Stock costs money. Money to buy, money to stock, money to store, money to organise, money to package…money that your eCommerce business could use for marketing, employees, premises, things. The trick to healthy cash flow? Inventory Management.
What is Cash Flow
Let’s get back to basics – briefly. Cash flow is the money coming into and out of your business. Money goes out, stock comes in, stock goes out, money comes in.
A healthy cash flow is one that sees more cash flowing into the business, than out of it. A poor cash flow is one that sees more cash flowing out of the business, than into it.
Cash Flow and Inventory Management
Your inventory is your biggest asset – how you manage it, directly affects your cash flow. A spreadsheet might appear to do the trick when you’re first starting out on Amazon or eBay but for businesses hoping to grow and sell on multiple sales channel(s) and marketplaces, adopting an effective inventory management system is vital and here’s why.
1. Understanding Your Cash Flow
Inventory management gives you an accurate and real-time picture of your current cash flow, including how much cash is tied up in stock and how quickly that stock is moving. Your financial reporting becomes more accurate, creating stronger business plans and increased growth.
2. Sales Trends
Inventory management systems produce reports on inventory turnover so that you can establish sale and marketplace peaks and troughs. Sell more ladies watches on Amazon in December but sell very little on eBay in November? You understand what stock is selling fast, when – putting facts behind your purchasing and marketing plans.
3. Stock Levels/Control
Always seem to have too much or too little stock? Inventory management provides an accurate picture of what stock you have to sell and highlights how quickly it moves so that you can plan your buying accordingly. This means that you can:
– Save money by not holding onto slow-moving stock;
– Avoid selling out of stock; and
– Identify stock primed for reductions
4. Order Fulfilment
Fulfilling your orders quickly and in full is vital for great feedback, return customers and recommendations. It also makes you more likely to be picked for the Amazon Buy Box, eBay Our Pick box and Amazon’s Choice. Fulfilling orders across multiple sales channel(s) can be tricky but multichannel inventory management software will ensure that you never oversell stock anywhere, without the need for ring-fencing.
Never overselling also means that you can begin processing orders immediately and deliver items quickly. Again, fantastic for feedback and customer satisfaction.
6. Better Use of Time
Without manually updating spreadsheets, handling customer complaints and urgently ordering stock, you can spend your time growing your business.
That’s What I Want
Expandly is multichannel management software that allows you to manage your eBay, Amazon, Wish and Etsy accounts alongside your shopping cart, shipping carrier and accountancy software – all from one central location.