There is a paradox in running a fashion store. You have to sell more, quickly and immediately. Else, your business will face the danger of dead stockpile up. Why? Because, in the fashion industry trends change overnight, and what was the latest fashion last week will be outdated next year.
Moreover, there are specific challenges inherent to the clothing industry which makes inventory management a difficult task in running a clothing store.
Some of the commonly experienced challenges include:
- Too many style/size variants
- Manual inventory management process
- Reliance on spreadsheets
- Multiple warehouse management
- Frequent trend changes
How to Tackle the Challenges and Ace Retail Clothing Inventory Management?
While there are inherent problems in consumer clothing inventory management, there are also an equal number of ways to help put the pieces back together.
Here is a handful of them that will sort out the mess in your retail clothing inventory management.
Organize and Categorize Variants
The quickest and simplest way to manage your inventory begins with how you organize your product variants. As an online store, your product variants can be typically classified based on type, season, color, size or even label if you are having a dedicated boutique.
Once the variants are organized, assign each SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) a unique number so that inventory for that SKU can be tracked individually. It helps compute the closing stock value as well as conduct physical stock verification easily. You can also configure your clothing inventory management system with the SKU numbers so that there is no mix-up or duplication of the same SKU.
Invest in an Online Clothing Inventory System
While it might seem to be an overly budget-busting choice on the onset, there are several benefits that an inventory management software for clothing store can deliver with certainty. To begin with, it provides real-time inventory levels which a business owner desperately needs to manage inventory in a clothing store that has multiple warehouses.
A cloud-connected clothing inventory management software can help fetch real-time information from all distribution centers and warehouses, summarize and present it in an easy-to-understand manner in a neatly designed dashboard.
Moreover, if you are running into trouble managing multiple warehouses from a single touchpoint, an online clothing inventory system is the ideal choice. It helps you monitor your warehouse and its operations from anywhere without requiring to be physically present there. Here are 6 questions that help you select a perfect warehouse management system.
Attach Anti-Theft tag to each Clothing Piece
According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP), approximately 10 million people have been caught shoplifting in the last five years. Anti-theft is a serious menace that is too difficult to tackle, especially if you are the only one who is handling the clothing store.
Shoplifting leads to serious inventory losses which ultimately hurt your bottom line too. The best way to reduce shoplifting in your online store will be by attaching an anti-theft sticker to each clothing piece. A bar code sticker or a tag that can beep loudly when a shopper tries to walk out of the store without paying for it will serve the purpose.
Conduct Physical Inventory Checks
How do you know if the stock figures as shown by your clothing stock control software is actually available in the shop or in the warehouse? You need to conduct a physical inventory check to know much is physically available, how much is damaged or how much is missing.
You can plan to do a physical inventory check for your clothing store on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and annual basis to have total control over your inventory. The physical check must be done by reverse tracking the physical count to the stock figures as shown by the clothing retail inventory software.
Dropship to Save Storage Space
Warehouse rentals can be quite a burden on your shoestring budget. Stretch it a bit too much and your finances are bound to crash. But, you cannot compromise on stocking up new fashion arrivals either.
In such a scenario, consider drop shipping your goods directly from manufacturer or distributor location to your customer. Drop shipping saves cost, money and even helps prompt delivery to your customers. Provided, you have a reliable logistics partner and also have the inventory system designed to work out drop shipping transactions.
Managing inventory for a clothing store can wreck your nerves if you don’t have it all planned out. Apart from your planning you need an inventory management software to take the guesswork out of planning, forecasting and managing inventory on a real-time basis.
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