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The 9 Best Inventory Management Software Systems (2023)

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Supervisor using inventory software system on tablet to check stock

In the fast-paced realm of ecommerce, your successes are measured in clicks and conversions. And that’s all very well. But there's another vital key to triumph that often goes overlooked: effective inventory management.

With the right software, you can effortlessly navigate the intricate dance of supply and demand, ensure tip-top customer service, and pave the way for your online empire to thrive.

Of course, all ecommerce businesses boast their own unique charm, and requirements vary between companies. But fear not! Whether you're a small boutique store or a booming multinational operation, we've got you covered with this list of the best inventory software options for 2023.

Let’s dive straight into our list of top picks. Then, once you've wrapped your head around your options, we’ll take a look at:

  • Essential features to look for in inventory management solutions
  • The primary benefits of using inventory management software
  • How to select the best inventory management systems for your business
  • How to implement an inventory management system
  • How much inventory management tools cost
  • Inventory management software FAQs

Ready to get going? Then strap in as we set off on the ultimate scenic tour through the textured landscape of inventory management software.

The 9 best inventory management software solutions for 2023: product overviews

While customer demands and buying trends can sometimes be unpredictable, the need for efficient inventory control remains constant. With better inventory management techniques in play, you can confidently manage the next wave of customer orders.

Meticulously tailored to meet the diverse needs of ecommerce and retail businesses, one of these nine epic inventory management software solutions is sure to put a skip in your entrepreneurial step.

1. Linnworks: The best overall inventory management software

Linnworks software screenshot

Linnworks' exceptional versatility and extensive list of features make it a standout option for companies of all types and sizes - from small businesses to major industry players. Short version: it's where inventory meets excellence and is the only tool you need to level up in the inventory management game.

Whether you're just starting out or running a well-established enterprise, Linnworks adapts to your specific needs and grows with you. The platform's robust integrations, comprehensive inventory control, and powerful analytics make it a top choice for any inventory manager researching a holistic inventory management software solution.

What makes Linnworks the best overall inventory software?

Well, for starters, it's our brainchild. So, of course we think it's awesome. But that's because it's been designed to be awesome, and not just because we're a teensy bit biased!

Linnworks is the best inventory management software overall because our platform allows small businesses and industry giants alike to centralize inventory management, automate key processes, and streamline operations using an array of time-saving tools and features. Plus, because we operate on a cloud-based system, we offer teams the flexibility to enhance efficiency and scale their ecommerce endeavours from anywhere with an internet connection.

Linnworks' standout inventory management features

Centralized inventory control across multiple sales channels, including Amazon and eBay.

Order fulfillment, shipping management, and returns tracked on one single, intuitive interface.

Real-time tracking and inventory data capabilities.

Advanced shipping and logistics tools that allow users to compare rates, generate purchase orders and shipping labels, and automate order fulfillment.

Powerful analytics and reporting on sales, inventory turnover, and trends.

Seamless integration with popular ecommerce platforms and accounting software.

2. SkuVault: The best inventory management software for warehouses

SkuVault home page screenshot

Ready to wave goodbye to your warehouse woes and unleash your full potential? With its robust warehouse management capabilities, SkuVault is an exceptional choice for ecommerce businesses looking to update and revolutionize their operations.

With SkuVault, managing inventory control, improving order accuracy, and enhancing productivity across multiple warehouses becomes child’s play. It’s essentially the warehouse management version of pressing the "easy" mode on a video game.

What makes SkuVault the best inventory system for warehouse management?

SkuVault was designed with warehouse operations at its core. The platform integrates seamlessly with existing ecommerce platforms, marketplaces, and shipping carriers, and its intuitive inventory management capabilities streamline order fulfilment and maximize space utilization while minimizing the time spent on manual inventory operations.

SkuVault's advanced warehouse inventory features

An advanced warehouse management system (WMS) to track and control receiving, putaway, picking, packing, and shipping.

Enhanced inventory accuracy via barcode scanning and tracking.

Demand forecasting and automated replenishment tools featuring intelligent algorithms and sales patterns analysis.

Batch and expiration date tracking.

Cross-channel inventory syncing across multiple vendors.

