Companies have a hard time dealing with inventory management. This is especially the case when you have to track orders that your customers have put in. Combine the two for a B2B business dealing in bulk orders, and it is a logistical nightmare to find an efficient balance. To solve this, companies have been implementing real-time inventory updates.
But real-time inventory updates are a difficult aspect of business to nail down. According to Zippia, only 6% of companies have full visibility over their supply chain. This shows just how difficult it is to track inventory in real time.
So in this article, I want to point out what real-time inventory updates and order tracking for B2B business at Shopify are all about. I will go over all what they are and how they benefit a B2B business over on Shopify.
In addition, I will tell you how cart restrictions can be the solution to your Shopify B2B inventory and order tracking to bring success to your ecommerce business.
So let’s tackle the first issue I want to talk about: real-time inventory tracking. It is all in the name. It is being able to track your inventory in real-time as it happens. If your business ships a bulk order of 20,000 units of light bulbs for another business, your inventory will be instantly updated to show that you have done so.
Order tracking is what comes after you have shipped those 20,000 units. For example, let’s say that the shipment is going from somewhere in the USA all the way to Australia. That is a significant distance to cover and your business needs to ensure that it reaches your customers.
This is just the briefest way I can explain what they are. But if you have the idea, then you can understand exactly how good tracking and inventory updates improve your business’s operation efficiencies. On the other hand, you can also see just how difficult running a business like this for bulk ordering.
Shopify is a great ecommerce platform to do such a business but it is not without its limitations.
As I have mentioned, Shopify is not without its limitations, especially in tracking bulk orders and keeping track of your inventory. So let’s look at these limitations that prevent real-time inventory updates and order tracking for B2B business on Shopify:
Shopify’s native inventory system focuses more on order fulfillment and managing stock levels rather than detailed purchase order tracking. It lacks features for creating, managing, and tracking purchase orders.
Think back on the 20,000 light bulb example. Now imagine you have multiple customers needing your products all around the world. You have to cater to all their needs and specifications and Shopify alone can’t help with dealing with all of that.
To add to that, Shopify also has limited bulk editing features. If you have many orders to update (e.g., status changes or tracking numbers), Shopify’s default tools cannot efficiently support these bulk edits. This limits how effectively you can track the goods you ship and manage inventory levels simultaneously.
When you need to do real-time inventory and order tracking, automation is a great help. It removes the need to input thousands of data manually and eases the burdens on your employees. But again, Shopify falls short here because it has limited automation for tracking updates.
This means that you run into probable data entry errors. With a large number of orders to manage, the likelihood of human errors in entering tracking numbers or order statuses manually rises, leading to inaccuracies in the tracking process.
The good news is that Shopify does notify you of tracking information for both orders and inventory. The bad news: it might be delayed when doing it in bulk orders for multiple clients.
Delayed tracking on Shopify results from varying points of shipment. Factors like shipping logistics, delays in updating shipment details, or slow carrier updates can cause this delay. Now add that this all has to be processed for your business, it has a great impact on real-time inventory updates.
This affects order fulfillment and customer satisfaction, two aspects of your business that you just cannot come up short on. Depending on your vendor relationship and the methods they use, tracking information for bulk orders may not update in real-time. This further delays relaying the information back to you and to your customers.
A successful business is backed up by having the data, reports, and analytics on hand so your business knows where there is a problem. The limitation from Shopify however is limited for in-depth reports on large data. This is especially the case for purchase order history which makes it complicated to do data analysis.
Keeping track of many bulk orders involves moving data around and there are many things that you need to take into account for tracking orders. For example, you need to handle what suppliers are doing with your products, track the delivery itself, confirm delivery to customers, and many more complex moving parts in real-time inventory and order tracking for a B2B business at Shopify.
With all these limitations, Shopify’s tools do not provide all the necessary information about bulk orders This makes it a challenge to identify the problems that you need to solve to make your business more efficient. The saving grace in all of this is the Shopify App Store. It allows the integration of third-party applications to your store page and helps manage your B2B business at Shopify.
The one that we will be looking at in further detail is a bulk order app that applies cart restrictions for your store and see how that helps in real-time inventory and order tracking.
