

 

WooCommerce Stock Manager

With more than 20,000 active installations as of November 2020, developer StoreApps’s WooCommerce Stock Manager is the most-used inventory management plugin on WordPress.

WooCommerce Stock Manager is a paid plugin, costing around $39–$46 per license.

Advertised scope of service:
  • Adaptability for both simple and variable products
  • The plugin notifies you via email when stock is low
  • Easy export of product data into Google Spreadsheets, Excel, etc.
  • Allows for tracking and updating of inventory on multiple ecommerce platforms, including Amazon and eBay
  • User-friendly interface allows multiple ways to search for and filter products, including by name, SKU, product type, stock status, and so forth
  • Records stock audit
  • Allows users to manage inventory over multiple warehouses
Drawbacks:

Multiple negative reviews on the WordPress plugin page report the following issues with the WooCommerce Stock Manager plugin:

  • Works best for simple products—users have reported difficulty tracking and managing variable products
  • Import/export feature doesn’t always work, depending on the iteration of the plugin
  • The plugin is slow to update, rendering it buggy or non-functional after new WordPress system updates
The SkuVault alternative:

SkuVault’s WooCommerce Inventory Management Integration suite is a complete system that can easily track and trace even complex variable products. 

The software collects data from all facets of your WooCommerce business to allow for transparent, real-time reporting, meaning you don’t have to worry about losing out on information due to faulty export features. 

Finally, because the SkuVault team is always on standby for tech support, you don’t have to worry about relying on faceless plugin developers for updates that may never come.

 

Smart Manager for WooCommerce 

At the time of writing, Smart Manager for WooCommerce (another StoreApps product) had over 10,000 active installations and 147 5-star reviews, making it a higher-rated inventory management plugin than WooCommerce Stock Manager, even if this plugin is less-used.

This plugin is available in free and paid versions:

  • Smart Manager Lite, the free version, has limited functionality
  • Smart Manager Pro, the upgraded paid version, costs $149 a year; users also have the option of paying one flat fee of $479 for a “lifetime” subscription
Advertised scope of service:
  • Offers a user-friendly single-screen interface with a design based on Excel
  • The developer claims tests prove that Smart Manager can update over 100,000 records in a matter of minutes
  • Allows for bulk managing and editing of products, orders, WordPress posts, etc. 
  • Claims to facilitate thousands of control operations, with an advertised 10x boost in productivity
  • Export CSV for all post types
  • Customize and print packing slips and purchase orders
  • Track customer data, including last order details, total purchases to date, and lifetime value
Drawbacks:

Users have reported the following issues with the Smart Manager plugin:

  • Multiple users have reported the paid plugin frequently reverts to the free Lite version after updating
  • The dynamic load/continuous scroll of product lists is highly inefficient, sometimes taking hours to load, rendering it virtually useless for larger businesses with a high volume of SKUs
  • Annoying in-plugin advertising and automatic subscription to eblasts
  • Support team is slow to respond to queries/claims and inefficient at resolving problems
The SkuVault alternative:

Users only have to buy one license for SkuVault’s software to access all levels of functionality instead of juggling Smart Manager’s multiple licenses and inadvertent downgrades.

Furthermore, SkuVault’s highly powered integration system handles bulk inventory management with ease, and the company offers an array of training and customer support services for a seamless user experience.

 

ATUM Inventory Management for WooCommerce 

With over 10,000 active installations and 87 5-star reviews, the ATUM Inventory Management WordPress plugin, first released in 2017 by developer Stock Management Labs, gives the above plugins a run for their money. 

ATUM bills itself as “the most advanced free WooCommerce inventory management tool in the WordPress plugins repository.”

This is the first completely free plugin to make our top-7 list (though paid premium add-ons are also available).

Advertised scope of service:
  • User-friendly dashboard featuring an intuitive layout to facilitate stock management
  • Easy access to inventory statistics, including periodical sales, inventory levels, lost sales, and promo sales
  • Simple data export
  • Ability to maintain inventory logs that track reserved stock, lost-in-post, customer returns, inbound stock, and warehouse damages
  • Stock level indicators
  • One-page stock updating
  • Easy to quickly update price changes
  • Bulk editing available
  • Advanced search functions
  • PDF export of purchase orders
Drawbacks:

Users have reported the following issues with the ATUM inventory management plugins:

  • Lacks advanced features like multiple suppliers
  • Other advanced features (including data export, product levels, stock-taking, multi-inventory, stock logs, etc.) are only available as paid premium add-ons
The SkuVault alternative:

SkuVault facilitates the tracking of products from multiple suppliers and their sales across various channels, taking the guesswork out of where your inventory is at all times. 

It even automatically syncs inventory levels across multiple ecommerce marketplaces to your WooCommerce store every 12 hours to reduce out-of-stocks. 

And, again, one of the advantages of SkuVault’s WooCommerce integration software is the quick and easy availability of granular product and sales data.

 

WP ERP

Developer weDev’s WP ERP claims to be “the first full-fledged Enterprise Resource Planning system” WordPress plugin. As of fall 2020, it had over 10,000 active installations and 69 5-star reviews, making it one of the more popular e-commerce plugins available on WordPress.

The WP ERP plugin offers several modules (HR management, a CRM system, an accounting system, and a project management system), with inventory management available as a premium extension in the paid version of the plugin.

A license for WP ERP Pro costs $9.99 per month, while the inventory management plugin costs an additional $4.99 per month, plus a fee of $3 per user.

