Multichannel Inventory Management: 2022 Guide

Multichannel Inventory Management: 2022 Guide

multichannel inventory management

Due to the increasing adoption of multichannel sales strategies, today’s retailers and distributors face unique operational challenges. Multichannel sales demand businesses to have agile inventory management and tracking techniques. Inventory management in a multichannel setup can be significantly challenging for businesses without the right tools and processes.


What is multichannel inventory management?

Multichannel inventory management is the process of managing inventory across storage locations to fulfill orders from multiple sales sources, including eCommerce, retail and wholesale. Multichannel inventory management enhances the visibility of stock levels and makes reordering and inventory forecasting significantly easier. Multichannel inventory management solutions allow you to simplify inventory tracking and order fulfillment across multiple sales channels.


Challenges in multichannel inventory management

While utilizing the right tools is the key to successful multichannel inventory management, it’s still likely that your business will run into a few problems. Multiple sales channels expose you to diverse challenges typically not seen while selling on just one sales channel. Here are some of the top challenges faced by multichannel companies:

1. Overstocking

Excess inventory is a drain on financial resources and directly impacts a company’s bottom line. In a multichannel sales environment, it is easy for businesses to overestimate demand and end up ordering inventory that won’t translate into sales. Unwanted inventory also uses up precious warehouse space and an increased insurance cost.

2. Understocking

Similar to overstocking, not having enough stock to serve customers is another problem that multichannel companies often face. Understocking often leads to businesses accepting orders for products that are currently out of stock or require a significant lead time to replenish. It results in unhappy customers and increases the chances of them never returning to your online store.

3. Inefficient order fulfillment

Selling on multiple sales channels often requires expanding your presence in multiple geographic locations to fulfill orders efficiently and cost-effectively. Managing inventory across multiple warehouses is a different beast that demands better inventory planning and visibility. Without the right inventory management strategy and tools, you could end up inefficiently splitting your inventory across warehouses and run the risk of complex fulfillment workflows.

4. Data entry galore

The most significant multichannel inventory management challenge is keeping products and inventory data up-to-date across multiple channels. Publishing new products or making updates to existing products, including their inventory levels, can be extremely time-consuming without the right tools. That’s where multichannel inventory management software can be a life-saver. It can help you automate these processes and ensure that your product data is accurate across every sales channel. 



Today, consumers can easily hop between sales channels while searching for the best products and prices. Delivering a great shopping experience and maintaining a consistent brand presence across all sales channels is critical to your success. Inventory management becomes increasingly complex as you diversify your sales channels, and legacy order and inventory management systems cannot support the omnichannel experience modern consumers expect. Efficient multichannel inventory management is essential for businesses to overcome demand forecasting, supply chain, sales, and inventory challenges.

Share this post

Recent posts from our blogs