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Inventory Management & Presentation- A Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs
When most people think about e-commerce, they think about brands that sell retail products online. But creatives and artists who make and sell their own products take full advantage of the benefits an e-commerce business model offers.
The problem they’re running into most, though, is not being able to effectively manage their inventories and present their products on their e-commerce websites and other digital channels.
If you’re a solopreneur in the creative industry with a similar dilemma, this post is for you. Here are six tips for managing your inventory and presenting your products to the world in the best light possible.
Design Your Office
One of the most important decisions you’ll make is where you’ll conduct business. As a solopreneur, it’s likely your home. So, convert a spare room into your home office. It’ll help you drown out the distractions of working from home and descend into “business mode” whenever you enter the room.
Be sure to decorate the room in your brand colors so that you can also create content in the office whenever needed, like product photos and images for social media. Add wall decor, furniture, desk accessories, and tech tools to finish the look.
As you design your office, be sure to designate a space for inventory too.
Designate a Space for Inventory
Inventory management can be tricky in small spaces but still doable with a bit of creativity and a space-saving mentality.
If you don’t have another room in your home to store your inventory, use space in your office to keep your inventory secure. This could be the closet space in the room, shelves, bins, containers, racks, or easy-to-assemble cabinets.
Once you’ve got a space for your inventory, it’s time to organize it.
Organize Your Inventory
Unorganized inventory can be a nightmare for any creative solopreneur. For example, you could sell more of an item than you have because you didn’t accurately track your stock. As a result, you might lose that customer and a few more because of a bad review.
With this in mind, you must organize your inventory. Start by labeling everything in your designated inventory space. You could label products by name and organize the products alphabetically. You could group them into specific categories and store them in specific bins. You could also create barcodes and keep information for each stored digitally.
However you decide to organize your inventory, ensure it’s easy to follow and that you can find products quickly.
Use inventory management software
The more you sell, the more critical it is to track and manage your merchandise accurately. Implement software that does these things for you and can help you forecast stock needs and track costs.
Look for inventory management software that’s easy to learn and navigate and can scale with your operation. Then, do a demo with your top two choices to see how things will work in real-time.
Furthermore, your inventory management software can tell you when certain products have been sitting for a while. To ensure you don’t lose more money than you need to, you must have a plan for excess inventory.
For example, after a product has been in your inventory closet for a specified time, you could sell it on consignment, return it to your supplier, or sell it at a significant discount. Even if you have to recycle or donate the product, it’s better to have a plan for overstock than contribute to our ever-growing landfills.
Next, optimize your e-commerce website.
Optimize Your E-Commerce Website
The last thing you want to do is direct people to your website to purchase and learn more about your work before your website is ready. Be sure your website is optimized for sales.
Use a responsive website design so that it works seamlessly on mobile devices. Make it easy for people to checkout. Be sure typical payment options are available and email confirmations and tracking information are sent out with each purchase.
Finally, be sure your site loads quickly and is especially painless to navigate to ensure visitors can find what they’re looking for whenever needed.
You should also include high-quality photos on your e-commerce website to further optimize it for sales.
Take Pictures of Your Products and Post Them
Once you’ve got all of your background stuff set up, you can focus on creating content to market your inventory, specifically product photos.
Exceptional product photos could be the difference between a purchase or someone bouncing off your site altogether. They can also boost your marketing efforts and help drive more quality leads to your product page.
You don’t need a big, expensive camera to create high-quality product photos. Instead, use your smartphone. Put it on a tripod, position your product in natural or artificial lighting, use a color sweep or portrait mode, and snap.
Take various photos of each product so that people can see them in different ways. Post the pictures on your social media and in specific email campaigns to drive traffic to your website. Use the images on your product page as well.
Keep track of what photos you use where and study how each is or isn’t leading to conversions.
Inventory management and product presentation don’t ever have to be as hard as they once were for solopreneurs in the creative industry. Implement best practices for product photography and how to position those products on your marketing channels, and manage your inventory with the tips above to get you started.