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. In today’s modern age, inventory management is not necessarily easier than ever, but you do have a lot more assistance in the form of inventory management software and tech to really move things along. Of course, there are tons of tech options to choose from, that you may not know just which one to pick. Most all software and tech solutions have their advantages, One such software option, WooCommerce, is quickly becoming one of the most used eCommerce solutions for online stores seeking inventory management miracles. Not sure what WooCommerce is or how it even works? No worries. We’ve got you covered with this complete guide to WooCommerce inventory management.

laptop with woocommerce inventory management software on the screen

Photo courtesy of igormiske

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is a free software extension, or plugin, for WordPress. Most online stores have downloaded or will download WooCommerrce as it can be helpful when it comes to basic product and inventory management, order processing, shopping cart functionality, and more. This plugin is especially useful for creating a basic online store able to sell different products and services including but not limited to physical goods and services, digital goods and services, memberships, and affiliate transactions. With the help of this extension, your core software is also able to manage other essential eCommerce features such as inventory management, sales tax management, shipping and handling cost calculations, coupons, and even international customers, extending the reach of your online store and business.

WooCommerce has been around since its inception in September 2011. In 2015, WooCommerce was purchased by Automattic and became available as part of Automattic products. Due to this, 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 get the following advantages:

    • WooCommerce software is free and open source
    • The plugin installs easily into WordPress
    • WooCommerce is often updated which means new features and fun for users
    • 300+ extensions available with just the basic core functions
  • Plenty of fun themes for your online store to choose from

It is important to remember, however, that while WooCommerce may seem like a great choice for your business, there are still downsides to the software.

Understanding WooCommerce Inventory Management: Pros and Cons

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WooCommerce inventory management can be useful for your online store. It comes with some useful features when it comes to inventory management:

Pros

    • You Get Inventory Reports and Inline Edits: WooCommerce inventory management allows you to view your complete product catalog in one location. In addition to just viewing products, you can also make changes to any part of the product (description, amount, color, size, make, model, price etc) directly in the catalog.
    • You’re Able to Export: If you need to move your product catalog or review sheet to another device for later viewing, you can do so with the export feature. You can easily export the document and make changes and updates to it on your other device before uploading the updated copy back to your main device.
  • Warehouse Inventory Management: Finally, if you have a larger business with multiples 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 stock of inventory.

Cons

    • It’s Not As Easy As It Seems: WooCommerce bulk stock management is much more complicated than it seems. You have to visit various pages and toggle tons of settings individually just to make a simple change. When you’re managing business inventory, these tedious step by step modes can become too slow and tiresome to work well with your fast-paced company.
    • Can Waste a Ton of Time: As mentioned, having to complete a task by going through a ton of smaller steps is complicated and time-consuming. The more time you spend on making minor changes in your inventory management software, the more time that is being taken away from other important work like marketing, customer service, social media management, and much more.
  • Difficulty Handling a Large Database: The death knell for WooCommerce may just lie in the fact that 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 cannot handle dealing with thousands of products and a large inventory, it’s really not worth your time. All you can expect is a lot of problems, a lot of time spent trying to correct these problems, and lots of frustration.

The downsides to WooCommerce are pretty severe. 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

When WooCommerce just isn’t working out for you, there is an alternative. There are many different inventory management systems to choose from, but if you find that the disadvantages outweigh any good, you may as well not get them. Fortunately, Finale Inventory offers inventory management solutions that are simple, useful, and really make a difference in how you run your business. Some features include:

    • Centralized Inventory: This features allows you to take all the guesswork out of tracking inventory as it goes to and from warehouses, to customers, and everywhere else in between. This helps you boost customer satisfaction (thanks to accurate delivery estimates) and allows you to stay on top of all products so that your stock is always accounted for.
    • Order Management: Finale’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 thanks to being able to set reordering thresholds as well as calculate reorder points, amounts, and more. This feature relies on sales velocity and your specific inputs on supplier lead time, desired safety stock, sales growth, and more. With this feature, your stock is kept track of in a faster and smarter way.
    • MultiChannel Integrations: This feature is especially useful for bigger business that have a lot of inventory to keep track of. With this feature, you can keep all of your listing inventory counts in one place thanks to the 20+ third-party integrations. eBay, Etsy, Amazon, and other selling channels integrate seamlessly, giving you total control. Auto updates are also available on all selling channels so you always know how your stock is doing no matter where is.
  • Barcode Scanning: Need more accuracy in your warehouse inventory management? Barcodes and barcode scanning systems offer more accuracy, better tracking, and identification of products, and more. With wireless barcode scanning, your risk of items theft goes way down thanks to your ability to pinpoint where the item is at all times. This also means that you’ll be able to quickly find stock items in large warehouses, keep track of them while in transit during shipping, and identify when products are coming to you, headed to the customer, or on the move.

Warehouse Management: 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. This helps you ensure that no products are missed and that stock levels are accurate.

warehouse management in a warehouse vs woocommerce inventory management

Photo courtesy of samuelzeller

WooCommerce is useful for some, but it doesn’t come quite close to Finale Inventory. Affordable, easy to use, and easy to integrate, Finale Inventory inventory management software can make a real difference for your business. With Finale’s unique tools to address eCommerce solutions, you can see your business thrive and grow. When you have more time to interface with customers, keep your stock and products straight, and manage your store seamlessly with the help of useful software, you can see tons of positive changes in your business.

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