Inventory planning is a critical part of modern e-commerce operations, helping merchants satisfy customer demand efficiently and maintain an edge over their competitors.
Good inventory planning enables businesses to avoid overstocking and prevent stockouts, which inevitably lead to lost sales, strained cash flow and a damaged reputation.
It helps brands adapt to seasonal fluctuations and market trends with ease – which can make all the difference in an ever-evolving e-commerce landscape.
With the right software on hand, advanced inventory planning is also the key to efficient supply chain management, helping merchants strategically manage product availability, storage and movement.
While some of the best inventory planning solutions have been a top choice for years, others are new on the scene – which can make it hard to choose the right solution for your business.
Let’s look at the five most popular inventory planning tools (according to our recent poll of 500 merchants) and help you weigh up the pros and cons of each.
Inventory Planner is a top-rated software for inventory planning and demand forecasting that’s particularly popular with larger and fast-growing e-commerce merchants and enterprises. This powerful tool reveals exactly which inventory to order and when, based on an accurate calculation of how much you will sell.
Inventory Planner enables merchants to simplify or automate a number of tedious, time-consuming inventory planning tasks, freeing up tons of time for more important things and dramatically boosting productivity across your team.
Unlike many other tools, Inventory Planner also offers advanced open-to-buy functionality, which is especially useful for large or fast-growing businesses, as well as seasonal and trend-based merchants and those with long lead times (such as fashion brands).
Open-to-buy planning, also known as OTB planning, supply planning and merchandising planning, allows you to forecast how much you are going to sell and how much money you need to put aside to invest in goods.
$100M oral cosmetics brand Snow uses Inventory Planner to manage and plan its inventory and keep its cash flow healthy, with VP Operations Trevor Martin commenting: “Inventory Planner is packed with nuggets-of-gold features that have transformed our business”.
Meanwhile, Multimillion dollar, Chicago-based fine jewelry brand MAX + STONE has used Inventory Planner to achieve a 92% in-stock rate and dramatically improve the age of all Amazon inventory. Its E-commerce Manager Anoushka Jain says: “Inventory Planner has contributed significantly to our 120% year-on-year growth in revenue”.
Our research showed Inventory Planner is a top solution for medium and larger retailers, with a quarter of retailers with a revenue of £/$10M+ recommending it to others.
EazyStock is a cloud-based inventory optimization solution designed to help businesses manage their inventory more efficiently. It provides tools and algorithms to help companies optimize their stock levels, reduce excess inventory and improve supply chain performance.
EazyStock typically offers features such as demand forecasting, safety stock optimization, supplier performance tracking and order optimization. This functionality is aimed at helping businesses achieve better control over their inventory, reduce carrying costs and enhance customer service.
EazyStock does daily calculations to provide the optimum stock levels of each item. Its customers include e-commerce distributors, wholesale distributors and spare parts manufacturers, many in Scandinavia.
According to our research, Eazystock is popular with smaller retailers, with up to 23% of merchants with a £/$500k-1.5M turnover naming it as a top pick.
StockIQ is another cloud-based inventory optimization and demand planning software solution, designed to assist businesses in managing their inventory more effectively.
StockIQ offers a range of features aimed at helping companies optimize their stock levels, reduce excess inventory, and improve overall supply chain performance.
For businesses that use an ERP, StockIQ can be integrated with it. Our research shows that StockIQ is most popular with smaller retail brands in the US, with 33% of businesses turning over $500K-1.5M choosing it as a top-pick.
NETSTOCK is an inventory optimization solution that helps businesses manage their stock levels efficiently. It offers tools for demand forecasting, replenishment planning, safety stock optimization and tracking supplier performance.
The software also provides analytics and reporting features to gain insights into inventory performance. NETSTOCK customers are spread across 67 countries. Our research showed it was most popular with smaller merchants with a revenue of £/$500K-£/$1.5M.
Zoho Inventory is a cloud-powered tool designed to help businesses effectively oversee their inventory. It provides functionalities for live inventory tracking, streamlined order processing, multi-platform sales management and organized warehouse operations.
The software includes tools for predicting future demand and offers analytics alongside integration with ERPs and other business systems. Zoho Inventory customers include a range of brands from various industries, with many based in India, Singapore and South Africa. Our research showed it was most popular with medium-sized merchants, with a revenue of £/$1.5-10M.
Looking for the best inventory planning solution for your business? Register for a free Inventory Planner demo now.