Reporting and analytics on inflow inventory, warehouse performance, productivity, and efficiency.

3. Inventory Planner: The best inventory management software for core features

Inventory Planner homepage screenshot

It's time to become the superhero of your own inventory story (cape optional, but highly recommended).

With a strong focus on essential inventory management features, Inventory Planner simplifies core operations like demand forecasting, replenishment, and sales analysis. By providing accurate insights into sales trends and stock performance, businesses can make data-driven decisions with real bottom-line impacts.

What makes Inventory Planner the best choice for core features?

This savvy piece of software has everything ecommerce and retail businesses need to optimize operations. Inventory Planner's intuitive reporting dashboard can calculate sales projections for thousands of products in minutes, helping inventory managers identify trends and invest time and capital more wisely.

Key features of Inventory Planner's management software solutions

Demand forecasting and inventory optimization via advanced algorithms and historical sales data.

Smart reordering and automated purchase orders based on demand forecasts, lead times, and desired stock levels.

Sales analysis and reporting with automated insights into top-selling products, slow-moving inventory items, and general sales trends.

ABC analysis and classification based on sales velocity and value.

Supplier performance tracking using metrics like lead times and fulfilment accuracy.

Breakdowns of inventory costs like purchases, holding fees, and other expenses.

4. Katana: The best inventory management software for multi-channel operators

Katana home page screenshot

Go go gadget multi-channel multi-tasking!

OK, so you won't actually get a cyborg detective as part of your payment plan. But, with an intuitive interface and user-friendly tools to simplify order management across all sales channels, Katana is arguably the next best thing.

With real-time inventory visibility and accurate demand forecasting, e-commerce businesses can effectively plan production, keep up with customer orders, and optimize inventory levels. What you do with the extra time that frees up is entirely up to you (although, since we're already on an inspector gadget theme, sitting in a high-backed chair with a cat on your lap while you plot your next act of business brilliance is certainly an option).

Why is Katana the best inventory system for multi channel inventory management?

Katana effortlessly collects and compiles inventory data from various sources to provide a centralized view of inventory levels. By offering multichannel inventory sync, the platform ensures accurate inventory levels across all sales channels, so overselling and stockouts become a thing of the past. Plus, the resulting boost in sales conversion rates usually leads to improved customer satisfaction and retention.

Standout features of the Katana inventory management system

Multichannel inventory sync with automatic updates across various marketplaces, including offline stores, online sales channels, and ecommerce platforms.

Centralized order management combining multiple vendors across every sales channel on a single dashboard.

Real-time inventory visibility for enhanced supply chain efficiency.

Sales and demand forecasting based on historical data trends and patterns.

Production planning and scheduling for manufacturing or assembly processes.

Full inventory cost tracking, including raw materials, production costs, storage fees, and labor expenses.

5. Zoho Inventory: The best 'all-rounder' inventory management software

Zoho inventory home page

Get in the Zoho-ne and take control of the way you manage inventory for good! The Zoho inventory management system is ideal for small businesses with the capacity to grow thanks to its versatility and scalability.

An ideal fit for scaling ecommerce businesses, Zoho Inventory is one of the better-known enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions on the market. The platform provides a comprehensive suite of tools for inventory control, order management, and analytics.

What makes Zoho Inventory the best 'all-round' solution?

With a user-friendly interface and intuitive features, Zoho inventory makes implementing improvements and new stock control processes straightforward. The barcode scanning feature is particularly effective in ensuring accurate stock management across multiple warehouses, allowing businesses to streamline operations and gain complete inventory visibility.

Zoho's standout advanced inventory management features

Automated inventory tracking, control features, and workflows.

Automated order management and fulfillment tools that create purchase orders to optimize shipping and delivery processes.

Warehouse locator tools that track inventory across multiple locations.

Barcode scanning and tracking capabilities to expedite receiving, picking, and packing processes.

Sales and demand analytics based on historical patterns, demand trends, and inventory performance.

Integration and scalability capabilities with various ecommerce platforms, accounting software, and other essential business tools.

6. Lightspeed: The best inventory management software for restaurants

Upserve home page screenshot

Did someone request a serving of inventory management with a side of awesomeness? Great news, your order is ready!

