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Your Ultimate Guide: Etsy Inventory Management

By Ankit | May 23, 2022 | 8 Min read
etsy inventory management

The more scattered a company’s inventory is, the less likely they will have what they actually need when they need it. 

With the advent of COVID-19, the already ferocious eCommerce market has become even more cut-throat. But despite the fierce competition, Etsy has managed to remain a relevant and growing player over the years. 

The multi-billion-dollar giant has successfully carved its niche in the industry with a knack for ‘artisanal,’ often ‘handcrafted’ items. This has garnered Etsy the ‘artsy commerce’ tag, making it a go-to choice for the ‘crafty’ demographic. 

Launched in 2005, Etsy is now not only an online marketplace but also harbours a community for micro-enterprises looking to open up their business to the world. And, people are willing to expend more money on these ‘authentic handcrafted’ goods, especially to support small businesses and shun the industrial goliaths that operate unsustainably. 

The downside is that sellers face significant Etsy inventory management challenges. 

So how does one manoeuvre around Etsy inventory management? Are the inbuilt Etsy inventory management features useful? Read on to find out!

The art of handling your Etsy store

Etsy has been a relatively straightforward eCommerce store but has always lacked inventory management features. When you start your Etsy store, things may run smoothly, but once you start catering to a larger audience and plan to scale your business, you might face a couple of challenges in the transition. 

As you expand, you’ll want to: 

  • Instantly check your inventory levels
  • Monitor seasonal and occasional trends
  • Develop marketing and sales strategies to accelerate your growth
  • Estimate the value of your inventory

Pen and paper methodologies will not be useful for such extensive tracking. But an intuitive inventory management system like Sumtracker can take these tasks off your hands. The more efficient your Etsy inventory management, the faster you will witness growth in your business. 

Enable multi-channel inventory sync with Sumtracker and auto-sync all inventories across different channels within seconds. Manage products with the same SKUs across different inventories with real-time sync and experiment with bundles and kits to find out what sells most. Generate reports, analyze trends and never run out of items that sell with auto-generated low stock alerts with Sumtracker. 

Etsy inventory management: are there any inbuilt features? 

When you lack a reliable Etsy inventory management system, the inability to track your inventory in real-time can lead to stock-outs or excess products being stored for too long. Since smaller businesses rely heavily on word-of-mouth, even one bad customer experience could be detrimental to your business – which is why it is crucial to have a working inventory management solution. 

As per recent developments, Etsy rolled out a centralised seller’s hub that facilitates the Etsy inventory management process for sellers all across. With easier access to tools and services, sellers will have to spend less time managing their stores and have more time on their hands to innovate products.

You can keep on top of your open orders, store reporting and analytics, and recent chats with customers. In addition, Etsy will notify you if something requires your attention. The hub also enables you to manage your store on the go – easily login remotely with your mobile or laptop and check your store’s performance. 

Additionally, the hub introduced SKUs to alleviate the stress of sellers struggling to track their inventory. SKUs or Stock Keeping Units allow sellers to differentiate between their products. Let us consider an example to illustrate SKUs: 

Imagine that you sold three distinct handmade jewellery boxes. How would you track which product would go where? 

By assigning an SKU to each item, you can make it easier to differentiate between them and effectively track the sales for each. Besides, if you’re handling e-stores on multiple platforms, SKUs help you track inventory levels for both stores to ensure that there is always enough in your inventory to satisfy consumer needs. 

With Sumtracker, you can assign duplicate SKUs to multiple listings, and you will only have to manage the inventory of SKU1 since SKU2 will sync with SKU1 automatically, thus freeing up your time and effort. 

Is the Etsy inventory management system sufficient?

Etsy’s centralized inventory hub certainly has potential when you first set up your store. However, these inbuilt solutions may not come in handy for sellers aiming for exponential growth. 

Considering the ever-growing demand for eCommerce and a competitive market, sellers must tackle waves of change with more sophisticated tools. The quicker you cope with changes, the more your business thrives. 

While store-owners may be sceptical about investing too much in an inventory management system, trends show that these automated inventory software can exceptionally boost small, independent businesses, 

If you’re apprehensive because inventory management tools may be difficult to use, let Sumtracker ease your fears. Sumtracker offers features that are relevant to you and truly make inventory management less cumbersome. 

How to manage your Etsy inventory? 

Here’s how you can master the art of managing your Etsy store: 

  • Get an inventory management system right from the start: It would be best to deploy an Etsy inventory management solution even before you start selling your products on Etsy. As you start making sales and the demand increases, you may feel overwhelmed, which could affect their ability to fulfil orders on time, leading to lower customer satisfaction. Therefore, it is crucial to have a defined and working system that helps keep on top of your inventory. 
  • Keep your workplace up and running: Set up an organized workspace (your dedicated studio, garage, or attic). Label your dressers, or closets appropriately and set the proximity of items according to their popularity. Although, you should always know the whereabouts of all your products, even those that don’t sell frequently. 
  • Assess sales trends and demands to maintain stock: Stocks are volatile, and thus, having a little extra supply for items that sell fast and frequently could go a long way. You could balance it by buying less for inventory items that don’t sell as much. Although, Etsy’s prediction for consumer demand may not be as extensive as in the case of a complete Etsy inventory management system. Since the data is only based on past trends, the results may not always be reliable. Besides, making projections can be a huge challenge with such restrictive features.  
  • Handle storage effectively: If you are only starting and depend heavily on pen-paper methodologies, you could use some quick tricks to ensure accuracy – strike off items on the receipt when packing your order, arrange your items with labels, or use alphabetical order to set key items. The ‘low-maintenance’ tricks can go a long way but are only usable with a smaller volume of orders. Once the orders start swarming in, you may need to set your inventory to do the work for you. 
  • Assign SKUs to ease tracking: Make tracking easier with SKUs – assign duplicate SKUs to listings and experiment with keywords, product descriptions, and promotions to improve sales. When you sync your inventories with Sumtracker, you will only need to manage one SKU, while the other listings automatically sync with the original SKU. 

5 ways Etsy inventory management can up your sales game

Even the little tips and tricks can help you find your feet when you are starting out. We’ve curated these five tips to help you sell better on Etsy: 

  • Engage in the community through forums and attend local events, meet-ups, yard sales, and pop-up shops to network with other sellers and buyers. 
  • Give out your best on your Etsy store with immaculate product photos. Try different angles and depths to showcase the intricacies of your product. 
  • Ensure that your store is search engine optimised – use keywords in the title and description. This will be especially beneficial for users who come to your store through a quick Google search. 
  • Take your store to the social front. Engage with your followers and post regularly to build your brand on social media. 
  • Use inventory management software to manage your Etsy store. 

By implementing an efficient system, owners can devote more time to other aspects of their business, such as search engine optimisation, customer service, and more. 

A dependable solution like Sumtracker can help you manage your inventory at the back of your hand. Automate your tasks, sync inventories on multiple channels in real-time, get low stock alerts, forecast trends with sales reports, check sales and purchase orders, and experiment with bundles to identify what sells – from a single centralised Etsy inventory management hub with Sumtracker. 

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