5 Key Strategies for Effective Stock Control in E-commerce

The digital market landscape is growing fast, and eCommerce businesses must rapidly replenish their stock to keep up with the demand and maintain happy customers.

While having as much stock on hand as possible may be tempting, this might prove inefficient. A great way to manage your stock better is by using stock control. This philosophy lets you keep the important stock on hand to ensure smooth operations.

But businesses are constantly changing, and so are your inventory management strategies. Don’t worry! We’ll guide you through this process, and at the end, you’ll know 5 key strategies for effective stock control in e-commerce. Let’s begin.

5 Key Strategies for Effective Stock Control

Effective Stock Control

Some online retailers use inventory control to mitigate challenges when they come up, but you must go beyond that. The goal of effective stock control is to create a system that will prevent any problems from popping up.

Without any hiccups, your operation will run smoothly, ensuring consistent growth and sales. So, let’s dive into the 5 key strategies for effective stock control.

1. Take A Look At Stock Trends

Before you start building a strategy, you need baseline data. Take a look at your stock trends to see which items have more demand and which are slow-moving. Check historical sales data and consumer trend reports to design a stock control strategy.

When you identify these products, you will also have information on the quantity to keep on hand. While this isn’t a foolproof tip, as numbers fluctuate over the years, you can guess how much product to keep.

Always give yourself space for demand to go up or down, and you’ll make the most of this strategy. You can create a forecast manually, but this can be time-consuming. Investing in a high-quality warehouse management system will give you all the necessary details for efficient stock control.

2. Choose The ABC Method

Not all products are the same. You might know that some of your products go out of sale as soon as they hit the shelf while others take some time to go out.

Prioritising the right stock can help you keep up with this demand. The ABC method is a tried and tested way to categorise your products according to their demand. Here’s how it works:

  • Class A products are essential items, often of high value. They take up nearly 10-20% of your total stock.
  • Class B products are important but not crucial. These correspond to roughly 30% of the stock.
  • Class C products are of low importance and take up nearly 50% of your inventory.

The ABC strategy will help you optimise your inventory and keep up with sales forecasts. Once you have all your stock divided into categories, you can ensure better inventory management.

3. Focus On Product Organisation

This might seem like a simple tip, but it can help you in the long run if used effectively. Unorganised products often lead to inventory management mishaps, and mislabelled products and items without proper identification can lead to expensive mishaps.

Consider using barcodes—an economical but highly effective way of organising your stock. All you need to do is scan the code and get all the necessary information for your item. Do this process anytime you move, ship, or receive products.

With barcodes, you can avoid mistyped SKU numbers, human errors, and bogus inventory. Additionally, you can improve packing slips to reduce shipping errors. Try colour-coding your packing slips according to the product category. This method allows you to distinguish between items visually and makes organisation easier.

Consider partnering with a 3PL like Meteor Space for better organisation. With our automated picking and packing process, you won’t have to worry about misplaced orders. Our innovative WMS system organises your products with clear SKU information, reducing human error and ensuring up to 99% order accuracy.

4. Stay On Top of Best Before Dates

If your products have a shelf life, make sure to get them out as soon as possible. Expired products sitting in the warehouse will inflate your stock numbers while leaving you with unusable products.

Fixing such problems can be time-consuming and costly. Instead, create strategies to ensure perishable items move steadily out of the warehouse well before their best-before date.

This way, you won’t lose money on ruined products, and your customers will have enough time to enjoy their items. One great tip is to create reminders for each product category so you know when to send them out.

A reminder system will also keep you on track on when to shift stock before the products expire. Another helpful strategy is to check the best-by date as you pack each order. If you’re packing items in a bundle, that doesn’t mean all the products have the same best-before date, so note this to avoid a bad customer experience.

5. Keep Stock Moving With JIT Method

In JIT or the Just In Time method, you only order the number of items you need, exactly when you need them, maintaining steady rotation in your inventory. With this method, the volume of your inventory more or less matches the number of orders fulfilled.

The key philosophy for JIT method is being able to meet customers demands but also being able to quickly order more stock for the next set of orders.

This stock control strategy was created to increase efficiency, cut inventory holding costs, and reduce waste by purchasing only products that were sure to sell. However, several factors, including a streamlined supply chain system and fast delivery, are needed to maintain this method.

