How to use third-party integrations to automate your Shopify store’s inventory management.
You’ve got a lot on your plate as an ecommerce store owner. Between managing orders, customers, products, and inventory, the days go by quickly. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get some help to streamline one of the most time-consuming parts of running your store - keeping track of inventory? The good news is, with Shopify, you’ve got access to powerful third-party integrations that can automate your inventory management. In this article, we’ll show you how to connect some apps to your Shopify store to save time, reduce mistakes, and keep the right products in stock so you never miss a sale.
The Importance of Automating Inventory Management for Your Shopify Store
When you run an ecommerce business, on Shopify, there are things to manage, especially when it comes to keeping track of your inventory. Manually handling it can be tiresome and prone, to mistakes. The great news is that some applications can seamlessly integrate with Shopify and automate your inventory management.
An automated inventory management solution saves you much time and hassle. It syncs your product catalog and tracks stock levels as orders come in and ship out. No more worrying if you have enough inventory to fulfill orders or if you accidentally oversold a product. An automated system handles it all for you.
Some of the top benefits of automating your Shopify store’s inventory management include:
Accurate stock levels. You'll always know exactly how much inventory you have for each product at any given time.
Low stock alerts. Get notified when a product's stock level drops below a certain threshold so you can reorder in time.
Streamline order fulfillment. Shipping orders will be quicker and easier when you have an automated system keeping tabs on what's in stock and what needs replenishment.
Fewer mistakes. Automation drastically reduces human error that can lead to overselling products or shipping the wrong items to customers.
Time savings. An automated solution can save hours on manual inventory tasks each week, freeing you up to focus on growing your business.
If you're prepared to elevate your Shopify store's inventory management, it's worth exploring the app choices. The investment will prove worthwhile as it saves you time and effort. Both your customers and your free time will appreciate it!
Top Shopify Inventory Management Integrations and Apps
Once your Shopify store is up and running, you’ll want to look at ways to optimize your operations. One of the best places to start is by integrating third-party apps to help automate your inventory management. This will save you time, reduce errors, and improve customer experience.
ShipStation is one of the most popular shipping integrations for Shopify. It connects your store with major carriers like USPS, UPS, and FedEx to automatically print shipping labels, track packages, and update order statuses. This eliminates the need to enter tracking numbers and package details manually.
ShipStation offers a 30-day free trial
Starting from $9.99 a month (50 shipments)
The most popular plan is the Gold Plan for $99.99 monthly, which includes up to 2000 monthly shipments.
Zapier is an app that can be really helpful, for your Shopify store. It allows you to connect your store with a range of business tools. One useful feature is the ability to set up a connection called a Zap that automatically reduces inventory levels, in Shopify when an order is made in your accounting software. Additionally, Zapier makes it easy to update inventory in your Shopify store from your 3PL or supplier by clicking a button.
Zapier offers a 14-day free trial for all plans
You can use Zapier for free (100 tasks per month)
Starter plan starts at 29.99$ /per month (750 tasks per month)
Katana is a shipping integration for Shopify used by thousands of businesses ranging from multi-million dollar ones to small entrepreneurs. Katana is a hub that connects your ecommerce and accounting software, ensuring accuracy, in your data.
Some of the features:
Live inventory management
Built-in purchase order management
Omnichannel sales management
Financial visibility via cloud accounting
Katana offers a 14-day free trial
Starting from 99$ for up to 500 shipped sales order lines per month
Using third-party integrations and apps is key to scaling your Shopify business. Automating time-consuming tasks like shipping, inventory updates, and reorders allows you to focus on growing sales and providing amazing customer experiences. With the right integrations in place, you’ll gain valuable time back.
How to Connect Shopify With Third-Party Inventory Tools
Connecting your Shopify store to third-party inventory management tools is key to automating your fulfillment process. Rather than manually updating stock levels, shipping rates, and tracking inventory across channels, these integrations handle it for you.
Find an Integration
Shopify has an app store with many highly-rated inventory solutions to choose from. Some top options are:
ShipStation: Automatically syncs your Shopify orders to ShipStation to print shipping labels, get discounted rates, and track shipments.
Katana: Provides 3PL (third-party logistics) services like warehousing, shipping, and fulfillment. Sync your Shopify store to route orders to Katana automatically.
Zapier: Connects Shopify to many other apps. Use their pre-built “Zaps” or create your own workflows to sync inventory, update stock levels, send notifications, and more.
Set Up the Integration
Once you choose an app, install it in your Shopify admin. Follow the prompts to connect your account, set up any necessary permissions or API access, and map data fields between the two systems. Many apps offer guided setup flows to make the process easy.
Review and Test
Double-check that all your products, variants, stock levels, locations, and other details are synced over properly. Place a test order to ensure it's routed to the integration as expected. Make any final tweaks to the settings, and you're all set! Your inventory management will now happen automatically in the background, saving you time and hassle.
Maintain and Optimize
Periodically review your integrations to make sure everything is still working properly. See if you can enable any new features to optimize your workflow further. Keep your inventory, shipping, and fulfillment processes running as efficiently as possible so you can focus on growing your business!
Setting Up Automatic Inventory Syncing Between Shopify and Other Channels
One of the biggest time-savers you can implement in your Shopify store is automatic inventory syncing with other sales channels like Amazon, eBay, and your own website. Rather than manually updating stock levels across platforms each time an order comes in, or you receive new inventory, you can set up apps to instantly sync your Shopify inventory data with these other locations.
Find an inventory-syncing app.
