NCR Counterpoint Blog

5 Most Common Retail Inventory Errors & How to Solve Them

Posted by Courtney Foster on Dec 10, 2015 12:33:42 PM

In the retail world, inventory is one of your most valuable assets as a business owner. And while most business owners understand the importance of managing inventory, it can often be looked over on the priority list which can often lead to making and repeating a number of small mistakes. Below we’ve shared common retail inventory errors and how you can resolve them.


1. Overstocking in-store or online items

Whether you’re selling in-store or online, or through multiple channels, inventory control influences your sales operation. Damage, waste, and markdowns from overstocked inventory can all lead to lower revenues and profit margins. To avoid this issue, utilize inventory management software that can count your items and track variances.

A reliable business selling solution combines your inventory management and order management systems as they need to be in sync to enable you to provide accurate product information to your shoppers. Knowing where your merchandise is, tracking how much you have and updating your merchandise counts are essential when managing your enterprise inventory.

2. Running out of inventory 

Avoid disappointing customers and frustrating your employees with an automated inventory purchasing system. Without applying a proper system, you may end up buying too much or too little inventory and end up losing profit. Having a strong handle on inventory quantities is crucial in avoiding stressful situations. By implementing a reliable inventory management system, you can improve customer withholding by giving your employees immediate access to stock capacities and order tracking.

Additionally, linking mobile POS devices with inventory management software also helps to notify customers of merchandise availability. Knowing when items go out of stock or when they will next be available helps customers to make better easier decisions when they’re ordering online.

3. Improper training 

By implementing a reliable inventory management system, you can improve customer withholding by giving your employees immediate access to stock capacities and order tracking. When it comes to your employees, it is vital that you put together a strong team and devote some of your time to train them. By utilizing integrated inventory management software, your team can become familiar with your company’s operations and it can help eradicate any confusion that may occur.

4. Inefficiency inside the warehouses 

Because there are so many different components and employees involved in the logistics process, it is very common to experience errors in the managing of warehouse inventory. Whether it’s counting or scanning errors or product misplacement, the best way to resolve these issues is by addressing as many warehouse inventory problems before they occur. Simpler actions translate to less error, so it is important to organize merchandise so it is easy for it to be shipped out, make sure locations are marked clearly, and ensure all products are labeled correctly.

5. Not performing regular inventory reports 

For retailers, it is very important to check your inventory daily; failing to do so can often result in loss of profit. Inventory reporting is a great way to reduce mistakes and improve operations. Inventory reports provide current and historical information about your inventory, helping you make pricing, merchandising, and purchasing decisions, increase your turn rate, and maximize your gross margin return on investment.

When running a retail business, effective inventory management is the key to acquiring revenue and is crucial to the growth of your business.

New Call-to-action


Topics: inventory management, mobile POS, inventory reporting