For restaurant owners and operators, Lightspeed Restaurant can be an invaluable ally in optimizing inventory management, enhancing profitability, and minimizing waste to ensure reduced costs and exceptional dining experiences for every patron. By integrating with POS systems to monitor inventory, restaurants can effortlessly manage stock levels, food costs, and order quantities.

What makes Lightspeed the best inventory management software for restaurants?

The platform has been specifically designed to meet the intricate inventory management needs of the food and beverage industry, and comes with complete POS system integration. POS functionality is a particularly essential feature for capturing real-time sales and transaction data, enabling F&B owners to make data-driven decisions about menus, pricing, and overall operations.

Key features of Lightspeed's online inventory management software

Recipe and menu costing via tracked ingredient usage.

Real-time inventory tracking to prevent ingredient shortages during peak hours.

Vendor management tools that consolidate vendor information, track deliveries, and control supply chain pricing.

Menu engineering and optimization capabilities that provide insights into dish popularity, profitability, and sales performance.

Full POS system integration for automatic inventory updates and streamlined order management.

Food waste tracking to uncover areas of improvement and reduce unnecessary costs.

7. EZOfficeInventory: The best inventory management software for asset tracking

EZOfficeInventory home page

Effortless inventory that's as EZ as Sunday morning? Yes, please! EZOfficeInventory offers a truly comprehensive approach to asset management that sets it apart from other competitors.

From tracking asset lifecycles to maintenance management and detailed reporting, EZOfficeInventory provides businesses with tools that optimize asset utilization, reduce costs, and enhance operational efficiency.

What makes EZOfficeInventory the best inventory management software for asset tracking?

EZOfficeInventory takes the top spot for asset tracking and management due to the platform's ability to provide complete control over cataloging assets, assigning them to employees, and tracking their movement and usage over multiple locations. By leveraging asset reservation and availability features, businesses can prevent conflicts and ensure the right assets are available when needed.

Standout features of EZOfficeInventory's software platform

Comprehensive visibility features allow businesses to track and manage inventory assets across locations, departments, and employees.

QR code and barcode scanning capabilities for enhanced check-in/check-out, inspections, and maintenance workflows.

Asset reservation and availability functions allow users to reserve and schedule specific assets.

Maintenance and service management logs with automated workflows.

Asset lifecycle management tools that track depreciation, warranty information, and disposal processes.

Reporting and analytics insights into asset utilization, maintenance costs, and inventory valuation.

8. Oracle Netsuite: The best inventory management software for multi-location businesses

Oracle Netsuite home page screenshot

Oracle: Noun
Definition 2a: a person giving wise or authoritative decisions or opinions.
Definition 2b: an authoritative or wise expression or answer

Source: Merriam-Webster

Let us tell you, this is one well-named piece of inventory management software! Oracle by name, Oracle by nature!

Oracle Netsuite is a comprehensive cloud-based warehouse management and ERP system that allows businesses to optimize warehouse operations and streamline inventory handling simultaneously. Although, using the word comprehensive to describe the extensive list of features is putting it somewhat mildly. The platform integrates all aspects of business operations, inventory tracking, financials, customer relationship management (CRM), and more.

Why is Oracle Netsuite the best inventory management software for multi-location businesses?

Oracle Netsuite represents the pinnacle of multi-location inventory management software options due to its real-time inventory visibility and integrated financials that empower businesses to make data-driven decisions that drive efficiency and profitability. The platform offers centralized control and reporting, allowing inventory managers in any location to gain a birds-eye view of stock levels across all warehouses.

Specific features of Oracle Netsuite's inventory tracking software

Dedicated multilocation management tools that track inventory across every site for ultimate visibility.

Centralized control and reporting features monitor inventory levels, sales, and operations across all locations.

Oracle NetSuite’s advanced warehouse management system (WMS) streamlines receiving, putaway, picking, packing, and shipping.

Demand planning and forecasting algorithms optimize inventory levels for each location.

Real-time inventory visibility tools automate stock monitoring processes for enhanced data accuracy.

Integrated financials and reporting functions provide a holistic view of inventory costs, profitability, and financial performance.

