Inventory Management Trends in 2022 Businesses Should Watch Out

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The fast-paced global economy and intense technological developments make the eCommerce industry change rapidly. Sometimes it happens intuitively and gradually; other times, it hits the industry players by storm.

So how to keep standing in the ever-lasting wind of changes? 

You're right - constantly having your eye on the latest market trends is the best survival tactic.

We agree constant monitoring of your industry tendencies can be a daunting task. It's sometimes hard to see a big picture when concentrated on daily chores and never-ending deadlines. That's why we've come up with the hottest inventory management trends of 2022 for every business operating in the eCommerce field and are planning to stay here for long. 

If you're that eCommerce owner who doesn't want to fall out of competition and wants to rock the career in 2022, this blog is for you! Sit back and get concentrated; we're starting.

Just in case

Gone are the days when companies were avoiding extra stock by adopting a "just in time" tactic. Now it's all about "just in case" stock, which means companies started to keep more stock in reserve, even if the demand doesn't seem to go up. 

Inventory Management Trends in 2022 Businesses Should Watch Out

Why? Let's explain (as far as we get it).

It's not a secret that the key driver for eCommerce changes is customers' expectations. Nowadays, people want to get their orders as soon as possible, and they don't really care about the manufacturing or shipping process. 

All they see is a "Buy" button and an expected delivery date. And they want this date to be as close as possible. Therefore, businesses gradually shift to larger stocks to accelerate order fulfillment processes.

The other significant game-changer is COVID-19. The pandemic has pushed businesses to change their inventory management strategies completely due to logistics and supply chain challenges. For example, companies that used to produce on-demand started to keep larger stocks, as the global lockdown has made it impossible to forecast the demand accurately. 

On top of that, there is always a threat of a new pandemic wave, which can make countries close their borders and cease supply operations again. That makes businesses think about reserve stocks as much as never before.

Automation everywhere!

No-touch optimized inventory replenishment is knocking on the door. More and more inventories are starting to operate with Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) or Autonomous Mobile Robots (cobots), which are controlled by Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)

Automation everywhere!

These technologies make inventory management touchless and automated, which is the future we're talking about.

There is also a "middle-phase" automation when stock controlling happens not with the help of moving robots but fixed automation solutions. These include automatic sorters, palletizers, pallet shuttles, and Automated storage and retrieval systems.

Why is there so much attention to automation?

Because touchless inventory management is accelerating order categorization and fulfillment. Besides, it significantly cuts labor costs and increases accuracy. Last but not least, machines need fewer breaks or vacations, which means businesses can rely on them almost 24/07 (anyway significantly more than on humans).

No more pen and paper

If you're up for starting the automation journey for your business, don't forget to integrate an automated inventory management software first.

No more pen and paper

It's a must-have for the seamless inventory management process, which takes all your sales, orders, payments, and stock information in one place, no matter how many channels you're selling your goods through.

Automated inventory management software allows you to see the big picture without breaking the back on managing each tiny detail. Imagine all your stock information from eBay, Amazon, Etsy, AliExpress, and other giant marketplaces collected in one place. 

You don't need to juggle numbers and sheets of paper anymore - now it's all in one software.

The best part is that you will never again need to log in to your accounts on eCommerce platforms separately. All the information will be in one place, and each time you make a change, such as changing a product name or price, it will get automatically updated everywhere.

So, don't hesitate to install a multichannel inventory management software, eSwap, and take your eCommerce management to a new level!

Internet of things continues to expand

IoT or the Internet of Things is not a new concept, but it's one of the most promising ones. And it looks like it's here to stay for good. As a quick update for you if you're not very much into IoT development.

Internet of Things is a network of physical devices, buildings, and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and connectivity to enable data collection and exchange.

Inventory management is one of the areas where IoT can be successfully applied. For example, you can put RFID tags on your products and track their location. An RFID is a tiny tag that can be attached to or incorporated into a product.

The tag contains electronically stored information that an RFID reader can read from a distance using radio waves.

With the help of IoT solutions, you can also monitor environmental conditions, such as temperature and humidity, which is especially important for perishable goods.

You can also connect IoT tech to your cloud software for real-time inventory analysis and other business systems. For instance, you can get an alert when a product's shelf life is about to end or running low in stock.

3PL as a magic stick for order fulfillment

If you're not familiar with the term, let us explain quickly what it is. A third-party logistics provider (abbreviated as "MPL" or "TPL") is a firm that provides outsourcing services of one or several business processes.

3PL as a magic stick for order fulfillment

The most common ones are transportation and warehousing. In other words, it's a company that offers you transportation and storage services to help you run your business.

MPL can manage your inventory management, order fulfillment, and even customer service. All you need to do is focus on other essential aspects of your business while somebody else takes care of the orders. 

It looks like an attractive option, right? And it definitely is! However, there are some things you should consider before using MPL services for your business.

First of all, make sure you choose a reliable provider with a good reputation. Secondly, think about the long-term perspective. If you're planning to scale your business quickly, you might need to look for another solution as MPL services might not be able to keep up with the pace.

Anyway, using MPL services is a huge step forward for your business!

Smart technology - smart forecasting

No doubt that forecasting is the key to making your business run smoothly. Accurate forecasting is your insurance against customer churn and understocking. And with several methods of precise forecasting, quantitative forecasting for inventory leads the stage.

With the help of smart technology, you can get real-time data about your customers' behavior and use it to make more accurate forecasting.

For instance, you can track the number of visitors to your store or website, what products they're interested in, and how long they spend on each page.

You can also see what items are being added to carts but not purchased and what pages customers are leaving from.

All this data can be analyzed and used to improve your forecasting. As a result, you'll be able to avoid overstocking and stock-outs and save money on inventory costs. Besides, smart data is an excellent source for creating marketing campaigns targeted and relevant to your customers. 

It gives significantly deeper insights than traditional customer surveys or focus groups. As a result, your inventory is ready for any customer need that might come up!

Wrapping all the trends up: inventory management trends in 2022

Technological development is taking the world by storm, and eCommerce is no exception. There is almost no aspect in inventory management that hasn't been affected by tech innovation.

As an eCommerce business owner, you need to stay abreast of the latest trends to compete in the market and keep up with the big players. If you're running a small or middle-size business, it's even better to go on with experimenting.

Inventory management software and other automation work better for small companies to get the most out of them. It's because of the scalability and the lower risks that come with it. 

And as the closing point, always remember that technology is not a magic wand that will make all your problems disappear. But if you use it wisely, it will help you take your business to the next level! 

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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