How to Understand Multichannel Inventory Management (Without Driving Yourself Crazy)

December 13,2018
by Matt Lurie

Woman using laptop in her fabric and homewares storeIf you sell the same products on multiple channels, keeping things synchronized everywhere you do business can be a challenge. That challenge has a name: multichannel inventory management. And it’s a challenge many sellers have learned to face alone—because don’t expect marketplaces to make multichannel inventory management easier any time soon.

Why? Because marketplaces weren’t built to support multichannel e-commerce. Amazon doesn’t want you to sell on eBay. eBay would rather not have you hearing about all the opportunities on Amazon. And if you run into multichannel inventory management trouble—if your in-stock and out-of-stock products in one place don’t match up with your listings elsewhere—neither marketplace has your back.


That said, you’re not alone. To keep things coordinated between marketplaces, sellers need multichannel inventory management software to take care of products and listings.

Woman working in her fabric and homewares store

Why Choose Multichannel Inventory Management Software

The more channels you’re active on, the more opportunities you have to sell. For multichannel e-commerce businesses, however, every sale brings risk:

  • What if a product sells out due to rapid sales on one channel right as a customer on another channel is about to click “buy” on the same item?

  • What if you neglect to mark an item purchased online as sold, and an in-store customer buys it?

  • What if you undercut yourself because a shopper finds an old, discounted listing whose price you forgot to change back?

  • What a shopper makes a misinformed purchase because one of your images is out of date?

These are just a few of the many possible multichannel sales pitfalls.

Multichannel inventory management software helps you mitigate these possible disasters by connecting your storefronts and marketplace profiles to one central platform. Here you’ll enter or upload your SKUs, set automated pricing rules, and let the platform do its work. You only need to set it all up once, and you can add to your products or adjust your settings as often—or as infrequently—as you like.


If you want to build your e-commerce company, you need multichannel inventory management software to succeed. Luckily, there are a number of solutions out there—but not all of these tool sets are created equal. Here are some essential features to look for:

Woman working in a fabric and homewares store

 

Multichannel Inventory Management Software Features to Look For

Quantity updating icon

Continuous Inventory Synchronization

This is a fundamental aspect of any multichannel management solution. As soon as you make a sale or update your inventory, the platform should automatically coordinate product quantities across every e-commerce channel in which you do business.

 

Bulk updating icon

Bulk Updating

Lightning-fast listing options are another key feature. Choose a software solution that allows you to add, subtract, or replace quantities for numerous listings at the same time, and then makes adjustments based on vendor information. The best solutions out there include prebuilt templates, which make it possible for sellers to quickly and easily publish their listings by following marketplace category prompts.

 

Multichannel ordering icon

Image Updating and Sharing Tools

Why limit your best images to a single marketplace? With SellerActive, for instance, sellers can use Amazon’s product catalog assets anywhere by importing images and dimensions from the catalog to all of their other listings.

 

Revenue growth icon

A Comprehensive, Cloud-Based Dashboard

Any seller, regardless of inventory size, needs accurate, real-time sales data to make the right strategic decisions. Find a multichannel management tool set that provides you with the all the information necessary to monitor your sales results and stay agile and competitive. The dashboard should show you information such as data on sales trends (yours and your competitors), inventory value over time, low-stock alerts, a breakdown of sales by marketplace, sales ranks on each marketplace, and current outstanding orders. Some solutions, though not all, use a cloud-based dashboard accessible from any device—ideal for large teams, teams working remotely, or sellers who are traveling or working offsite.

 

Automated repricing logo

Automated Repricing Technology

In addition to keeping your listings synchronized, smart multichannel inventory management software can automatically raise your inventory prices in accordance with a predetermined pricing strategy. This keeps your stock moving and your margins high. Learn more about repricing here.

 

Analytics icon

Integrations with Key Marketplaces and Other E-commerce Tools

Finally, make sure to choose a solution designed with total coverage and flexibility in mind. On top of fundamental integrations with major marketplaces and shopping carts, the platform should connect with the other tools you use every day, from your shipping and rate shopping software to your accounting program.

 

Nail Multichannel Inventory Management with SellerActive

SellerActive’s channel management dashboard gives you the power and flexibility to list and update your products across most top marketplaces—all from a single location. Learn more about our platform, watch a video, or try SellerActive for yourself!

Schedule a Demo

 

Leave a comment

Recent Posts