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A COO’s stock control nightmare

A COO’s stock control nightmare

Scott Reis

Put yourself in this position; in fact, you might already be in it. Your business has two separate stores based on area, which sell mostly the same products. To control your stock, you could be allocating items to specific stores so they each have their own stock pool.

That works just fine when you’re small enough that you can reasonably predict each store’s popularity within a month. Maybe your sales and marketing team have been following a steady process, so you know you’re not going to see a spike in conversions anytime soon.

But it can become a problem when you crank up your business.

Growth and overselling

It sounds like an easy solution: as we grow, why not just allocate more and more products to specific stores?

But it’s not always that simple, and following that method can result in significant losses.

Imagine a new item you’ve released in all of your stores is hugely popular in one, but not the other. When that product sells out, there won’t be any more stock allocated to that store, yet your other website will still show that it’s still available

That can lead to serious problems with overselling. One of our clients faced this issue and at one point was overselling one in ten orders - that’s an enormous amount of lost revenue.

By overselling to such a degree, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with refunds. And with the average customer support ticket resolution time being 82 hours long, you’re wasting time and resources.

It has long-lasting effects, too. Even one missed order and refund is likely to turn someone away from using your company again, so you’re losing out on potential returning customers, and massively decreasing your average customer lifetime value.

However, it’s not just overselling that presents a risk to your business. 

Underselling damages your bottom line

A problem we see a lot of companies face, which doesn’t seem as obvious of a problem as overselling stock, is the potential to not sell enough.

It can happen more easily than you think. Imagine one of your stores is constantly selling out; customers are loving your new stock, and it’s selling out. But, for whatever reason, your other store just isn’t performing as well. It’s nearly the end of the month and people just aren’t taking to the item.

Say there’s 500 items still left unsold, each costing £10. That’s a possible loss of £5000.

Sure, you could just try and sell the unsold items later down the line - but the market is unpredictable. What if those products go out of fashion by then? What if they have use-by dates? Underselling products will inevitably affect your bottom line just as much as overselling.

Fortunately, there’s a solution to your stock control problems.

How Stockr can help

We’ve worked with hundreds of clients facing these issues, and through our experience, we’ve come up with a software solution of our own.

By integrating Stockr with your Shopify storefronts, you no longer have to worry about allocating your stock to make sure it sells but doesn’t oversell. It creates one unified pool for your inventory, which all stores take from.

That means, if one store oversells, you’re not at risk of customers buying a sold-out product and having to be issued a refund. Stock not being used by other stores will be taken from the pool automatically and assigned to that order, so you’re not wasting products.

It combats underselling, too, by ensuring less popular stores aren’t loaded with unused inventory.

If your company has reached initial scaling problems, and you’re looking for a stock control solution to boost your efficiency, get in touch with Patchworks through our website to learn more about Stockr.

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