Manage your ecommerce store without inventory!

A successful new business model has come to the fore and requires no inventory. E-commerce businesses are trending now, and their online sales are expected to account for up to 18.1% of global retail sales. It’s easy to learn how to manage your ecommerce store without the extra work of storing and shipping goods.

Read on to learn more about the methods you can use to manage your ecommerce store and business.

How to manage your ecommerce store without inventory

There are several strategies you can try to make your ecommerce store profitable. This includes affiliate marketing, print-on-demand, dropshipping, MLM marketing, and third-party fulfillment.

affiliate marketing

You can promote a full-fledged product with no upfront investment. Instead of designing a product from scratch, you can promote another company’s products and earn a commission from the sales you make. Your job is to promote the products and get them to as many customers as possible. You can do this through blogs, email marketing, social media, and other marketing platforms.

Print on Demand

With print-on-demand you get a little more control over the product and if you have a flair for design, you make the goods yourself. The product is created by a manufacturer who ships it directly from the website to the customer. The customer only has to order the product from your store, which means that you do not need any inventory. Here you can find information on how print-on-demand works.

drop shipping

You can integrate dropshipping into your ecommerce web store and take the difficulty of inventory management out of the equation. You supply a store with products from different areas and the customer fills his shopping cart with his purchases. The order goes to a third-party fulfillment center, which then packages the product and ships it directly to the customer.

You don’t have to worry about anything other than setting up the shop. You earn a margin or commission on every product you sell, depending on how you price it.

You can also use dropshipping software to sync your inventory, automatically update product prices and other details in real time, track and manage orders, and more.

Multi-Level Marketing

This ecommerce model allows you to sell items without inventory. You are working with a company to build a website for you. Your job is to attract customers to a product that is already popular and making sales. Stock is stored in the company’s warehouses and shipped directly from there. This is not for everyone and you need to do your research to make sure you are not staging a scam.

Third-Party Fulfillment Centers

You can consider working with an organization that is something like a dropshipping company and allows you to customize your products. If you make your products at home or by hand, you can use a third-party fulfillment center to manage the packaging and shipping for you.

You can provide the inventory and product storage space. They start by taking orders from the manufacturer and then sending them to the third-party fulfillment center. You receive your products and then ship them to your customers.

Digital Products and Services

Another option is to offer ecommerce products that don’t require physical space. Instead, you can try selling digital products as they are just as profitable, have less overhead and can generate higher revenue. For example, by using digital download applications, you can upload and sell e-books and software for a lifetime of residual income.

You can create an eBook on just about anything, from cookbooks to business advice to your personal life story. Another approach is to create your own software. If you have a background in programming or programming, you can assemble a team and create a new platform that solves specific problems.

Many individuals start software that helps with customer databases. Mobile games are also very lucrative, with customers spending hours of their time playing on their phones and spending money to win. You can launch and experiment with multiple mobile games. Also popular are tutorial and coaching videos where people sign up to learn or take courses with valuable information. Some other top-selling digital products include audio files, photography, videography, and music production software.

All of this requires only digital products and no physical inventory.

Third Party Logistics (3PL)

Third-party logistics can also provide you with an opportunity to sell goods without inventory. This can be done by being able to store your products in a warehouse. Fortunately, this will be very different from Amazon’s approach. The boxes can be customized to a specific brand, and the business processes can be customized to suit your business needs.

Storage costs can vary, and you may find that monthly storage requirements are more flexible on a monthly basis. 3PLs are more collaborative and will work with you to figure out how to launch your ecommerce store. You also have the option of making business-to-business and business-to-customer shipments from your warehouse location. This way, companies will make great repeat purchases from you and open up avenues to bigger profits.

Fulfilled by Amazon (Fulfilled by Amazon)

This no-inventory approach can be applied via the Amazon platform, where instead of storing your inventory, you send it to a warehouse center. The Amazon fulfillment center handles all customer interactions and all you have to do is deliver goods through your store. Your goals include branding and production, while the Amazon platform connects you to warehousing and customer service. The only problem is that storage costs tend to be higher during the holidays than 3PL camps.

You should also note that there is no order customization as customers are managed through Amazon’s corporate policies. Amazon doesn’t allow you to provide bulk business-to-business shipments, and you can’t sell bulk orders that ship on pallets. Finally, products are shipped in Amazon boxes, and alternatives may incur additional costs. If you don’t mind these processes, this way might work for you.

More tips on managing an ecommerce store with no inventory

If you need more ideas, you can discover additional tips from dropshipping companies that already have successful business models. You can try different methods to see what works best for you.

Manage your ecommerce store item and permission to publish here provided by Claire Glassman. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on September 1st, 2021.

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