Inventory management can make or break an online store. It’s about optimizing stock levels, ensuring products are readily available when customers need them, and minimizing excess inventory that can tie up capital. And whilst brands can look to make improvements in the warehouse and throughout the supply chain, our clients find simple changes right at the top of the order process can go a long way to improving inventory management.
Leveraging basket processes on home and furniture sites is can make inventory management easier and more efficient, leading to better demand forecasting, improved order management, and increased customer satisfaction. We take a look at 4 major improvements our clients experience with small tweaks to their online basket process.
Better Demand Forecasting
Your e-basket offers valuable insights into customer behaviour and preferences. By analysing the pieces and products customers add to their shopping carts and the frequency with which they do so, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of demand patterns. This data can be used to fine-tune inventory levels and make more accurate demand forecasts.
Basket processes also allow for the identification of trends and seasonality. We know autumn sees a spike in consumers readying their homes for the colder months, and gifting becomes the key focus as we make our way into the holiday season, increasing the likelihood of certain products being added to carts.
Armed with this information, businesses can proactively adjust their inventory levels to meet anticipated demand, reducing the risk of overstocking or understocking. They can also create smart, backup recommendations for when stock does run out so that if a certain item is out of stock, another similar one is offered.
Improved Order Management
Efficient order management is essential for preventing stockouts, backorders, and shipping delays. Basket processes help streamline order fulfilment by providing real-time data on the items in customers' shopping carts. This information enables businesses to manage inventory more effectively, ensuring that they have sufficient stock to fulfil pending orders.
Additionally, brands can implement features like inventory reservation, enabling the system to temporarily reserve that item, preventing it from being sold to someone else until the customer either completes the purchase or abandons their cart. This prevents instances where customers are disappointed by items becoming unavailable during the checkout process.
One of the most significant benefits of effective inventory management is the impact on customer satisfaction. When customers can find the products they want in stock, have confidence in timely deliveries, and experience a smooth checkout process, they are more likely to have positive shopping experiences, particularly in time-critical periods like the gifting season.
Customers appreciate e-commerce sites that offer accurate product availability information. If a product is out of stock or on backorder, transparent communication with the customer about expected restock dates can help manage expectations and reduce frustration. We love this cart over at Burrow.com that shows the product is in stock and exactly how long it will take to ship. They then use AfterShip to send out web hooks whenever a shipment has been updated so that they can inform their customers in real-time.
Moreover, efficient order fulfilment and on-time delivery contribute to customer loyalty and positive reviews, which, in turn, can attract more customers and boost sales.
Overcoming Outdated Technology Limitations
Many businesses still rely on outdated inventory management systems that lack real-time synchronisation with their e-commerce platforms. These systems can lead to inaccuracies, double bookings, and other inventory-related issues. Basket processes, when integrated with modern inventory management systems, can bridge the gap between online sales and inventory tracking.
By leveraging basket processes, businesses can implement features like automated inventory updates, which instantly deduct stock levels when items are added to carts, and update them when purchases are made. This real-time synchronisation helps prevent overselling and ensures that customers receive accurate information about product availability.
Pimp up Your Basket
Baskets are powerful tools for streamlining inventory management. They enable businesses to make more accurate demand forecasts, enhance order management, boost customer satisfaction, and overcome the limitations of outdated technology.
Investing in better basket design not only improves the likelihood of purchase (as we’ve found time and time again with clients) but also provides valuable data to help home and furniture brands optimise their inventory levels, reduce costs, and ultimately increase their bottom line. In today's competitive e-commerce landscape, effective inventory management is a key differentiator that can set businesses apart and drive long-term success.
Want to find out if your basket is fully optimised for effective inventory management? Get in contact with our team to find out how we can help.