You work hard to get a customer to your ecommerce store(s) and marketplace(s). And even harder to get them to buy.
Losing a customer forever due to a bad experience is one of the worst scenarios a multichannel seller can have. When a customer clearly sees their size and color available on your website and orders it, only to get an email two days later stating that you’re out of stock and “please accept our apologies,” well, that’s basically ecommerce suicide.
The customer is mad and, in some cases, furious. Two days have passed and they’re no closer to getting their product. What do they do in addition to shopping elsewhere? They go for your jugular, online reviews. Not only did you lose a customer, you now have a one-star review on your Facebook page, Google and if they’re mad, Yelp. Yikes. All that hard work…
How can you avoid this?
You’re selling products from the same inventory on four different marketplaces. How do you keep an accurate inventory? I’ve seen some sellers have sticky notes on each product in their warehouse that has the inventory count on them. Each time one is sold, the picker changes the inventory. Then, when someone has time, they go into each marketplace to update inventory.
There’s the clipboard method. Same idea as sticky notes except you have your entire inventory on a clipboard.
True story. A vendor who dropshipped for my stores had his 12 year-old earn his allowance by keeping track of inventory—by hand. You know how that turned out.
But what happens at night when your staff has gone home? Do you pray that no one orders from 5 pm to 7 am? Might as well have a brick and mortar store, right? Hiring a night manager is an idea but a costly one.
What’s the next worst thing to overselling? You guessed it. Underselling. You can undersell a product on one channel and oversell it on another. If you’re “sharing inventory” among several channels, what happens when one channel sells out of a product but the others have it in stock? If you’re selling on Amazon, you know they will not tolerate overselling and you can lose your ability to sell on their platform. (If you do get the boot from Amazon, good luck getting back on. It happened to me and it was brutal.) If you have hundreds of products, inventory updates will take a lot of payroll hours to keep up with it. And what happens at night when there’s no one around to adjust inventory? You’re still looking at potential backlash via bad customer reviews. Is it worth the risk?
What about the abandoned cart problem that skews your inventory altogether? It doesn’t hurt the customers; it hurts you having to hang onto inventory that you might be still paying for or that another customer would like to buy.
Some multichannel sellers use Excel, others use barcode scanners. Others only use FBA on Amazon so they won’t oversell.
Others think dropshipping is the answer. Not true. Your dropshippers have a finite amount of inventory (just like you!) and are selling through hundreds of channels. You still have to stay on top of your dropshippers’ inventory.
I’ll bet you have a few inventory stories that would make any online seller cringe. Best thing to do is find an automated solution to solve your inventory problems. Afterall, if you had an automated inventory system, wouldn’t forecasting be a breeze? Imagine the rewards of real-time inventory–you’d know what your best sellers are, where they are selling best and how your profits are looking.
If it were me, at this point I would be pulling my hair out. Just the payroll cost alone is enough to make you look for some sort of automation to handle inventory among multiple marketplaces. If you had inventory accuracy, there would be no issue of under or overselling and hopefully, your reviews will be stellar. What you’re paying out in payroll could be used for an automated solution, right? And it will probably cost you less. Plus, it never gets sick, doesn’t slack off or require a lunch break—or health insurance.
• Are you ready to do something smart? Do you want to instantly track and sync orders, inventory quantities and prices across all your marketplaces?
• What about using your QuickBooks, or online store as the master inventory for your entire business?
• Or easily list new products from QuickBooks to your stores and marketplaces?
• Automatically match existing products and catalogs or do bulk mappings of products on all marketplaces?
Is this sounding too good to be true yet? Well, it is true, and you’ll never oversell again, and you’ll have the peace of mind that your inventory is always up-to-date and accurate. Plus being able to see sales from each marketplace, all on one dashboard is a gift!
It’s called Webgility. We built this solution for multichannel sellers because we had the same pain points as you’re experiencing today. We fixed the pain and now we are passing this fix on to online sellers. We really do make your life better and most users’ experience is that Webgility pays for itself by saving time and money, plus jaw-dropping efficiency is a bonus. It’s worth your while to take a quick demo where we’ll also evaluate your order workflow to identify the holes in your systems.
See what happened to this online seller after he began using Webgility here. This could be you, too.
Book your demo now and accelerate your sales and revenues.
And remember: Real-time inventory integration across all your sales channels provides your customers with a true, best-in-class multichannel experience that accurately reflects the way people actually shop today.