E-commerce has become a popular way of doing business, making keeping track of your inventory essential to avoid stockouts and other issues. Fortunately, with the advancement of technology, companies have access to various tools and software that help track their inventory in real-time.
1. QR (Quick Response) coding and Scanning Technology
QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes that, when scanned, redirect the user to a specific website or information. In eCommerce, QR codes track inventory levels by assigning a unique QR code to each product. This code is then scanned, updating the inventory data in real-time. This allows eCommerce businesses to track their inventory levels accurately, which in turn helps them optimize their supply chain and prevent stockouts.
QR codes are also used for shipping and logistics purposes. For example, a unique QR code is generated and attached to the package when a product is packed and ready for shipping. This code can be scanned at various stages of the shipping process, providing real-time updates on the package’s location and delivery status.
The scanning technology for QR codes is usually built into smartphones, making it easily accessible for customers and businesses. The data captured through these scans are stored in a centralized database, making it easy to analyze inventory levels, shipping data, and other metrics.
2. Inventory Management Software
First, inventory management software integrates with a business’s e-commerce platform or marketplace. This integration allows the software to access and monitor the inventory levels of each product listed for sale. When a deal is made, the software updates the inventory levels in real-time, ensuring that the inventory levels are always accurate and up-to-date.
In addition to monitoring inventory levels, inventory management software provides businesses with valuable insights into their inventory performance. For instance, the software can generate reports on inventory turnover rate, lead time, and reorder point, enabling companies to optimize their inventory levels and reduce the risk of overstocking or understocking.
Another critical feature of inventory management software is its ability to automate certain aspects of inventory management. For instance, the software can automatically generate purchase orders when inventory levels reach a threshold, ensuring that businesses always have enough inventory to fulfill orders.
3. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
An EDI is an electronic communication method to exchange business documents between computer systems. It allows seamless data transfer from one business system to another without human intervention. EDI is vital in tracking e-commerce inventory by automating inventory data exchange between trading partners.
When an order is placed on an e-commerce platform, the charge is transmitted to the seller’s system via EDI. The seller’s system automatically updates the inventory levels in real-time, subtracting the number of items sold from the available inventory. This ensures that the seller always has accurate inventory data and can avoid overselling.
Once the order is fulfilled, the seller’s system generates an electronic invoice, which is transmitted to the customer’s system via EDI. The invoice includes all the relevant order details, such as item descriptions, quantities, and prices. The customer’s system uses this information to update its inventory levels, adding the items purchased to its available inventory.