A seasoned retail business owner and entrepreneur, Karla Briones, recently shared her insights on streamlining inventory for retail and e-commerce businesses. In her webinar, Karla emphasized the importance of leveraging technology to manage inventory effectively and efficiently. Here are some key takeaways and highlights from her talk:
1. Technology is only as good as how you use it.
No matter how advanced or sophisticated, technology is only useful if it's used correctly. It's crucial to adopt technology that suits your business needs and to invest time and resources into learning how to use it effectively
2. Transitioning from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce or vice versa requires technology adoption.
Whether you're moving from a brick-and-mortar store to an online store or vice versa, transitioning will require adopting technology that streamlines your operations. This includes procedures, inventory management, and point-of-sale systems. Tools like Pointy, which is free and integrates with Google, and Square, which offers a range of features, are Karla's top recommendations for small businesses looking to enhance their online presence and streamline their operations.
3. Accuracy is key.
Accuracy is vital in managing inventory, and the accuracy of your point-of-sale system is only as good as the humans who use it. Therefore, updating inventory numbers regularly and investing in technology such as inventory barcode scanners is essential to help you manage your stock more accurately
4. Different customers require different approaches.
Karla highlighted that different customers require different approaches when it comes to inventory management. For example, Judy, a happy brick-and-mortar buyer, values having the products she wants in stock, while Amy, a digital window shopper, values an online presence that regularly provides information on products in-store.
5. An online presence is essential.
An online presence is crucial for e-commerce businesses and brick-and-mortar stores alike. Having a website and physical store can help keep customers like Amy happy and informed about your products and stock availability.
6. Invest in procedures and budgeting.
Investing in procedures and budgeting can help streamline inventory management. Procedures like predicting reordering and regularly updating inventory counts can help you stay on top of your stock levels, while budgeting can ensure you have the necessary funds to purchase inventory.
In summary, technology is a powerful tool that can help streamline inventory management for retail and e-commerce businesses. Adopting the right technology, investing in procedures, and focusing on accuracy can help keep customers happy and keep your business running smoothly.