The eCommerce brands that excel today are the ones who have found ways to overcome supply chain logistical challenges. If you sell on Walmart and other channels and are still relying on manual or semi-manual inventory management methods, you’re only creating additional challenges for your business.

Successful brands have the right back-end systems set up to sell successfully on Walmart Marketplace and across the multiple channels they sell products on. Automated inventory management is a powerful tool for not only driving growth for your business but also providing a better experience for your customers.

In this post, we cover what automated inventory management is, why your business should be using automated inventory management, key features to look for with automated inventory management for Walmart, along with the top benefits.

What is automated inventory management?

Inventory management is a crucial piece for any eCommerce business and integral for maintaining successful supply chain operations. Automated inventory management is a practical tool that includes sourcing, tracking, storing, and shipping products from your inventory. Effectively managing your inventory results in improved efficiency and reduced operating costs.

Instead of having your staff manually perform tedious management tasks and data entry that lead to human errors, inventory management software does the job for you. It’s efficient, accurate and provides powerful insights and analytics for forecasting demand for your products.

Why should businesses automate inventory management?

1. Keep up with sales growth

With higher sales volumes comes the need to utilize a system that can keep pace with your growth. An automated inventory management system scales with your company.

If you’re still tracking your inventory by hand, then you know just how tedious and time-consuming manual inventory management can be, especially if you’re relying on manual spreadsheets. You’ll need to switch to an automated system to successfully sustain sales growth in the Walmart Marketplace and across all of your sales channels. The more you sell, the more you need an automated system so information about orders and inventory is always available and accurate.

2. Centralize inventory levels with a real-time view

A good inventory management system shows real-time inventory levels in one centralized platform.

You should be able to manage multiple aspects of your inventory through one dashboard for efficiency and time saving across your team. This includes setting up automatic reorder points when inventory gets low and getting the right inventory level information for Walmart Marketplace.

The real-time view is key for eCommerce businesses. Sellers that list products on multiple channels and those that expand to new ones, must be able to trust that their inventory view is accurate at all times.

3. Improve the overall customer experience

Your customers expect convenience. According to Linnworks research, 76% of shoppers say convenience is their top priority when selecting a retailer.

When customers make a purchase from you, they anticipate you’ll have their order in stock, prioritized and shipped immediately with tracking information. If you’re selling shoes, for example, once the customer places the order, they expect accurate communication on shipping — 72% of customers have abandoned a purchase over lack of shipping transparency, according to Linnworks research. In other words, you need to deliver on your promise to the customer.

For Walmart’s shipping guarantees of Walmart ThreeDay Delivery, Walmart TwoDay Delivery and Walmart Next Day Delivery, it’s important to use an automated inventory management system that automates the shipping process in addition to inventory and order management so you can deliver orders to customers in the promised time frame.

You’ll lose loyal customers on Walmart Marketplace if there is friction in the post-purchase experience. This is a problem because keeping customers loyal to your brand is essential. Loyal customers are your biggest fans, spreading the word about your brand, and are willing to spend more with your brand. It even costs 5-25x more to acquire customers than retain them, according to research from Harvard Business Review.

Automation is a tool that keeps customers loyal by helping your business create a positive customer experience with benefits like avoiding stockouts and preventing overselling. In addition, a system that works alongside shipping management ensures speed and consistency in delivering orders.

4. Create inventory forecasts

A powerful benefit of inventory management software is that you can set up detailed forecasts to accurately plan inventory for the future, especially during specific time periods, such as the peak holiday season. You want to make sure you’re not overselling your products, specifically around these high-demand time frames, so that you meet customer expectations. 

Key features of automated inventory management that help improve sales growth on Walmart Marketplace 

Using an automated inventory management solution like Linnworks makes it easy to grow and streamline your business on Walmart Marketplace. Linnworks directly integrates with your Walmart Seller Account so you can also streamline listing creation, shipping, order fulfillment, and refunds.

Some key features to look for in an automated inventory management solution are:

  • An accurate overview of all of your inventory levels on Walmart Marketplace
  • Sync inventory in real-time to avoid stockouts and overselling
  • Bulk-create product listings and revise stock levels automatically for Walmart Marketplace
  • Keep customers informed with an email notification once orders have been shipped
  • Forecast demand for your products on Walmart Marketplace
  • Streamline the purchase-order process with automation
  • Reduce manual effort and save time with automated inventory management using one centralized location for greater efficiency as your sales grow

Utilizing automated inventory management software streamlines your supply chain operations and, most importantly, improves the customer experience. Because what’s most important, the engine that drives your eCommerce business is keeping customers happy — and you can only do that by creating a positive experience for them.

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