Advertised scope of service:
  • Quick and easy import of products from CSV file
  • Highly customizable interface, multiple filters for easy searching
  • Ability to generate instant reports, from purchase reports to complete inventory reports
  • Support for automatic tax calculations
Drawbacks:

Users have reported the following issues with the WP ERP inventory management plugin:

  • WP ERP Pro’s premium extensions, including the inventory management feature, reportedly do not work when installed as a subsite on multi-site systems
  • Poor customer service
  • Plugin frequently crashes, resulting in data loss
  • Integration with WordPress’s WooCommerce plugin is buggy and inefficient, and severely lacking in functionality
The SkuVault alternative:

SkuVaut’s WooCommerce inventory management software is highly powered and comes with robust tech support, meaning users never have to worry about software crashes and the resulting loss of data. 

It comes with a bevy of highly advanced functions that integrate seamlessly with the WooCommerce plugin.

 

Profitori

Arriving straight out of Melbourne, Australia, the Profitori plugin is the new kid on the block, just released in the spring of 2020—but it already has 4,322 downloads, and its download rate is growing from month to month. So far, it boasts only 5-star reviews.

Profitori is a free inventory management plugin.

Advertised scope of service:
  • Purchase order entry and management
  • Stock tracking and auditing
  • Supports multiple warehouses/locations and tracking in multiple currencies
  • Easy import/export of data from and to Excel
  • PDF downloads of sales invoices and purchase orders
  • Easy-to-view short stocks
  • Tax reporting
  • Allows you to print product labels and barcodes
  • Supports multi-site WordPress platforms
  • Promises to make it easy to migrate over from ATUM
Drawbacks:

As a WordPress inventory management plugin that’s so new to the game, Profitori has yet to prove itself as a reliable, bug-free, crash-free, regularly updated stock management solution

The SkuVault alternative:

SkuVault has been optimizing warehouse and inventory management for up-and-coming SMEs for a decade—it’s a tech company backed by a solid reputation built on a foundation of years of providing successful solutions.

 

Veeqo for WooCommerce

The open-source Veeqo for WooCommerce plugin might be a less-popular option than those listed above, with only 5,058 downloads since it launched in 2017, but it does boast all-5-star reviews.

Veeqo is a free stock management plugin.

Advertised scope of services:
  • Centralized order management synced with other stores, including Amazon, eBay, and Shopify
  • Design options for customized invoices
  • Automation features to streamline warehouse management, including filtering orders into picking batches, designing the shortest warehouse routes, and automated rules and tags
  • Easy-to-setup shipping integrations
  • Stock take and purchasing features allow users to track product levels in real-time
  • Reporting options include inventory history, shipping breakdown, product sales performance, and inventory forecasting
Downsides:

While the Veeqo for WooCommerce plugin has only garnered positive reviews on the WordPress plugin page, it’s notable that the plugin does not appear to be updated often enough to prevent bugs and protect against cyberattacks. 

The most recent user review is from 2018, meaning there is no current feedback about the plugin’s effectiveness—and the fact that downloads have slowed over time isn’t a positive signal, either.

The SkuVault alternative:

SkuVault stays on top of every WordPress and WooCommerce update release to ensure that its integration solution never loses functionality.

 

Z Inventory Manager

Hitcode’s Z Inventory Manager, first released in the fall of 2016, is something of a dark horse in this race to the top 7 inventory management plugins on WordPress, with by far the fewest active installations and user reviews of the plugins on this list. 

Nonetheless, the Z Inventory Manager has received praise on various tech blogs as an easy-to-use, lighter-weight option that might be suited to smaller enterprises.

Advertised scope of service:
  • Real-time inventory management that lets users track inventory levels and generate purchase orders
  • Functionality to ship and track sales orders, register shipments
  • Generate a range of inventory reports
Drawbacks:

Z Inventory Manager has the following reported issues:

  • More advanced functions (including access to inventory statistics and history) are only available with the purchase of two different pro licenses
  • Users have reported that plugin updates have introduced programming errors
  • As a less-popular product, even after 4 years on the market, there aren’t enough user reviews to demonstrate proof of concept
The SkuVault alternative:

Users face no limits or constraints regarding their access to the advanced functions offered by SkuVault’s WooCommerce integration system.

 

An Inventory Management Alternative to DIY WordPress Plugins

For some users, the WordPress plugin route to inventory management will be worth the risk—but for vendors tired of the glitchy, unpredictable DIY grind, a third-party tech solution is a welcome alternative.

SkuVault is one such alternative—and a particularly high-achieving one. Launched in 2011, the same year WooCommerce entered the e-commerce marketplace, SkuVault was born of necessity. 

Founders Andy Eastes and Slava Ivanyuk were tasked with identifying and implementing a warehouse and inventory management system for a Louisville-based company, but couldn’t find a program appropriate for their needs. 

So they created something new: a platform capable of empowering SMEs to optimize their operations and become more competitive in the e-commerce and omnichannel markets at a fraction of the cost.

SkuVault has grown to now offer a wide array of integration solutions, including an enterprise resource planning suite that integrates SkuVault’s inventory management system with your WooCommerce site. 

It’s a highly tailored solution that also comes with the security of not having to go it alone—SkuVault offers an array of customer-service packages to provide robust training and troubleshooting as companies implement and familiarize themselves with the software.

Whether you’re on WordPress, Shopify, or another platform altogether, we’d love to show you how SkuVault can improve the efficacy and profitability of your inventory management. Contact us today for a live demo.

 

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