Opening an online store may be simpler than running a physical store, but it still involves many aspects such as sourcing products, managing logistics and shipping, and developing sales strategies. Inventory management is often the first major challenge faced by many new online store owners. Recently, I have been asked by many friends who are interested in opening an online store: “Do I have to keep inventory for my online store?

Some online stores choose to operate on a drop-shipping model, where the store owner collects a certain number of orders before placing an order with a wholesaler or manufacturer, and then delivers the products to different customers upon receiving the goods. Although this model can reduce inventory costs, in the long run, it is difficult to establish a competitive advantage and brand image for the online store. Therefore, many online store owners still keep a certain amount of inventory to accommodate their operations and sales strategies. Here are four benefits of keeping inventory:


1. Meeting customers’ needs instantly

In today’s cutthroat market, meeting customers’ needs instantly is key to standing out from the competition. And one of the best ways to do this is by keeping inventory on hand. Picture this: if other online stores are selling similar products to you, but you have inventory ready to go, you can get those products into customers’ hands faster than anyone else. This not only leaves a lasting impression on customers but also helps you gain a competitive edge. Plus, having the products customers want in stock can increase their desire to make a purchase right away, making it easier to generate new orders. So, by delivering products quickly, you can not only build a strong brand image but also increase the likelihood of repeat business.

2. Flexibility is key to successful sales

As a savvy online store owner, keeping inventory on hand gives you the flexibility to develop various sales strategies based on product type and quantity. And this can greatly increase your sales effectiveness! During peak seasons, having inventory means you can handle a high demand for orders without missing out on potential business growth opportunities. And when it comes to online sales, promotions and bundling are two popular strategies. Promotions involve selling specific products at a discounted price for a limited time, which can increase product exposure and motivate potential customers to make a purchase. Bundling, on the other hand, involves selling two or more products together at a discounted price, which can complement each other and reduce overall sales costs.

But here’s the thing: having inventory doesn’t just benefit your online sales. It also allows you to participate in various offline sales activities, such as market stalls, which can provide customers with a hands-on experience of your products and increase brand awareness.

3. Don’t let delays hold you back

As an online store owner, delays can be a real nightmare. Especially if you’re using a dropshipping model, you’re at the mercy of wholesalers to fulfill your orders. And if something goes wrong (like a lost or delayed shipment), you’ll be the one left dealing with frustrated customers and potential refunds. But fear not! By keeping inventory on hand, you can greatly reduce the risk of delays and take control of the shipping process. Having the products in stock can allow you to fulfill orders quickly and efficiently, which leaves customers happy and satisfied. Not only that, but having inventory also gives you the flexibility to create a shipping schedule that works for you. No more waiting on wholesalers or worrying about shipments getting lost in transit.

4. Timely handling of returns

If a product gets damaged during shipping, sellers should quickly send a complete and intact replacement to the customers, satisfying their needs and keeping them happy. Plus, by developing appropriate return arrangements based on inventory levels, merchants can boost customer satisfaction and loyalty with the online store service.

Inventory is the lifeblood of any successful online store. It helps build your brand image and brings in more business over time. With proper inventory management, you can turn inventory costs into greater benefits, making your online store more profitable than ever before.

At e+Solutions, we’ve got you covered with our self-owned 20,000 square feet one-stop logistics center in Tsuen Wan area. Our complete storage accessories ensure your goods are properly stored and kept safe and secure. But that’s not all – our logistics center also provides receiving, packing, and arranging delivery services, processing countless orders for different customers every day. With our speedy and accurate delivery, you can rest assured your goods will arrive on time and in perfect condition, every time.

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