Business and inventory have always gone hand in hand. But the advent of e-commerce changed that relationship. The rise of e-commerce has made it possible for smaller business that work with only a limited stock to operate on a global scale. This is especially true with niche businesses that create custom order or which use “small batch” items. With this changing reality of e-commerce, some companies wonder if they really need tools to manage their smaller and more refined inventory.

The fact is that every business can benefit from tools that manage inventory and order processing. By the same token, forgoing these tools can have long-reaching negative impacts for a company. Here we’ll focus on both the advantages and disadvantages for smaller e-commerce companies.

Using inventory management tolls helps a company manage their inventory, even if they only keep a small number of items in stock. In fact, for a company running with smaller stock, inventory management is even more important, since they don’t have the wiggle room of having more inventory on hand should there be a surge in sales. A company that works with a limited range of stock must ensure that stock levels are updated on each of their sales channels online. That way, an order for a popular item won’t result in multiple backorder and unhappy customers.

A high quality inventory management program can also be used for sales forecasting and restock alerts so that companies can keep ahead of sales as they enter high sale periods like season spikes. Inventory management also streamlines the ordering process, resulting in quicker shipping times — a factor many customers consider when choosing which online store to patronize.

eCommerce inventory management is just as important as it is with any traditional retail shop. e-Commerce companies run the risk of overselling and understocking when they offer goods across multiple platforms. Today’s best e-commerce companies understand that inventory management isn’t just about keeping count of what’s on the shelf — it’s about maintaining a system that lets them deliver the best in products and services to their customers today, tomorrow and in the future.