How a Product Catalog Improves Inventory Management and Boosts Sales

7 months ago   •   2 min read

By Anne Shaw

Whether you run a sporting goods, furniture, or clothing store, you understand the struggle related to inventory management. Keeping track of sales both in store and online can sometimes be a headache, but it's also essential.

With a product catalog, you can make your life (and your employees' lives) easier. Working hand in hand with inventory management systems, modern product catalogs can instantly interface with digital inventory controls. This means you not only get to track your sales by channel, but you can also improve your financial reporting and enhance your operation's profitability.

Improve your financial reporting and projections by tracking sales.

Let's say you sell sporting goods both in store and via your ecommerce store. When customers walk into your physical store, they may immediately see a limited supply of merchandise that suits their particular needs, styles, sizes, colors, etc. Their instant impression of perceived scarcity can spur the decision to buy. Customers realize that if they don't snatch up that one perfect item right now, it could very likely be out of stock the next time they return.

A product catalog that tracks your available inventory and shows it to your online shoppers can have the same effect—especially in today's supply-stressed environment. If your store faces struggles related to global supply chain issues, turn this stressor into a sales opportunity by using your catalog to your advantage. Integrate your inventory management system with a product catalog so that you can urge interested customers to take action. As the Wall Street Journal has covered, including interactive live "count downs" of remaining quantities can boost sales, especially for high-demand items.

Manage your inventory and keep all parties informed.

Driving more sales isn't the only reason to incorporate a product catalog with an inventory management system. When merchandise is flying off the shelves—whether at a warehouse or in your showroom—you'll know in real-time when to order additional stock. Likewise, if a particular item is sitting unsold for months, your reports can flag when it's time to offer a close-out special. And, if you suspect that highly desirable items are "walking out the door" due to shoplifting, you can take quick action to prevent additional losses.

Needless to say, the ability to monitor online and in store sales, returns, shrinkage, upcoming deliveries, and other key metrics can help you improve your financial projections and simplify efforts when the next tax filing deadline approaches.

Use insights to streamline checkouts and even cross-sell and upsell.

When your sales and stock data are in sync, customers won't run into the frustrating problem of trying to check out when a product in their digital cart suddenly isn't available. And, they won't be tempted to abandon their carts altogether. Instead, they'll only be able to add in-stock products to their cart while they shop, which delivers a smoother checkout process.

Additionally, if you track data from interactions with loyal customers, your catalog can offer an additional bonus: the ability to target them with relevant inventory. Using SMS or email, you can notify a customer who recently bought a kayak in store about an online sale on paddles. Or, hand a receipt featuring a coupon for accessories in stock on your website to a fashionista checking out at the cash register. She can then order more inventory online at her convenience.

As retailers prepare to face typical holiday season pressures, this year presents them with additional struggles: supply chain issues, inflationary pressures, and heightened customer demand. The ability to link a product catalog with real-time inventory management controls and other ecommerce services could be the solution—and opportunity—they need.

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