A Complete Guide to WooCommerce Inventory Management
Inventory management can be a big job, so you want all the help you can get when you can get it. While in today’s modern age inventory management isn’t necessarily easier than ever, you do have a lot more assistance in the form of inventory management software. Of course, with so many technology options to explore, you may not know which one to choose.
Most software solutions have their advantages. One such option, WooCommerce, is quickly becoming one of the most used e-commerce solutions for online stores seeking inventory management miracles. While WooCommerce itself has many inventory management features, Finale Inventory’s WooCommerce integration offers even more flexibility and efficiency for your stock control operations. For example, you can sync your WooCommerce inventory with other sales channels and gain more control over your inventory complexities, such as operating several warehouses.
If you’re not sure what WooCommerce is or how it even works, we’ve got you covered with this complete guide to WooCommerce inventory management.
What Is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a free software extension, or plugin, for WordPress. Many online stores have downloaded the WooCommerce shopping cart plugin. It lets you set up an online store, track basic product and inventory information, process orders and more.
This plugin is especially useful for creating a basic online store to sell physical goods and services, digital goods and services, memberships and affiliate transactions. With the help of this extension, your website can also manage other essential e-commerce operations, such as inventory management, sales tax management, shipping and handling cost calculations and accepting coupons. It even offers international customer support, extending the reach of your online store and business.
WooCommerce has been around since September 2011. In 2015, WooCommerce was purchased by Automattic and became available as one of the team’s free, open-source products. There are now more than 350 contributors to the WooCommerce code base, making it one of the most collaborative and user-friendly software solutions to date. When you choose to work with WooCommerce, you and your business gain various advantages:
- WooCommerce software is free and open-source.
- The plugin installs easily into WordPress.
- WooCommerce updates often, which means new features to make your job easier.
- More than 300 extensions are available to enhance the plugin’s core functions.
- It offers plenty of fun themes for your online store.
However, it’s important to remember that while WooCommerce has some helpful features for your business, there are still downsides to the software.
Understanding WooCommerce Inventory Management: Pros and Cons
WooCommerce inventory management can be beneficial for your online store, as it comes with some useful features for inventory management.
Pros of WooCommerce Inventory Management
The WooCommerce inventory system offers some fantastic advantages for new and growing e-commerce businesses. Some of the benefits include:
- You get inventory reports and inline edits: WooCommerce inventory management allows you to view your complete product catalog in one location. In addition to viewing products, you can also make changes to any part of the product, such as the description, amount, color, size, make, model or price, directly in the catalog.
- You can export: If you need to move your product catalog or review sheet to another device for later viewing, you can easily export it. You can download the files and make changes and updates on another device before uploading them back to WooCommerce.
- It offers warehouse inventory management: If you have a larger business with multiple warehouses to keep track of, this feature is for you. You can transfer inventory from one place to another on a single platform, saving you time and effort when managing more than one set of inventory.
Cons of WooCommerce Inventory Management
While WooCommerce offers some excellent inventory tracking capabilities, it’s still relatively basic. As such, it has a few downsides, such as:
- It’s not as intuitive as it seems: WooCommerce stock management is much more complicated than it seems. You have to visit several pages and fiddle with many individual settings just to make simple changes. When you’re managing a large quantity of business inventory, these tedious step-by-step modes can become too slow and tiresome to work for your fast-paced company.
- It can waste time: Going through a ton of smaller steps to complete a single task is complicated and time-consuming. The more time you spend on making minor changes in your inventory management software, the less time you can work on marketing, customer service, social media management and much more.
- It presents challenges for a large database: Though WooCommerce works well for smaller inventories, it doesn’t handle large databases that well. Of course, you want your business to grow, which means a larger inventory over time. If your inventory management software can’t handle thousands of products and a large inventory, it’s time for an upgrade.
- You can miss sales opportunities: WooCommerce relies on your manual updates and can’t track inventory in real time. If you set WooCommerce to stop accepting sales when a product is out-of-stock, you can miss sales. You may have a replenishment order in your warehouse for an item WooCommerce thinks is out of stock. If you don’t add the new inventory to WooCommerce immediately, you’ll miss sales opportunities.
- It can’t communicate with other sales channels: Without a centralized inventory database, your WooCommerce inventory must be kept separate from other channels such as eBay and Etsy. That’s critical to avoid overselling when you can’t update stock counts in real time. However, it also creates missed sales opportunities. If you go out of stock on WooCommerce while there’s plenty of stock available on your Amazon store, you could lose customers unnecessarily.
