How to Choose the Best Retail Inventory Management Software in 2024

How to Choose the Best Retail Inventory Management Software in 2024

Portrait of Ivee Yang Lark's Author
Portrait of Ivee Yang Lark's Author

Ivy Yang

June 24, 2024

6/24/24

Jun 24, 2024

6/24/24

19 min read

Tools for retail inventory management
Tools for retail inventory management
Tools for retail inventory management
Tools for retail inventory management

Nearly a third of retailers say a lack of visibility over their inventory is the biggest challenge to delivering an exceptional customer experience.

If you don’t control your stock tightly, your supply chain will become tangled. You’ll struggle to understand how much inventory you need, when, and where.

This slows down fulfillment, which results in unhappy customers.

To keep your inventory lifecycle running smoothly, you need top-quality retail inventory management software.

But what should you look for, and how will you know which tool is right for you?

Learn what you need from an inventory management system and discover the top 15 available tools.

What is retail inventory management software?

Retail inventory management software helps businesses manage, track, and control stock, orders, and deliveries.

Its features and analytics help retail providers balance stock levels to prevent stockouts and overstocking and provide insights to optimize inventory planning.

Dynamic tools will help you analyze data from your retail operations to predict demand while offering suggestions on how to improve your workflows to drive efficiency.

Lots of tools include automations to accelerate inventory and order management workflows. This helps businesses synchronize processes across multiple locations while reducing human error.

Businesses of all sizes use inventory software, from small local stores to large international chains. Typically, it’s operated by store managers, inventory clerks, and purchasing departments.

These tools improve the accuracy and efficiency of the inventory lifecycle, cutting back on wastage and preventing missed sales opportunities, driving higher profit margins.

How do you pick the right retail inventory software for your business needs?

The right retail inventory software leads to smoother order and fulfillment operations.

Here’s a few pointers on what to look for in a tool:

Key features

Look for inventory management features to audit stock levels and manage order flows. You want real-time updates and comprehensive reporting so you can monitor inventory trends to make informed decisions that optimize the inventory lifecycle.

It’s also important to have tools that streamline your purchasing and receiving processes. Find platforms that assist you in creating and managing purchase orders while simplifying receiving processes for seamless vendor interaction.

Ensure your software integrates with the various sales channels, whether online or in physical stores. It should be able to manage orders, track fulfillment, and handle returns. Extra points if it automates those processes.

To improve your inventory systems, find tools that use historical sales data and seasonal trends to project future demand. This helps you maintain optimal stock levels to avoid stockouts or overstocking.

For companies operating warehouses, you should consider software supporting location management and efficient pick-and-pack processes. This helps you maintain orders across multiple locations, streamlining fulfillment and delivery.

No matter your business model and size, you should pick software with strong communication features to enhance operational collaboration.

Tools like Lark integrate multilingual collaboration tools to centralize all discussions and documentation. This way, everyone in the chain works off the same page and can access information immediately.


Lark template for inventory management

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Most importantly, make sure your chosen tool generates detailed reports by analyzing data on sales performance, stock levels, and purchasing patterns. This is crucial for improving your strategic business decisions.

Pricing

Consider how the pricing model works with your budget and future budget projections.

Pricing plans should be scalable so that you can upgrade as you grow rather than migrating to a new tool. Watch out for software that drastically jumps in price.

Check if the feature set matches your needs; otherwise, you’ll be paying for an unfit tool—no matter how cheap it is.

Always look for a free plan or trial to ensure the software meets your needs and integrates correctly with your existing systems.

User-friendliness

Not everyone using the software will be tech-savvy.

The software should be accessible, easy to learn, and quickly onboard.

Look for tools with high-quality training materials, detailed documentation, and good customer support. If you’re using an open-source tool, check if there’s a supportive community offering advice on properly using the software.

Remember, the easier the software is, the faster your business will see value.

Scalability

Find a solution that grows with your business.

