Multi-Channel Inventory Sync
With the growing popularity of e-Commerce platforms, businesses often sell their products on multiple channels to reach a larger audience. However, managing inventory across these channels can be a challenging task. Multi-channel inventory sync is a process of synchronizing inventory levels across multiple sales channels or marketplaces.
What is Multi-channel inventory sync?
Multi-channel inventory sync is a crucial process in modern retail and e-commerce operations that involves synchronizing inventory data across multiple sales channels. In today’s interconnected marketplace, businesses often sell their products through various channels, such as online marketplaces, e-commerce websites, and direct sales. Managing inventory separately for each channel can lead to discrepancies, overselling, and customer dissatisfaction.
Multi-channel inventory sync addresses these challenges by centralizing and updating inventory data. When a sale is made on one platform, the inventory levels are adjusted on other platforms to reflect the updated stock availability. This synchronization ensures accurate and up-to-date inventory information, minimizing the risk of stockouts and improving overall customer experience. Additionally, it streamlines order fulfillment processes, reduces manual errors, and enables businesses to make informed decisions based on comprehensive inventory insights, ultimately enhancing efficiency and profitability.
Multi-channel inventory sync: How it Works
The first step for multi-channel inventory sync is to determine how a business wants to show availability from channel to channel. Does inventory availability show the same amount per channel, or do certain channels have more or less inventory available than others?
For example, a very popular cosmetics company must decide how to show the availability of the same dark red lipstick across several channels. In total, the cosmetics company has 500 of the same dark red lipsticks available. This company operates a web store, sells to Sephora once a month via EDI, and also participates in direct sales. With Acctivate, the user can dictate product availability for each channel, or have the availability show the same across all channels. If the inventory availability is dictated per channel, Acctivate would show (for example): 200 available for the web store, 200 committed to Sephora, 100 for direct sales (as well as the warehouse and bin locations). If the availability is the same across channels, then it would simply show 500 dark red lipsticks available (along with warehouse and bin locations).
Step two is essentially sitting back and watching the multi-channel inventory sync do its work.
As web store customers purchase the red lipstick, the inventory sync between the web store and Acctivate will update at set intervals, updating the web store with the correct quantity still available and pushing orders into Acctivate. For direct sales, the inventory sync works in a similar fashion. If a phone order comes in for 50 of the dark red lipsticks, the user will complete the sales order, and 50 of the dark red lipsticks will be deducted from the overall availability. When an order via EDI is received for Sephora, users can see that 200 of the dark red lipsticks were committed ahead of time, and they can move forward with processing the order.
The goal of multi-channel inventory synchronization across an organization is the housing and monitoring of inventory availability across all channels and warehouses. Throughout the day, orders come in from different channels, and the inventory availability is reduced and updated accordingly. As inventory is received into the warehouse, out-of-stock and low-stocks will rebound as the replenishments become available.
Why Multi-Channel Inventory Sync Matters
When products are purchased from any location, online or physical, Acctivate will update with the correct inventory availability. Without an efficient, real-time multi-channel inventory sync, the more likely a business is to oversell and undersell, lose opportunities for lengthy response times on availability or thanks to unforeseen out of stocks, or even from receiving cancellations because fulfillment is backed up (because purchased inventory wasn’t actually available at the time).
Acctivate eliminates lengthy response times for users receiving calls questioning inventory availability – it just takes a quick search to pull up the information needed. Acctivate prevents overselling and underselling by constantly monitoring in real-time what is truly available, what is not, updating channels accordingly, and alerting when it’s time to restock with suggested re-order amounts. Acctivate prevents overly long fulfillment times by preventing the sale of inventory that was never available to begin with. Day in and day out, Acctivate keeps customers happy.