inventory

4 Reasons to Invest In E-commerce

4 Reasons to Invest In E-commerce

“Brick and mortar stores are feeling the pain from online competition. Meanwhile, more successful online retailers are opening up brick and mortar stores. So, what’s going on? Do customers want to shop online or in-store? The answer is simple…”

5 Tips for Mastering Your Wholesale

5 Tips for Mastering Your Wholesale

Retail isn’t really about prices, it’s about profits. Adjusting prices is definitely one way to address profits, but the most successful merchants also ask, “what about the wholesale cost of my incoming inventory?”…

"Choice Paralysis" and You: Managing Inventory Variety

"Choice Paralysis" and You: Managing Inventory Variety

In the world of retail, conventional wisdom has always said “more is better”, especially when it comes to choices. Offering a customer the ability to choose from more and more products is the right way to grow— isn’t it?…

5 Ways to Win at Inventory Management

5 Ways to Win at Inventory Management

There’s a rule in business. Whoever manages to do the most work using the least amount of time using the least amount of resources is eventually going to win... 

Time As Money: 3 Simple Steps to Optimize Time

Time As Money: 3 Simple Steps to Optimize Time

Ever hear the saying, “Time is money”? It’s true, but people don’t often realize the extent to which it’s true. Of course, time is precious and irrecuperable and all that, but let’s focus on the financials. (This is a business blog, after all). The value of time is not fully measured by hourly rates or annual salaries. Time as money is far more valuable than most people think...

Why Managing Your Inventory Can Be Romantic

Why Managing Your Inventory Can Be Romantic

Ok, hear me out. I know counting shelves upon shelves of items isn’t super romantic. Even over here at Shopventory, as much as we love good inventory management, we don’t think it makes the world go round. But we do know that less time and money wrapped up in inventory means more time and money for other things ...

3 Ways Your Inventory Is Trying to Get Your Attention

3 Ways Your Inventory Is Trying to Get Your Attention

We all get distracted sometimes. It’s natural, especially in the hustle and bustle of retail. Letting the occasional distraction turn into a pattern is where problems start to arise. Fortunately, you can use your inventory as a barometer for your business and take concrete steps to make sure the occasional distraction doesn’t end up sinking the ship...

The Psychologist's 3 Tips for Pricing

The Psychologist's 3 Tips for Pricing

There is no part of inventory management that's more subject to mind games than pricing.  The way you set your prices dictates a lot about the consumer’s behavior— whether they realize it or not...

See (and Plan for) the Future with Inventory Management

See (and Plan for) the Future with Inventory Management

Ever wonder how we get weather forecasts? Or how people actually earn a living playing fantasy sports? It’s not magic, it’s math...

The Art of Inventory Optimization, Part 3: Life Optimized

The Art of Inventory Optimization, Part 3: Life Optimized

Any parent will tell you that doing a little bit of work as you go is a far better approach than letting things pile up...

The Art of Inventory Optimization, Part 2: Stock Levels

The Art of Inventory Optimization, Part 2: Stock Levels

“We’re out of stock.” Four words every customer hates to hear. And if customers hate to hear them, retailers downright loathe saying them. It means a lost sale and a disappointed customer, or (as your profit report will tell you) money lost now and money lost later...

The Art of Inventory Optimization, Part 1: A/B Testing

The Art of Inventory Optimization, Part 1: A/B Testing

Inventory optimization can be challenging at times. Even seasoned Purchasing Managers can struggle with deciding what products to order, but there’s a proven tactic that’s helping everyone from software designers to laundry detergent manufacturers. 

Training Day: 3 Key Insights to Employee Training

Training Day: 3 Key Insights to Employee Training

We’ve all been there, at the counter; watching helplessly as that poor cashier struggles and fumbles around with the system...

Up for The Count: 7 Steps to Year-End Inventory Nirvana

Up for The Count: 7 Steps to Year-End Inventory Nirvana

We at Shopventory work with thousands of merchants all over the world. So, we know the words "year-end inventory" often strike terror into the hearts of most retailers. However, there's no better time than an end-of-the-year inventory count to get your business organized and be certain you're starting the new year right...