It’s not just about scalable pricing. Features and integrations should scale, too.

You may need more advanced features and enterprise integrations as your business evolves. If your tool doesn’t offer advanced functionality, you’ll have to migrate to enterprise software.

Integrations

Find software that integrates well with your existing systems. But remember, integrations aren’t everything.

You might find that a more comprehensive, all-in-one offers strong built-in functionality, which will help you reduce the number of tools you need in the inventory lifecycle.

For example, Lark’s app marketplace offers many tools that reduce the need for external integrations. But, if you need to, its open APIs mean you can build custom integrations if necessary.

The 15 best retail inventory management software available in 2024

Retail inventory management software ranges from demand planning to full, multi-warehouse stock solutions. Plenty of options exist for different business sizes and models, with tools and features to accommodate a range of retail workflows.

Here’s a breakdown of the top 15.

1. Lark: The most versatile solution for your retail inventory management

Lark is an all-in-one operational management platform that empowers retail businesses with powerful inventory management workflows and a full suite of communication tools.

You can build automated workflows to plan, manage, track, and deliver products from multiple sales channels across multiple locations. Thanks to its various dashboard views, intuitive forms, and streamlined approvals, you can significantly improve the visibility and traceability of stock across all locations throughout the supply chain.


Inventory management on Lark

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Lark’s range of communication tools and automatic notifications keep everyone updated and on the same page about what needs to happen throughout the inventory management process.

It streamlines operational routines, tracks task completion, and provides actionable insights on improving performance across your supply chain.


Lark inventory audit dashboard

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Want to see it in action? Check out Coconuts&Co use Lark to half its stocktaking time.

Key Features:

  • Unified workflow creation

  • Automatic order tracking and inventory calculation

  • Real-time stock alerts

  • Intuitive forms that trigger automations

  • Order and inventory management templates

  • Gallery view to visualize inventory levels

  • Seamless data import from Excel

Pros:

  • Easy to visualize, track, and audit inventory levels

  • Automated reminders and real-time insights prevent stockouts

  • Customizable workflows and forms automate inventory management

Cons:

  • It takes a little time to learn all the features

Integrations include Salesforce, Google Workspace, Wrike, Pancake, Zapier, and Trello. Lark also offers an entire suite of native apps and open APIs for building your own interactions.

Pricing:

  • Starter: Free for up to 50 users, this plan includes unlimited chats, custom business email, automatic language translation, and 100 GB of storage

  • Pro: $12 per user per month for up to 500 users, including everything in Starter plus advanced tools and 1 TB of storage

  • Enterprise: Custom pricing for unlimited users

Free trial:
Lark offers a free trial for its Starter plan without a credit card requirement.

Reviews:

“It has a LOT of apps all in one with a VERY generous free plan-- messenger, wiki, OKR, base, approvals, emails, meetings -- and the AI function available on Lark is also great too. It really cut out a lot of the other software that would be needed.” Clair K


Awesome Platform!

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“I love how easy it was to use and how there were many different workflows that were provided for me to use. I also appreciate the end-to-end encryption as well because I use the chat feature as well!” Kruti G

“I love how easy it was to use Lark. It's awesome to use the different templates/tools Lark has developed for us. My favorite part is displaying my data in different ways I never thought of!” Mehak J

Try Lark now

2. Cin7: Best for enterprise retail

Cin7 is an advanced enterprise-level system with comprehensive inventory management tools.

It automates and optimizes the entire inventory lifecycle and helps you forecast and calculate future costs.

The system gives you real-time visibility and complete traceability across multiple sales channels and locations, with tools for warehouse inventory transfers and third-party logistics management.

It integrates with over 700 different applications and offers advanced analytics and reporting.

