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According to 2021 e-commerce trends research by Linnworks, 83% of shoppers feel convenience is more important to them than it was just five years ago. Retailers who are in different sales channels offer customers the convenience that they’ve come to expect in the effortless economy. Customers are driven to purchase products from a retailer on whatever channel and device they choose. 

This means that retailers must conduct commerce where their customers are — on their terms. This is what Linnworks calls Total Commerce. 

Total Commerce means expanding your presence across multiple sales channels and platforms. A strategic approach to sales channel growth incorporates selling DTC, across social sites, in marketplaces, and even B2B.

Inventory Management for Total Commerce  

The back-end management operations you have in place will play a significant role in how successful you are in managing multiple selling channels. 

A retailer’s inventory management solution connects selling channels to manage inventory levels, orders, and shipping all from one platform. 

In this article, learn why inventory management helps your brand successfully optimize growth across sales channels as you grow your business.

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Inventory Management for DTC Selling

The benefit of selling DTC is directly owning the customer experience and customer relationship. When you sell DTC, not only do you have control over the product and your branding, you also control customer data and the entire customer experience. According to Zendesk’s research on customer experience trends, 75% of customers will spend more money on a company that provides an excellent customer experience in 2021 and beyond.

So how can inventory management impact the customer experience? Research by Linnworks highlights that 62% of consumers are more loyal to a retailer who’s open and honest about delivery costs and timing. Your brand can use inventory management to meet this expectation throughout this segment of the customer experience. Inventory management software can provide brands like yours with accurate and transparent shipping and delivery information. With this information, you can track products at each point from the moment a customer clicks the buy button — leading to a better and more positive experience for your customers


Inventory Management for Marketplace Selling

Adding marketplace selling to your sales channel strategy can help you scale quickly. High volumes of traffic are generated through marketplaces because consumers can explore a large variety of products from multiple brands. Marketplaces are convenient as they allow consumers to shop price, fastest delivery, and read reviews from one central location.

Because of the larger traffic volume in online marketplaces, your products are often in front of more customers. Subsequently, customers may purchase them faster than they do on other channels (like your DTC website). 

Because of the larger traffic volume in online marketplaces, your products are often in front of more customers. Subsequently, customers may purchase them faster than they do on other channels (like your DTC website). 

An inventory management solution, such as Linnworks, will help your brand navigate marketplace selling by…  

  • Allowing you to track stock levels across all marketplaces accurately
  • Optimizing your selling channels by setting different prices for products in every marketplace
  • Providing a space to create and save bulk listings, reducing the risk of manual error
  • Providing data that enables you to determine crucial profit variables such as inventory turnover
  • Disabling listings as stocks sells out 
  • Enabling listings when stock replenishes 

In addition, many brands that sell across marketplaces store their inventory in multiple warehouses or fulfillment centers. This offers customers cheaper and faster shipping because the product is already physically closer to them. For instance, health food brand Your SuperFoods employs byrd Fulfillment Centers to broaden the reach of where their products can be shipped.  An inventory management system traces and manages stock in multiple locations. This reduces the costly risk of human error from manually tracing inventory and logistics in several places.

Social Commerce for Business Growth

Success and growth come from maximizing every environment, including social platforms. 

Social commerce is the buying and selling of goods on social platforms. Social commerce provides customers with convenience because your products are in the channels where customers spend their time online. 

And on some social platforms like Instagram and Facebook, customers can purchase items directly in the app. One way to optimize your social commerce for business growth is to provide quality content and to take advantage of the features on these platforms. The content you create should tell a story about how your products fit into your audience’s lives.

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Inventory Management for B2B

B2B e-commerce is only growing at a rapid pace. Statista estimates B2B e-commerce makes up 13% of total B2B sales in the U.S. alone, with global e-commerce gross merchandise value worth more than $12 trillion. The advantages of B2B e-commerce include the opportunity to reach a large audience and automate the sales process with your customers being able to self-serve on your platform or marketplace store. 

Your back-end processes need to be as automated as possible to be the most efficient supplier for your buyers. In B2B e-commerce, you must get inventory right to always have the accurate stock availability listed in your selling channels for your B2B customers. One of the ways an inventory management solution helps is it provides you notifications when stock levels get too low. Inventory management also provides data and insights to understand what products are not selling and also what products are selling at high volumes.

Total Commerce growth requires expanding your selling channels to conveniently meet your customers everywhere they are — on their terms.

Total Commerce means brands must stay connected to customers across multiple channels and platforms simultaneously. And to control commerce in these channels, you need to have an inventory management system in place. Your inventory management system should simplify your workflow, provide you with data to manage performance and plan effectively, monitor your stock levels across channels, and prevent stock-outs and overselling.