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A simple search in the WooCommerce marketplace reveals it has several plugins for e-commerce businesses. But what about the inventory management feature that it provides?
If you’re a Woocommerce user and you are using the inventory feature of Woocommerce then for sure you will have noticed that there are some shortcomings.
Some of them are:
1. The inventory solution of WooCommerce doesn’t provide the information needed about the location of the inventory. This causes stock tracking problems.
2. Companies can’t properly order stock from suppliers. This means that a company
may have problems such as understocking or not knowing the expected stock levels.
3. WooCommerce also doesn’t provide information about costing products. Since companies can’t order stock from suppliers, in WooCommerce the user can’t calculate the cost of the products.
4. The inventory feature of WooCommerce doesn’t support multiple locations such as physical stores and warehouses.
The above issues are the reasons that companies typically use a 3rd party app.
What’s the value of using an inventory management plugin?
Your company can obtain many benefits by using an inventory management plugin. Let’s see the below:
● The ability for site visitors to check in real-time the availability of your products. Your online store shows accurate product availability in real-time. The quantities that are shown in your e-shop are based on actual stock levels.
● The connection of more than one warehouse, store, or other types of locations with WooCommerce while ensuring that the stock representation in the e-shop frontend is correct.
● The capability of updating WooCommerce when approving, shipping, and then closing orders. This way the customer’s experience will be improved since it will be possible to be notified when the orders are processed at every step.
● Returns will also be handled in a standard method minimizing mistakes and time spent on checking items back in that have been returned by customers.
● If an e-shop manufactures finished goods from raw materials, tracking the stock of both of these types of products is another challenge that can be addressed only by a 3rd party plugin.
● Consistent order management workflow. This means that the employees that use the inventory management integration will be trained on how to handle inventory according to best practices.
● An integration should synchronize practically all the data between the two apps. This is a user-friendly feature that will help you save time and give access to precise information about the order status, stock levels, and product details both to those operating the e-shop and the inventory management account.
● The inventory management plugin must give the ability to choose the shipping zone. This means that in case you have warehouses in multiple locations you will be able to automatically choose the warehouse that the product will leave from.
All of these features are actually provided on the Megaventory inventory management software to help you properly manage purchases and stock through WooCommerce.
Who is this for?
An inventory management integration to WooCommerce is aimed at e-shops that have grown significantly and need help in tracking the status of orders as well as tracking locations of associated products. Managing physical products sold offline should also be among the core uses of the inventory management extension
Furthermore, at the end of the day, when it comes to inventory management, the needs of wholesale and retail companies are alike – regardless of whether they handle apparel, hardware, electronics, and furniture.
Things are more complicated when it comes to businesses needing to track manufacturing but of course (or perhaps even more so) they can still benefit from the production tracking features of stock management apps.
Who is this NOT for?
In case that you are a business that provides mostly services then an inventory management integration is not for you. Since you are not selling products then the need of tracking your stock doesn’t exist.
Furthermore, if your business is a single-person one, then most likely integrating with an inventory management plugin will not be gainful for your company.
Similarly, if your business is having few orders per month then maybe you can still use the Woocommerce feature for inventory management without integrating another app. You also do not need inventory management if you are selling digital goods.
How would that look like?
Here is what our implementation at Megaventory looks like to cover the above.
While integrating your WooCommerce site with Megaventory, an additional section in the WooCommerce admin panel will be created. To use the Megaventory plugin to handle order fulfillment and inventory tracking, it is necessary to enter a few initial settings and perform an initial sync with your Megaventory account.
The steps that you will have to follow to sync your account will be a one-off task. After successfully synchronizing the Megaventory integration to WooCommerce, you can either access Megaventory to fulfill and manage your orders or log in to WooCommerce for the usual functionality.
In any case, double-entry is eliminated and any relevant information is transferred in the background by the plugin. Thus, using WooCommerce for handling order placements and payments and combining Megaventory’s integration to handle order fulfillment and inventory tracking will improve your workflow and will make your life easier.
Furthermore, if you decide to use an integration plugin for managing stocks and purchase orders properly then you will have a wealth of info without cluttering your e-shop backend.
WooCommerce can provide some specific features for your inventory management. However, if you are a business that is growing then these features won’t be enough. By integrating WooCommerce with a 3rd-party inventory management app such as Megaventory for your order management you will be able to take off the order fulfillment burden from Woocomerce. Instead, you’ll be able to check in real-time the availability of your products, connect more than one warehouse, store, and other locations, approve, send and close orders and overall improve your workflow – way more than what WooCommerce can do.