Key features:

  • Built-in electronic data interchange (EDI) and point of sale (POS)

  • Order tracking and inventory control

  • Enterprise-level analytics and insights

  • Warehouse inventory transfer tools

Pros:

  • Supports large volumes of orders

  • Zero-touch automations reduce errors and save time

  • Connects with over 700 applications

Cons:

  • It’s very complex and requires extensive training

  • Not suitable for small businesses

Pricing: Plans start from $349 per month for three users

Free trial: Cin7 offers a 14-day free trial

Integrations include Shopify, Square, QuickBooks, Amazon, and Xero

Reviews: G2 Rating - 4.⅖

3. PartKeepr: Best open-source solution


Partkeeper inventory management dashboard

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PartKeepr is an open-source inventory management software. It helps companies maintain clear visibility and control over their stock levels while fulfilling orders and managing order data.

Designed with usability as a priority, it has an excellent search function that sorts, filters, and finds items and orders as quickly as possible.

Super-customizable, users can customize part data in specific ways with unlimited parameters.

Unfortunately, because it’s open-source, the tool doesn’t offer much onboarding materials. You’ll have to rely on the community to help you learn how to use the tool.

Key features:

  • Inventory control and management

  • Order fulfillment and management

  • Accounting software

  • Product bundling

  • Data Integration

Pros:

  • Highly customizable to meet all kinds of business needs

  • Integrates easily with barcode scanners

  • Open-source and free-to-use

Cons:

  • Tech knowledge needed for customization

  • Support is limited compared to other products

Pricing: It’s free and open-source

Free trial: Not applicable, as it is open-source and free

Integrations aren’t available directly with PartKeepr. But, since it’s open-source, you can customize it to interface with most other tools through CSV import and export.

Reviews: Good Firms rating - 4/5

4. Sortly: Best for small businesses


Sortly retail inventory management

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Sortly is an easy-to-use retail inventory software designed specifically for simplicity.

A strong choice for small businesses, Sortly makes it straightforward to manage physical inventory, including all supplies, materials, tools, and equipment. You can organize your inventory with simple drag-and-drop functionality and track stock movements with one intuitive app.

This digital tool provides real-time tracking and reporting to streamline retail operations and provide insights into bottlenecks.

Key features:

  • Barcode & QR scanning

  • Centralized inventory database

  • Inventory-level dashboards and low-stock alerts

  • Stock history reporting

  • Asset tracking

Pros:

  • Very user-friendly

  • Real-time automatic data syncing

  • Straightforward data import and export

Cons:

  • Basic inventory control with limited advanced options

  • No demand forecasting or warehouse management features

Pricing: There’s a free limited package, with paid plans starting at $29 a month

Integrations include QuickBooks Online, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Webhooks

Free trial: Sortly offers a free 14-day trial for all plans

Reviews: G2 Rating - 4.4/5

5. Brightpearl: Best for multilocation inventory management


Brightpearl stock management dashboard

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Brightpearl is a retail inventory management system by Sage. It’s comprehensive, enabling you to manage end-to-end retail operations.

Ideal for managing inventory across multiple locations and channels, Brightpearl works directly with each user to customize a solution that fits your unique workflow.

Bringing together all inventory processes in one centralized platform, Brightpearl helps you automate inventory, orders, and fulfillment. The platform also helps with inventory planning, providing data-driven demand forecasting to help predict the stock levels needed for future sales.

Key features:

  • Multichannel and multilocation stock management

  • Automated order management

  • Advanced warehouse management

  • Smart forecasting and inventory planning

  • Retail accounting

Pros:

  • Scalable solutions for growing businesses

  • Automated services

  • Comprehensive reporting and forecasting

Cons:

  • Complex setup with intensive training

  • Limited online sales channels

Pricing: Custom pricing only based on business needs

Free trial: Brightpearl offers a free demo

Integrations include Shopify, Amazon, eBay, QuickBooks, Xero, and Magento

Reviews: G2 Rating - 4.5/5

6. Fishbowl: Best for QuickBooks users


Quickbooks inventory tool by Fishbowl

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Fishbowl is the leading inventory management solution designed to integrate seamlessly with QuickBooks.