9. Unleashed Inventory: The best inventory system for fast-growing warehouses

Unleashed homepage screenshot

Unleash the hounds of advanced inventory planning and tracking!

Truly man's best friend when it comes to optimizing warehouse efficiency, Unleashed’s integration with various ecommerce platforms ensures accurate inventory synchronization and availability for online sales.

What makes Unleashed Inventory the best inventory management software for fast-growing warehouses?

Designed for ultimate scalability, the software adapts to meet the needs of growing small businesses, ensuring seamless processes as warehouse operations expand. The platform comprises a range of tools for managing inventory and streamlining operations. However, the key to the platform’s success lies in the accuracy of its real-time inventory control, which ensures pinpoint stock visibility at all times.

Unleashed Inventory's standout tools for managing inventory

Scalable inventory management that effortlessly handles the complexities of fast-growing warehouses.

Real-time inventory insights into inventory levels, stock movements, and availability across all locations.

Warehouse efficiency and optimization tools to optimize receiving, picking, packing, shipping, and supply chain management processes.

Serial number and batch tracking.

Automatic synchronization of inventory levels across multiple ecommerce platforms.

Reporting and analytic insights into inventory performance, sales trends, and profitability.

Essential features to look for in inventory management solutions

Now you’ve got the full lowdown on the best inventory management software picks on the market, it’s time to consider which features align best with your specific needs and requirements. You might also want to do some research to see which inventory management software other businesses are using. But a word to the wise…

Beware of simply copying what others are doing on the assumption it will work for you too. Firstly, that’s not cool. Nobody likes a copycat. Also, remember that every ecommerce business is unique, and the right inventory management software for other businesses may not hold the same significance for you.

Here’s a list of the most essential features. Oh, and we've taken the liberty of including some not-so-subliminal bonus info on how Linnworks helps you hit a home run for each one. You're welcome!

Overall inventory and warehouse control

Warehouse employees taking inventory

Imagine having a tireless team of minions (minus the banana addiction and retired arch-villain) constantly tinkering behind the scenes to keep your warehouses running like well-oiled machines.

When you choose inventory management software that aligns with your business needs, that’s exactly how you’ll feel. There's a whole heap of effort-saving perks. For example, when you partner with Linnworks, you get:

  • Centralized inventory management
  • Real-time inventory tracking
  • Warehouse organization and layout tools
  • Inventory redistribution functionality (movement and transfers)
  • Batch tracking 

Automated orders and shipping management

When integrated correctly into your workflows, inventory automation is the ultimate game-changer.

Picture this for streamlining: Every time a new order is received, your inventory software automatically captures and processes the details and sends automated confirmations to customers.

Even better, when inventory systems integrate with shipping carriers, you can auto-retrieve shipping rates, generate shipping labels, and tracks shipments in real time. And that’s just scratching the surface. For example, Linnworks simplifies order and shipping management processes by automating:

  • Low stock alerts
  • Purchase orders
  • Flags on products that haven't sold
  • Price and profit tracking
  • Returns and refund processing

Time-saving shortcuts

Nobody enjoys wasting energy on repetitive manual processes. So, implementing time-saving shortcuts can be a fundamental powerup – think of Mario collecting a super mushroom or Pac-Man picking up a power pellet. Only, instead of a temporary boost in strength or ability, you’ll see ongoing benefits. Some examples from the Linnworks platform include:

  • Bulk actions for updating product information, pricing, and inventory transfers.
  • Templates for purchase orders with predefined supplier information and product quantities.
  • Customized workflows for approval processes, supply chain communications, and quality control checks.

Barcode printing and scanning

Ah, barcode printing and scanning—the dynamic duo with the power to revolutionize small businesses and online giants alike. The trifecta of accuracy, speed. Here’s how the magic works with Linnworks…

  1. Your inventory management software plays matchmaker by generating unique barcode labels for every product.
  2. You print your nifty machine-readable barcodes and attach them to individual items or packages.
  3. Armed with trusty scanners, your team effortlessly captures barcode information with a simple scan.

Boom, job done! It's that simple.

A quick word about free vs. paid inventory management systems

Free inventory management software can be a real lifesaver for small businesses with basic inventory needs and shoestring budgets. They allow companies to dip their toes into the wondrous world of inventory software without breaking the bank. The training wheels of inventory management, if you will.

