Product Availability Monitoring
Avoid Losing Sales Unnecessarily With Automated Product Availability Monitoring
Unavailable products don’t translate to sales. But what might sound like a no-brainer is in fact a real challenge for manufacturers in e-commerce. How do you ensure all products are visible and available at all times and on all channels? The solution: automated monitoring.
The Mission: Available Products Across All Channels
“Item not in stock.” Words no customer is happy to see on an online store. And it’s certainly not good news for the manufacturer either – even if the item is in fact available. After all, they’re missing out on good business.
A seemingly simple yet absolutely vital task therefore falls to e-commerce or key account managers: ensuring products remain available across all e-commerce channels. As soon as possible after launch and with as few breaks as possible. Speed is of the essence, especially when it comes to seasonal products.
- D2C sales: Products have to be visible (listed/online) on the company’s own store, on marketplaces and on other e-commerce platforms.
- Indirect sales via retailers (wholesale): Products must be visible on retailers’ online stores and in stock to buy (in sufficient quantities).
The Challenge: Monitoring Availability Across Thousands of Products
For a customer to buy a product online, that product first has to be listed on the corresponding e-commerce channel. But even at this early stage, things can already hit a snag when the product data is transmitted to a retailer or a marketplace. The reasons might be many and varied, but the result is as obvious as it is sobering: no products, no sales.
Sometimes, it’s a question of technology. The product data might not be complete or there could have been errors during transmission. Products aren’t listed automatically.
In other cases, it’s all down to human error. Somewhere in the process, something hasn’t gone to plan. New product data sets are left with the retailer. Maybe the person responsible is off sick. Whatever the cause, the manufacturer is not notified immediately if data remains missing.
Another problem, of course, is when products are live but the retail partner can’t deliver. The items are out of stock. Maybe they were (re)ordered too late, maybe the inventory isn’t monitored automatically.
But whether manufacturer or retailer, these kinds of problems are annoying. After all:
- They miss out on sales: customers either buy competing products, from another retailer, or not at all.
- Customers are irritated and feel more negatively toward the retailer and brand manufacturer.
- Seasonal or promotional stock fails to be sold in time. Warehouses remain full, and to make sure they’re emptied in time, products may have to be sold off at cut-back prices. For premium brands in particular, cheap prices can seriously damage their image.
Manufacturers can’t rely on being informed right away when a problem arises. They need to monitor for themselves whether their products are in stock and ready for delivery across the board.
Manual checks carried out by calling up individual product pages are not only slow but also impossible if you want to do anything more than random checks of your top sellers. To get a real overview of product status for large ranges across multiple channels, a different approach altogether is required.
The Result: Exploit the Sales Potential of Every Channel
Every day counts, especially when it comes to seasonal goods and top sellers. Even a brief period of unavailability can have a tangible impact on product sales. LIVE TRACKER gives manufacturers the information to ensure they’re never again at the mercy of such situations!
Availability monitoring should really be one of the absolute basics in e-commerce. After all, if a customer can’t actually buy the product, any other measure becomes pointless. Ensuring product availability across all channels means protecting both sales and brand image.
Another positive side effect is that monitoring helps manufacturers identify where their retailers may be struggling with product data delivery or warehouse management so that they can offer support. This way, manufacturers strengthen their relationship with retailers and set themselves apart from competitors through better service.
Get to know our solution for product availability monitoring. We would be happy to discuss your individual use case in a free and non-binding demo.