10 March 2020

5 Common Problems with Retail Inventory Management and How to Solve Them

Irrespective of the size of the business, inventory management is one of the most challenging processes in the retail sector.

In this industry, the efficiency of inventory management directly impacts customer satisfaction. As retail is a fast-paced, and customer-facing sector, customer satisfaction is core to its business growth.

The inventory process involves multiple intricate aspects that drive accurate product delivery. Even a single error in the process can have expensive and long-term consequences. This will eventually affect the company’s growth and reputation.

Thus, retail companies need to understand and analyze the risks involved in inventory management. Only then can companies find proactive solutions to the problems.

To-Increase’s Anywhere for Retail employs automation to resolve critical issues of manual inventory management. Our software has helped many retail companies address their stock management challenges.

However, we have observed that companies who can identify the problems of the retail inventory management can select a retail inventory management system that fits their processes best.

Here are 5 of the most  common problems in the retail inventory management process:

The Challenges of Retail Inventory Management

Unclear Communication

Even in straightforward business processes, miscommunication can cause irreversible damage to efficiency. You can only imagine the far-reaching impact it would have on a complex and multifarious process, like inventory management.

As inventory management has numerous components, clear communication is vital for a seamless flow.

For instance, having the correct prices is critical to print the price labels for the products in the inventory. However, if an update in the prices is not communicated before printing the labels, the products would go out with the wrong price labels. The revisions for such errors would take a lot of time. Furthermore, if the miscommunication is not detected in time, it would affect the sales and profitability of the company.

 Automation can help you streamline your communication flow across the departments. A retail inventory automation software would provide real-time information about the inventory. Correct and timely information would decrease events of miscommunication.

Inadequate Access

Generally, insufficient access to information would lead to miscommunication issues. Every department needs to have access to data that is crucial to their processes. Hence, the impact of the lack of proper access is not limited to individual processes. But it also affects the complete retail inventory management.

In the absence of adequate access, your team would resemble disconnected groups. Lack of access would leave them uninformed, which, in turn, affects their productivity. Therefore, better access would improve the efficiency of inventory and other business processes.

You can simplify your accessibility issue with retail inventory management software. The software can efficiently manage the access of the users, which would, in turn, improve the quality of the process.

Inefficient Warehouse Management

Warehouse management is a core component of brick-and-mortar retail inventories. Hence, ineffective warehouse management would affect the complete retail inventory process. A decentralized inventory management system would comprise the accuracy of the operations.

Many aspects of warehouse management would be vulnerable to errors without integrated software. Inept warehouse management could lead to lost orders, delays in order fulfillment, and errors in shipment. It also causes incorrect stock counts, inaccurate barcodes and labels, increased storage costs, and misplaced products. The problem will only deteriorate if multiple warehouses support your retail operations.

Barcoding technology is a boon to manage complex warehouse operations. A retail inventory management software with a barcode scanning tool could be an effective solution to manage warehouse processes efficiently.


What is worse than not being able to sell your entire product inventory? It has to be overselling your product and not being able to meet customers’ demands.

Selling more than you can deliver could stain your business’ reputation for a long time.

Overselling is a result of flawed communication and process flow of your inventory management. This issue can also be a result of incorrect stock counting.

For instance, retail businesses keep a reserve of inventories beyond the necessary stock, referred to as safety stock. This safety stock would come to the rescue in a scenario when you are not able to meet the customers’ demands with the regular stock. However, If you miscount your inventory, even safety stock may not be able to rescue your business from a chaotic situation.

If you could get notifications about the level of the stock in your inventory, you would minimize the chances of overselling. A retail inventory solution can provide real-time updates about your inventory levels.

Spoiled Goods

Inventory management is more complicated for retail companies that deal with perishable goods. Expiration dates become crucial in the inventory tracking process. Inefficient inventory tracking can cause considerable stock and monetary loss for retail businesses.

For instance, the warehouse staff sends out a shipment of products with a later expiration date while warehousing considerable stock with an earlier expiration date. This error would not only hamper the process cycle but would also increase the risk of spoilage of the product with an earlier expiration date.

You can manage this issue with the introduction of technology. A retail inventory management solution can track the status of perishable goods and help you reduce spoilage.

The Solution

You can tackle all the above problems with the introduction of technology.

Manual processing is error-prone, especially in complicated processes like inventory management. Retail inventory management software can ease the pain of the process. It also improves overall accuracy and business productivity.

Specific inventory management software for retail can streamline your core activities. As a result, this software would promote customer satisfaction and business growth.

To-Increase Anywhere for Retail can help you shorten the process cycles of tedious inventory processes. As our software can efficiently handle critical aspects of your inventory, it can be an asset to your inventory management.




Learn How to Address Your Retail Inventory Management Problems

Michiel Toppers
Michiel Toppers,
Michiel Toppers,
Senior Director of Product Management

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