But, let's get real for a moment. While free inventory software systems have their perks, there’s no point getting behind a superhero whose powers are just, well, not quite super enough for the job. In fact, there's a significant chance you'll realize down the road that their limited functionality has been what’s been holding your business back.

So, if you have more complex inventory needs, want dedicated support, or aspire to deal in high transaction volumes, the comprehensive scalability features and customization options of a paid software option are likely a better bet.

What are the primary benefits of using inventory management software?

Manager conducting stock checks with scanner

Presuming you haven’t been reading this in your sleep, you're probably catching on to the many benefits of inventory management software by now. But just in case, let's make them crystal clear.

Time savings

Effective inventory software allows you to eliminate the manual effort associated with data entry, endless spreadsheets, creating purchase orders, and the never-ending search for that one missing item (we’ve all been there, the struggle is real).

Error reduction

Automation minimizes the risk of human errors. Plus, as your business scales over time and order volumes increase, automated processes handle the increased workload without requiring additional manpower or resources.

Cost savings

With inbuilt forecasting capabilities, you can analyze sales trends, predict future demand, and adjust stock levels on the fly. No more excess inventory gathering dust or losing value over time. Just the stock you need, when you need it, with minimal holding costs and maximum profitability.

Building solid processes

Strong processes are the backbone of any successful business. Inventory management software helps you establish efficient and reliable workflows that maintain uniformity, minimize errors, and keep operations running smoothly to ensure happy customers and more repeat business.

Improved collaboration

The right inventory management software is the ultimate team player, fostering internal and external collaboration like a pro. From team sync-up and task assignment to supplier and customer-facing integrations, you’ll witness a harmonious flow of information and a team that works together like a well-rehearsed band.

Doing good business

No more disappointing customers with out-of-stock items or frantically running around to fulfill orders you can't handle. With comprehensive reporting and analytics acting as a crystal ball for your business, you gain valuable insights to help you make informed decisions and stay one step ahead of the competition.

How to select the best inventory management systems for your business: software selection in 10 easy steps

Finding the perfect inventory software partner is like finding the skeleton key that opens every door standing between you and booming business success. It’s modern-day magic. But precisely how do you go about finding the right magic bean for your business beanstalk? Allow us to guide you through the process.

Step 1: Assess your business size and complexity

Understanding the scale of your business will help you determine the level of functionality, scalability, and customization required from your inventory management software.

“If you don’t know where you are right now, truly and objectively, you can’t see where you’re headed, which makes it more likely you’ll take a bad turn and end up in the wrong place.” - Ross Linnett, Founder and CEO at Recite Me.

Step 2: Identify your specific needs and requirements

We suggest creating a list of "must-have" and "nice-to-have" criteria to help you focus on what matters most when comparing different software options.

"Some key factors to consider when selecting an inventory management system include inventory tracking, data visibility, order tracking, automated purchasing, barcode scanning, and warehouse management." - Vaibhav Kakkar, CEO at Digital Web Solutions.

Step 3: Make a shortlist

Business owners making inventory software shortlist

Create a list of your top inventory management software picks and evaluate each product description and feature list thoroughly to ensure each one aligns with your “must have” selection criteria.

Step 4: Consider user-friendliness and ease of implementation

A straightforward onboarding experience will save you time and energy, so you’ll want a solution that doesn't require extensive training or complicated setup procedures.

“We had a very positive experience going through onboarding with Linnworks with hands-on technical support that demonstrated how the platform was tailored to our specific requirements and the whole team is confident about hitting the ground running.” - Vikki Hodge, Director at Rave Coffee

Step 5: Assess integration capabilities

Evaluate integration capabilities with your current accounting software, ecommerce platforms, shipping carriers, etc., to ensure smooth data flow and streamlining of operations.

"Given the global nature of our business and the fact that our products are sold in more than 35 countries, the chosen system's ability to scale and integrate with our existing ecommerce platform was paramount." - Ryan Mckenzie, Co-Founder & CMO at Tru Earth.