Search the Shopify App Store for “inventory syncing” or “multichannel inventory management.” Some highly-rated options are Stitch Labs, TradeGecko, and Brightpearl. These tools securely connect your Shopify store to other sales channels and marketplaces to automatically push and pull updated product and inventory data in real time.
Connect your sales channels.
Once you’ve installed an inventory syncing app, connect the channels you want to sync. This typically involves entering login credentials for each channel so the app can access your inventory data. Double-check that the app has all the correct permissions before enabling the connections.
Map products between channels
With your channels connected, map the products in your Shopify store to the matching listings on other channels. The app will use the product SKU, title, images, and other details to find possible matches. Review the mappings and make any corrections before activating the sync.
Set a sync schedule.
Most inventory syncing apps allow you to schedule how often product and stock level data should be synced between channels. A typical schedule is every 15 to 30 minutes. More frequent syncs, like every 5 or 10 minutes, help ensure the most up-to-date information across channels but may put extra load on your systems. Find the balance that works for your needs.
Monitor for errors
Even with an automated syncing setup, regularly check each channel for any sync errors or issues with your product data. Resolve any problems to keep your inventory and product info perfectly matched across all locations. Staying on top of errors will help avoid overselling products or disappointing customers with incorrect listings.
With a good multichannel inventory management solution in place, you'll save hours of time and gain peace of mind knowing your stock levels are always accurately represented across channels. Your customers will appreciate the consistent, up-to-date product data and availability, no matter where they shop.
Tips for Streamlining Your Shopify Inventory Workflows
As a Shopify store owner, managing your inventory efficiently is key to running a successful business. Here are some tips to streamline your Shopify inventory workflows:
Set reorder point notifications
With an inventory management integration, you can establish reorder points for products, so you receive an alert when the stock hits a certain threshold. This helps ensure you never run out of popular products and can place purchase orders quickly. You'll avoid lost sales from stockouts and keep customers happy.
If managing your own warehouse and fulfillment seems daunting, consider dropshipping some or all of your products. You sell products in your store with dropshipping, but your vendor or manufacturer ships orders directly to customers on your behalf. This eliminates the need to keep those products in your own inventory. Many suppliers offer drop shipping.
Use a 3PL for shipping and fulfillment.
For a hands-off approach to inventory, work with a third-party logistics (3PL) company to handle your warehousing and shipping. They will store your products, pick and pack orders, and ship them out to customers for you. You simply send your inventory to the 3PL; they take care of the rest. This frees you up to focus on other areas of your business.
By leveraging technology and outsourcing certain inventory tasks to trusted partners, you can create efficient workflows and a smooth operation from product purchase to customer delivery. Your time and energy will be better spent on high-level business growth strategies than daily inventory management.
So why waste any more of your time and money on tedious manual inventory processes? Instead, seamlessly integrate your Shopify store with one of the automation apps and integrations available. By doing so, you can effortlessly manage your inventory, shipping, and fulfillment. Freeing up your time to focus on running your own store. From creating products to reaching potential customers through effective marketing strategies and delivering exceptional customer experiences. These are the activities that truly drive growth for successful businesses. With the tools and knowledge, at your disposal, you have all it takes to build a future for your store. So go ahead, take charge, and make it happen!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is inventory management?
A: Inventory management refers to overseeing and controlling a business's goods stock. It involves monitoring inventory levels, tracking sales, and ensuring enough stock is available to meet customer demand.
Q: Why is inventory management important for an online store?
A: Inventory management is crucial for an online store because it helps in maintaining optimal inventory levels, avoiding stockouts or overstocking, improving cash flow, reducing holding costs, and ensuring customer satisfaction by fulfilling orders on time.
Q: How can third-party integrations help automate Shopify store's inventory management?
A: Third-party integrations enable seamless integration between your Shopify store and inventory management software. These integrations automate inventory syncing, stock level updates, order fulfillment, and more, saving time and reducing errors.
Q: What are the benefits of using third-party integration for Shopify inventory management?
A: Using third-party integration for Shopify inventory management offers benefits such as integrated inventory tracking across different sales channels, real-time stock updates, streamlined order fulfillment, improved accuracy in inventory levels, and increased operational efficiency.
Q: How do I integrate third-party apps with my Shopify store?
A: To integrate third-party apps with your Shopify store, you can visit the Shopify App Store, search for the desired app, and install it on your store. Once installed, follow the app's instructions to connect it with your Shopify store and configure the integration settings.
Q: Can I integrate Shopify Plus with inventory management software?
A: Shopify Plus can be easily integrated with inventory management software to streamline your inventory management processes. By integrating Shopify Plus with inventory management software, you can have centralized control over inventory, automate order fulfillment, and manage multiple sales channels more efficiently.
Q: What features should I look for in a Shopify inventory management app?
A: When choosing a Shopify inventory management app, look for features such as real-time inventory updates, order sync, low stock alerts, barcode scanning, inventory forecasting, reports, multi-location inventory tracking, and integration with other systems like POS and fulfillment services.
Q: How can inventory management software help in warehouse management?
A: Inventory management software can help warehouse management by providing bin/location management, pick/pack/ship workflows, batch/lot tracking, stock take management, cycle counting, replenishment suggestions, and visibility into stock movements and availability.
Q: Can I track inventory levels across multiple sales channels with inventory management software?
A: With inventory management software integrated with your Shopify store, you can track inventory levels across multiple sales channels. This ensures that stock levels are accurately maintained and synchronized in real-time, preventing overselling and providing a centralized view of inventory across different sales channels.