What is Smart Inventory in Retail? 4 Reasons Your Store Needs this Capability
Is managing your retail store inventory time-consuming and cumbersome?
Some retail store owners have learned the hard way that managing inventory isn’t something you can leave to manual processes. Inventory is the lifeblood of your retail store. Managed well, you’ll have the stock you need when you need it. If handled poorly, you risk upsetting customers and constantly chasing your tail.
Instead of worrying about human error and missing vital reports, there are many ways smart inventory methods can save time and money and free up headspace for more important things.
This article highlights four ways smart inventory levels up your operations, helps you make informed decisions, and automates inventory management so you can concentrate on growing your business.
What is Smart Inventory?
Technology is evolving in all industries, and retail is no different. You need to invest in smart inventory management to keep up with changing consumer preferences and the need to have products available at all times.
Smart inventory uses powerful point of sale (POS) software and data to stay on top of orders, stock levels, pricing, vendors, and promotions. It’s beneficial for retail businesses because you can have accurate inventory data, customer data, and reports at your fingertips.
If you’re stuck using manual processes prone to error and require more human resources, it might be time to invest in a robust POS system that powers smart inventory. Does your store deserve an upgrade? Let’s dig a little deeper.
1. Accurate Inventory Data
43 percent of small businesses in the United States track inventory using a manual system or don’t track inventory at all. With the risk of human error, how can you accurately forecast inventory levels?
You need precise data to ensure you always have products on hand. Being out of stock, especially on popular items, risks losing customers. It’s about having the right products in stock, not just filling shelves.
With real-time inventory updates on item status and quantity, you can make informed decisions about what’s selling and what isn’t. You can then stop purchasing or producing products that aren’t selling. You can see that data from anywhere with smart inventory and web-based software. This is especially helpful if you manage multiple stores and use various channels to sell your products.
2. Automatic Stock Replenishment
Using that real-time inventory data, you can set up processes for ordering and reordering. Your POS system constantly collects data during customer transactions that provide valuable insights. In turn, you can use those insights to forecast inventory levels and improve the customer experience.
AI has incredible capabilities that make it easy to update inventory and reorder products. As soon as transactions are complete, stock quantity is updated. You can set thresholds to get alerts when stock is running low, but the magic of AI allows you to automatically reorder products.
Looking at reports based on this information means you can see which items are popular and which aren’t. Simply stock more of your bestsellers and save shelf space clogged up with unwanted items.
3. Save Time and Minimize Costs
In modern times, we can have food delivered to our doors without leaving the house. But many consumers still like the experience of going to a physical store. To meet needs, you must streamline the checkout experience and your back end operations.
Processes such as inventory management, reordering, and report generation take up a lot of time and human resources when done manually. Why would you spend hours or even days counting stock when it can do it automatically?
Manual processes are prone to human error. A miscount here or a typo there leads to inaccurate inventory counts and, in turn, to mistakes and lost revenue. Free up your employees’ time and save on costs so they can focus on the customer experience.
4. Operational Efficiencies
With real-time updates and visibility across multiple locations, a smart inventory system provides visibility into operations and informs how you can streamline everything from order fulfillment to warehouse operations. Action is taken much faster when your whole team can collaborate across your store.
With smart inventory, you can detect supply chain disruptions and take immediate action. For example, you can quickly identify bottlenecks and adjust stocking processes. Instead of looking at reports on a weekly or monthly basis, you can use data to react immediately.
Reducing the cost of operations is crucial. You can improve cash flow by stopping wasting money on slow-moving products, anticipating customer demand, and building good relationships with vendors to minimize late shipments. Remember, while inventory makes you money, it can also cost you money if you don’t optimize operations.
Smart Inventory: The Smart Move For Your Retail Store
When choosing a POS system, you want one you can build and customize. Consider all the features and functionalities you need from your point of sale software to manage inventory effectively.
Your needs differ from other stores, so a one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t make sense. You need a solution suited to your business and your goals that helps better serve your customers. We offer a solution for retail businesses that makes running and growing your business easy.
Reminder: Inventory management is the lifeblood of a successful retail business.
Want to see how we can help? Schedule a Demo of our Retail POS system and get a guided tour of our software.