Step 6: Consider your future needs

Selecting software based on your current growth data and your future ambitions is vital. Will the software handle your expanding inventory, increasing order volumes, and additional warehouse locations? Not sure? Then it's not the right choice.

"Our choice pivoted around two primary aspects - functionality and scalability. We needed a system that could balance our unique requirements for tracking a wide range of products. Equally essential was a tool that could grow with us, seamlessly handling increased inventory and customer base." – Kevin Wang, Co-Owner of Inyouths.

Step 7: Evaluate customer support and training

Having access to responsive support, comprehensive training resources, and knowledgeable experts when you need them most will significantly enhance how well you and your team can utilize the software.

“A consultant worked with us to develop a comprehensive plan for the transition and employee training so we could test, customize, and refine our inventory management needs and workflows.” - Lisa Richards, CEO at Candida Diet.

Step 8: Review budget considerations

Consider the software's value regarding time savings, operational efficiency, and cost reduction. Remember that investing in a robust solution may yield longer-term benefits and help drive business growth.

"Price, while always a consideration, wasn't the ultimate deciding factor. We prioritized finding a system that could streamline the inventory management process and enhance efficiency." - Daniel Chabert, CEO & Founder of PurpleFire.

Step 9: Read existing client reviews and recommendations

Gather real-life insights from other businesses in your industry and seek advice from industry peers and professional networks so you can make a 100% informed decision.

Here's a link to over 60 Linnworks reviews to get you started!

Step 10: Sign up for a free demo or trial

Several of the best inventory management software providers (Linnworks included) offer free trials and product demos so you can explore the software's features, interface, and usability firsthand before you commit.

How do you implement an inventory management system?

Colleagues looking over new inventory software system

Implementing a new inventory management solution is a bit like planning a party (stick with us on this, we promise the analogy works!). And, as luck would have it, the Linnworks team is on hand to be your helpful party host.

Ready to rock and roll? Then let’s get this party started! Here are the steps to follow.

  • Send out invites - You can’t throw a party without your dream team. Your guestlist should include warehouse, procurement, and operations managers and your tech gurus and logistics coordinators.
  • Make your playlist - Identifying specific processes and workflows to streamline is the inventory equivalent of creating a killer playlist to keep the party going all night long.
  • Gather supplies - Gathering the essentials in advance is a must, so you'll need a clear idea of what hardware and software you need. Key examples include barcode scanners, label printers, templates for purchase orders, etc.
  • Prep the venue - Ensure there are no pesky trip or slip hazards. That means starting with accurate and up-to-date information by properly preparing your existing data for migration into your new inventory management system.
  • Rig the disco ball - Preparing to dazzle at an inventory party includes creating the right atmosphere by setting up product categories, stock locations, reorder points, custom fields, etc.
  • Hit the dancefloor - It's time to teach your team some killer new moves! Provide comprehensive training so your employees can navigate your new inventory management system with confidence.
  • Keep the party rocking - Check on your guests regularly. You'll need to monitor initial usage, address any hiccups or questions, gather feedback, analyze performance metrics, and make adjustments as needed.

What does inventory management software cost?

There's no easy answer to that question. It's a bit like asking, "How long is a piece of string' because the cost of inventory management software varies significantly depending on available features, scalability, support, and customization options.

Some software providers (like Zoho Inventory, for example) offer a free version. However, just like any other free software (freemium smartphone apps that are riddled with spam and endless ads, here's looking at you), these are limited in their functionality, support, the number of transactions allowed, and are unlikely to provide the full suite of features required for anything beyond the most simple of inventory management needs.

How much are paid versions? You're usually looking at anything between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars per month. Here at Linnworks, we offer a comprehensive range of pricing plans catering to different business sizes and requirements. Our pricing structure is based on the number of orders processed per month. And as your business grows and you progress to higher tiers, you unlock additional features and benefits.

Walk the road to better inventory management with Linnworks

We know we’ve given you a lot to think about here – and a whole heap of options to check out. So, why not take a cheeky shortcut and skip straight to effortless inventory management by contacting the helpful team at Linnworks directly to discuss your needs, pain points, and goals.

Not feeling ‘peopley’ today, but still want to learn more? No problem! Simply jump on our 3-minute interactive product tour for a quick overview and go from there.

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