Finishing Strong: 5 Tips to Tackle Your Holiday Retail Challenges

Finishing Strong: 5 Tips to Tackle Your Holiday Retail Challenges

The holidays are a stressful time for retail. Nobody knows this better than retailers themselves December brings mixed emotions. On the one hand, you have stores full of Customers, merchandise flying off the shelves, and cash registers 'dinging' away. On the other hand, training seasonal employees, preventing shoplifters, and trying to get inventory accounted for in the chaos can be daunting...

You're Being Reviewed

You're Being Reviewed

The advent of sites like Yelp, Angie's ListHundredX, Facebook, Google Reviews, and scores of others has absolutely changed the game in retail, especially for the food service industry. This means Customers will be drawn to— or driven from— your business before they even leave the house...

Whistle While You Work: Inventory Playlist (3rd Edition)

It's time for another rockin' inventory playlist to help you through inventory counts! Our Whistle While You Work series is a monthly playlist series where we share some new terrific tunes at the end of each month—all intended to putting a spring in your step while you count, and count, and count.

Workplace music can relieve stress, inspire creative problem solving and boost productivity. This month, we're dedicating our playlist to all of you business owners who burn the midnight oil in order to keep your shop running.

WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK1ST EDITION (1)

1. Night Moves by Bob Seger

2. Sky Full Of Stars by Coldplay

3. Some Nights by Fun.

4. All Night by Icona Pop

5. Clear Night Sky by La Luz

6. All Night Long by Lionel Richie

7. Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

8. Starry Eyed by Ellie Goulding

9. Night Sky by CHVRCHES

10. Counting Stars by One Republic

What's on your speakers this month?

 

Awesome Inventory Photos On A Budget

In the world where pictures speak louder than words, decent inventory photos are a crucial component to a successful eCommerce shop, as well as brick and mortar businesses. And not just decent photos—pinnable, 'grammable, shareable photos. Professional commercial photographers can make just about anything look like a million bucks, but unfortunately they come with a large price tag that many small business owners can't afford. However, with a little ingenuity, good lighting and oodles of patience, you can snap your inventory photos in a flash. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your photos on a budget.

3202192284_e29c10d9ac_z

1. Find the light—the natural light. Natural light is your best friend, because it saves you from renting or buying potentially expensive lighting equipment and also can save editing time. The best light is going to be indirect but bright enough to keep your images sharp without using a flash. Move around your shop, experiment with different locations and try shooting at different times of day to find your favorite light.

2. Set the scene. If you aren't able to take your photos during the day for some reason, it might be worth investing in a white photography box. Amazon sells a few different starter kits that are great for capturing products and maintaining good light when natural light isn't an option. If you prefer to make your own, check out this DIY  light box tutorial. If you aren't using a box, bendable white backgrounds are still a classic, consistent and easy to put together with a few supplies from the craft store.

3. Use a camera you love—and most importantly, a camera you know how to use. It doesn't have to be the fanciest or most expensive DSLR on the market, but it should be able to take high-resolution, close-up photos. A tripod will also come in very handy because you'll be busy styling your "set" and a steady camera will maintain consistency and avoid blurry images.

4. Take a basic photo editing class. This is the single most effective way to polish your images and make them look professional, so it's worth investing in either online or inexpensively through a community ed class. We recommend learning the ropes of free (or nearly free) photo editing software options like Adobe Lightroom, Pixlr and PicMonkey before you put a lot of money into expensive software that might be overwhelming for your needs.

5. Hire a photography student. For the folks that simply never want to DIY anything photography-related, local schools are full of budding camera junkies. Students have a chance to add to their body of work and you have a chance to make friends with an affordable, but likely still very talented professional photographer before they make it big. If your budget is thin, barter!

Let us know if you have any other great tips for product photos—we'd love to add to this list!