The JIT method can also fail due to several outside disruptions, such as sudden demand surges, supplier unreliability and natural disasters that can halt supply chains. Such problems can create costly hiccups, compromising product quality and decreasing customer satisfaction.

Despite its potential problems, the JIT method is an excellent way of controlling your stock and making sure it stays in rotation. This method reduces storage costs, enhances operational efficiency, reduces waste, and improves your business finances.

The constant turnover of products also ensures all items are of excellent quality and are relevant to customer demands. Before you consider the JIT method, circle back to our first tip about looking at stock trends.

The key to a successful JIT system is predicting customers’ demands. Once you have this data, you’ll have a better idea of what products to order and how much of them are needed.

Why is Stock Control Important?

Why is Stock Control Important

Stock control is a crucial aspect of e-commerce fulfilment, and without it, you could disrupt your operation, reduce customer satisfaction and hinder your business growth.

If done right, stock control is a game-changer for online retail, allowing you to meet customer demand and increase your growth. Often known as inventory control, this process is not about keeping a lot of stock; it’s about having the right items and sending them out on time.

Why Do You Need It?

E-commerce is booming as more and more people are shopping online. However, with more business comes more competition. The bottom line is that having the best product is not enough anymore; you also need a streamlined supply chain to get said products out to customers.

The main purpose behind stock control is to save you time and money while keeping your customers happy. Excess inventory might not seem like a significant issue, but extra warehousing costs can slowly creep up and cause a lot of damage.

Some companies might overstock items in case of high demand, but this can be potentially wasteful and eat a large chunk of your profits. On the other hand, you might run out of stock and risk losing customers.

To avoid such hiccups, stock control management can help you forecast demand so you’ll have the right amount of product on hand. You will also build customer loyalty and improve client relationships as you’ll always have stock when needed.

Some businesses might prefer to manage inventory manually, but this can be time-consuming and pose the risk of human error. Instead, invest in high-quality stock control software to gain key insights into your inventory without errors.

Partnering with a third-party logistics company like Meteor Space can give you access to such tools. At Meteor Space, your order fulfilment is done by skilled team members with access to some of the most innovative picking and packing technologies. Our state-of-the-art WMS provides real-time stock data, ensuring a smooth fulfilment process.

Outsource Your Stock Control Needs To Meteor Space

Stock control is at the core of any growing e-commerce business, whether it’s improving customer relationships or scaling your company to reach new milestones. At Meteor Space, we take order fulfilment off your hands and provide a streamlined supply chain.

We offer many features to help eCommerce stores through all packaging and shipping needs. With our tools, you can spend more time growing your business without worrying about inventory management.

When you partner with Meteor Space, you can access our high-quality stock control software, which provides detailed information so you know exactly what products you have and how much is needed. Here are some benefits of choosing Meteor Space as your 3PL partner.

Stock Control Software

Successful order fulfilment relies heavily on inventory management and logistics. With a technology-based 3PL like Meteor Space, we provide accurate data and management software that helps you stay organised.

With our state-of-the-art warehouse management system, you can keep track of all your inventory and ensure it goes out on time. You can also access precise inventory projections based on the type of order you’re sending out.

We also handle all deliveries and shipments, refilling your inventory and more. With Meteor Space as your 3PL partner, you never have to worry about delays in fulfilment services.

Multi-Channel Integration

In today’s growing eCommerce world, multichannel integration is crucial. Our WMS seamlessly connects to your online store, allowing you to quickly set up to take orders.

Our state-of-the-art WMS system lets you connect to multiple eCommerce channels such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magneto.

Apart from stock management, our WMS provides multiple courier options for shipping. You’ll have the choice of reviewing various options before choosing the right delivery partner.

Knowledgable and Friendly Experts

Our team members provide quality order fulfilment services and expert advice to help navigate retail packing and shipping. Our highly trained and knowledgeable team is always available to offer a helping hand with logistics and inventory.

At Meteor, you will find transparency and complete knowledge of everything that goes behind the scenes to process your order. Our experts are available 24/7 to help you manage packaging fulfilment for business growth while maintaining customer satisfaction.

Take Control of Your Stock With Meteor Space

Stock control might seem like a complicated strategy with many aspects to consider. But mastering it can help you manage your orders, build customer loyalty, and grow your business.

When you partner with Meteor Space, we will take care of your inventory and help you streamline your supply chain. With our fully responsive WMS efficient order processing, you will get all stock information in real-time, allowing you to enjoy a smooth fulfilment process.

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