Inventory management software supports online retailing
August 16, 2013
As consumer preferences change and evolve over time, companies need to leverage better inventory management software to stay competitive. To keep up with new demands, firms will need inventory management technology. More people are shopping online, which can create logistical challenges for companies. Inventory technology can help businesses adapt to new models.
Some retailers may stand to gain a competitive advantage from shifting consumer preferences. Not only are people shopping online, but purchases from mobile devices are increasing. This means purchases can be more immediate because people can shop from anywhere. Because of the massive growth of e-commerce in the last few years, online shopping is pushing warehouse rental rates up, according to The Financial Times. During the global financial crisis, warehouse rental costs fell due to lower demand for new products. As consumer spending has risen again, retailers are facing higher prices.
Another challenge in inventory and warehouse management for emerging commerce models is the fact that it is difficult to adapt large warehouse spaces for e-commerce because it involves smaller orders in many cases. Companies also need warehouses closer to urban centers for quicker delivery time.
Leveraging technology to improve inventory management
The supply chain needs of an ecommerce model are very different from in-store retailing. The U.S. is the world's largest e-commerce market, but the trend is starting to catch on in other countries, The FT said. Firms may experience higher demand from international customers. Because inefficient inventory management can lead to wasted resources and lost revenue, companies need inventory software to effectively manage orders.
One of the keys to staying competitive in the modern business environment is by implementing new technology. Some retailers are seeking to find new ways to perform well despite Amazon's domination on the ecommerce market, according to Retail Week. The multichannel approach is becoming more popular. Consumers still want to go to a brick-and-mortar retailer to purchase certain product categories, and companies that find ways to successfully combine both initiatives may be able to boost performance.
Any new retail model needs effective inventory management technology to back it up. As the industry continues to change, companies will need to adopt new solutions to stay competitive.