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Benefits of Real-Time Pricing and Availability - ChannelOnline
  • Benefits of Real-Time Pricing and Availability

  • Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Customer satisfaction is everything, and with the plethora of choices available online, your customers can pick and choose where they shop. Customers want to see exactly what you have in stock and then choose it, so if your inventory system doesn't automatically update or keeps inaccurate records, you may find that you don't get repeat business. This is why real-time pricing and availability is critical.

Accurate Inventory Keeps Customers
It costs money to bring in new customers, particularly in high-competition sectors. Customers generally shop with brands they are familiar with, as they have formed a relationship with that brand. Depending on the industry you're in, the cost to acquire a new customer could be anything from $10 to thousands of dollars, as you have to convince people that you are a trustworthy enterprise. However, if your customers cannot get the products they want, or frequently end up having to wait longer than they expected, you will start to lose customers and then face higher acquisition costs.

Batch Inventory vs. Real-Time Inventory
Real-time inventory means that as soon as you sell a product, that product is removed from the system. This is vital for large-scale enterprises, as the system immediately updates, and therefore customers cannot buy the product once it has been sold. This requires higher system resources, but today's servers and systems are capable of handling the increased demand.

Batch inventory will update periodically, with some updating every hour. The problem with this system is that it can lead to inaccuracies for particularly popular products, especially when inventory runs low. It's not inconceivable that two people could "buy" the last example of a product within an hour, leading to customer dissatisfaction. With direct connections to distributors and suppliers, it is often critical to be able to support both methods to give your end customers the best possible information.

Real-time pricing and availability also makes it easy to keep your stock fully updated. In general, most companies buy their products from manufacturers or a distribution group, and they have to get orders in before a certain time to be delivered promptly. Real-time inventory allows them to assess the state of their inventory accurately immediately before sending the order to be fulfilled.

Real-time pricing and availability is also vital when you sell across multiple channels. By having an independent system, you ensure that each channel is updated simultaneously, and you also don't lose opportunities due to price fluctuations.

How ChannelOnline Helps
ChannelOnline offers real-time pricing and availability across a range of leading suppliers in the United States and in Canada, allowing you to manage your inventory accurately across multiple channels. As a result, you ensure you're maximizing revenue and keeping customers satisfied.