With all the limitations of Shopify B2B inventory and order tracking, the solution lies in integrating a third-party bulk order app for your store. Let’s take a look at this Shopify store using a bulk order app with cart restriction on their store with real-time inventory tracking with in-stock badges:
As you can see, the store is able to effectively track its inventory with automated checks on the store page itself with in-stock badges. This combined with Shopify’s notification system when inventory stocks are low will help the store owner know when to reorder more products.
Not only that but there is also a minimum order quantity implemented on the store page. With Shopify cart restrictions strategies like this, the store owners can easily keep track of the minimum goods sold in bulk. In turn, this will help the business reap many benefits from just one bulk order app for real-time inventory updates and order tracking.
We saw the store be successful with bulk orders by adding cart restrictions. So let’s see exactly how a bulk order app with cart restrictions in place benefits a B2B Shopify store:
One of the greatest benefits of cart restrictions on your store page is you prevent overselling your available stocks. This helps businesses stay in sync with real-time inventory updates, helping increase the accuracy of inventory management and ensuring you don’t run out of stock. Your business gets to reduce the chances of stockout and remain efficient in order tracking customers’ bulk purchases.
MOQs allow your store to have more standardization in ordering which makes it much easier to track inventory. It also helps reduce variability in orders from customers which can be a logistical nightmare to keep track of orders. So order standardization makes bulk ordering more efficient and tracking much easier. It increases accuracy for both order tracking and inventory updates.
If you carefully at the store page example, you can see there are further MOQs in place as well. This is in the form of both quantity and variants of the product. Therefore, you must select a certain amount of product and also choose a certain number of variants. Customizable purchase limits like these will cater to different customer groups and help with customer segmentation
Bulk order apps such as this often have other apps that can work with it. If you have a combination of a bulk order and deposit split payment app, then you can make bulk purchasing all the more convenient. It will help with order tracking so that you can keep track of bulk orders. In addition, you receive the deposit and split payment directly to your Shopify store which decreases the chances of confusion.
Cart restrictions contribute to a tailored shopping experience for B2B customers. Businesses can set rules based on customer segments or order history, ensuring that each customer’s interaction with the platform is personalized while still adhering to real-time inventory constraints.
Customer experience is important and the world of ecommerce needs to go the extra distance to ensure customer satisfaction. With a variant builder app such as this, your Shopify store has that personalization to enhance the customer experience for your B2B customers.
Transparency issues will discourage customers from buying from your store. But you can overcome this problem with automated checks for inventory on your store page. With inventory stocks clearly shown on the store page itself, B2B customers are more likely to go through with a bulk purchase. With cart restrictions in place with such stock transparency, both you and your customers will be able to keep track of inventory in real time.
Cart restrictions make order processing more efficient for your B2B customers. By setting specific limits for products and variants, you can greatly reduce the chances of errors in inventory checks and order tracking. Using a bulk order app like this secures incoming orders to smoothly match the constantly updated real-time inventory levels, making your business operations run more smoothly and reliably.
Cart restriction with bulk order apps on your Shopify store page can also help promote inventory management strategies. This is especially useful for promotional periods like the holiday season or when you are launching new products that have a high demand. Your business can set temporary restrictions to control order volumes and prevent stockouts.
Bulk purchases are great for increasing the average value order for your business since larger orders are made. With an app that promotes bulk purchases for multiple variants, it is great for B2B businesses. Your business gets to maximize each transaction with cart restrictions like MOQ and still keep inventory in check.
A B2B business catalog can be pretty extensive. There can be thousands of products that you have to deal with for different types of clients. With a bulk order app that allows cart restrictions for both individual products and their different variants, you are helping streamline the buyer’s journey for your B2B customers. This sort of flexibility is valuable in tailoring the shopping experience for various clients or aligning with specific purchasing needs as well.
Real-time inventory updates and order tracking for B2B business at Shopify are complicated. Managing them on their own can be difficult enough but together, there are bound to be problems for your business. Thankfully, Shopify has an app store that helps to improve its already existing tools and helps your business with Shopify B2B inventory and order tracking. Make sure you have the right Shopify apps for your business to thrive in the B2B industry.