- It lacks multi-location support: If your business opens a second warehouse, has a separate warehouse and brick-and-mortar store or keeps inventory at multiple sublocations in one warehouse, WooCommerce becomes less effective. You may have to track some of your inventory manually, which wastes time leaves room for mistakes.
The downsides to WooCommerce stock control are often eliminated and easier to manage when you use a tool designed for inventory management first. Luckily, Finale Inventory offers an inventory management software system that helps customers avoid each of these problems and more while also delivering amazing features and advantages.
A WooCommerce Alternative: Finale Inventory
Many growing e-commerce stores struggle to learn how to manage inventory in WooCommerce alone. Though it may work well with a small product portfolio while only selling on a single channel, most businesses quickly outgrow it. When WooCommerce alone just isn’t working out for you, there’s an alternative. Finale Inventory offers inventory management solutions that are simple and useful, making a difference in how you run your business.
1. Centralized Inventory
This feature allows you to take the guesswork out of tracking inventory as it goes to and from warehouses, to customers and everywhere else in between. As a result, you can boost customer satisfaction thanks to accurate delivery estimates. It also allows you to stay on top of all products wherever they’re stored, bought or sold.
2. Order Management
Finale Inventory’s order management feature allows you to create purchase orders quickly and easily. What’s more, you can avoid losing time and money due to stock-outs by setting reordering thresholds and calculating reorder points and quantities. This feature relies on sales velocity and your specific inputs on supplier lead time, desired safety stock, sales growth and more. With this feature, you can keep track of your stock replenishment faster and more intelligently.
3. Multi-Channel Integrations
This feature is especially useful for bigger businesses that have a lot of inventory to track. With our robust integration options, you can manage your listings across all sales channels and keep your inventory counts in one place with more than 30 third-party e-commerce integrations. eBay, Etsy, Amazon and other selling channels integrate seamlessly, giving you total control. Sales on one channel transfer to all the others, which prevents overselling without having to separate inventory by channel. Finale Inventory uses automatic updates for all selling channels so you always know how your stock is doing no matter where it is.
4. Barcode Scanning
Do you need more accuracy in your warehouse inventory management? Barcodes and barcode scanning systems offer more accuracy, better tracking and identification of products and more. Finale Inventory offers an effective WooCommerce Inventory Management barcode solution with our turnkey mobile barcode app. With wireless barcode scanning, your inventory accuracy increases while shrinkage risks decrease, thanks to your ability to pinpoint where items are at all times. That also means you can quickly find stock items in large warehouses, track them while in transit and identify when products are coming to you, headed to the customer or on the move.
5. Warehouse Management and Multi-Location Support
Whether you have one main warehouse or many, this feature keeps all warehouses accounted for across multiple channels, no matter what. Whenever you input stock changes in your Finale Inventory software, all warehouses and all selling channels are immediately updated, as well. You can easily track the same products stored in several locations and quickly transfer items when the count at one location gets too low. This ability helps you ensure you don’t miss any products and that stock levels are accurate.
Do More With the Finale Inventory WooCommerce Stock Control Integration
While WooCommerce is useful, it doesn’t quite come close to Finale Inventory. Affordable, simple to use and easy to integrate, Finale Inventory inventory management software can make a real difference for your business. With Finale Inventory’s unique tools to address e-commerce challenges, you can see your business thrive and grow. When you have more time to interact with customers, keep your stock and products straight and manage your store seamlessly with the help of powerful software, you can see tons of positive changes in your business.
Our software can ease many common challenges with WooCommerce barcode inventory integration, letting you scan items to update WooCommerce stock records in seconds. With or without barcode scanning, Finale Inventory enables you to perform complex stock operations that would take much longer or aren’t possible in WooCommerce alone.
Plus, with Finale Inventory, you get the benefit of highly personalized customer service. We understand every business is unique, so we assign each customer a dedicated account representative. They’ll help configure our software so it works with your existing workflow. You won’t have to adopt new processes to accommodate your new tools. Additionally, it all comes at affordable pricing, with no setup costs or expensive consulting fees. Many users find they can implement Finale Inventory in hours rather than days. Once it’s in place, it reduces time-consuming manual tasks from hours to minutes.