It offers robust warehouse management alongside inventory, manufacturing, and shipping management in a single platform. This is especially helpful for tracking and customizing complex manufacturing processes while maintaining inventory accuracy across multiple warehouse locations.

All actions are synchronized with QuickBooks to ensure orderly bookkeeping and that inventory counts match purchase orders and actual orders.

Key features:

  • Real-time parts, assets, and inventory tracking

  • Automated purchasing and account reconciliation

  • Shipping and warehouse management

  • Manufacturing workflow management

  • QuickBooks accounting integration

Pros:

  • End-to-end stock control

  • Third-party logistics management

  • Multilocation management on a single interface

Cons:

  • Basic functions aren’t customizable

  • Customer service is very slow

Pricing: Fishbowl’s basic package, Fishbowl Drive, starts at $349 per month for two users

Free trial: Fishbowl offers a free demo but no free trial

Integrations include QuickBooks, Salesforce, Xero, Amazon, and Shopify

Reviews: G2 Rating - 4/5

7. Ordoro: Best for platform-agnostic integration


Ordoro inventory management interface

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Ordoro is an excellent choice for companies that need a versatile, platform-agnostic solution to inventory management and sales tracking.

Designed for multichannel retailers, Ordoro helps you track and manage orders and stock wherever you take sales — in physical stores and e-commerce businesses.

Ordoro streamlines complex processes by helping you keep track of inventory across multiple warehouses. It also offers features to manage third-party logistics and track supplier lead times.

Its comprehensive reporting offers insights into sales, inventory, and operations to help drive better data-driven decisions.

Key features:

  • Automated inventory management

  • Multi-warehouse management

  • Tools to manage shipping carriers

  • Sales and operations analytics

  • Open API for platform-agnostic integration

Pros:

  • Comprehensive reporting for more informed decisions

  • Intuitive interface to manage everything in one location

  • Wide range of integrations and open API

Cons:

  • High cost for small businesses

  • Some features require time-consuming manual updates

Pricing: Paid packages start at $349

Free trial: Ordoro offers a 15-day free trial with no credit card required

Integrations include Square, Amazon, eBay, QuickBooks, FedEx, and UPS

Reviews: G2 Rating - 4.8/5

8. Inventory Planner: Best for marketing alignment


Inventory Planner for stock forecasting

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Inventory Planner by Sage is a forecasting and planning software. It’s less about managing inventory and more about helping e-commerce merchants understand inventory flows.

Its planning tools help you maximize revenue by predicting future sales, preventing stockouts, and reducing excess stock. This helps you make more informed decisions about your stock operations and marketing campaigns.

Key features:

  • Advanced forecasting tools

  • Automated purchasing recommendations

  • Smart marketing recommendations based on sales trends

  • Advanced reporting and analytics

Pros:

  • Data-driven recommendations aid strategic decisions

  • Aligns marketing with inventory forecasts

  • Quick support team

Cons:

  • No stock management, only planning

  • Limited QuickBooks integration

Pricing: Custom pricing based on business requirements

Free trial: Inventory Planner offers a demo.

Integrations include Shopify, Amazon, BigCommerce, Square, and Magento

Reviews: G2 Rating - 4.4/5

9. InFlow: Best for mobile inventory management


InFlow inventory and order dashboard

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inFlow Inventory is a cloud-based inventory management software focusing on keeping costs low and increasing profit.

Designed for ease of use, its intuitive mobile interface allows you to track stock and manage orders across multiple locations from wherever you are.

It's known for its comprehensive feature set and excellent customer support.

Key features:

  • Multilocation stock and cost tracking

  • Pick, pack, and ship orders from any device

  • Barcode scanner integration

  • Order management tools

  • Payment processing

Pros:

  • Robust mobile functionalities

  • Comprehensive features for end-to-end management

  • Excellent customer support

Cons:

  • Comparatively expensive

  • Reported glitches with some of the advanced features

Pricing: Premium plans start at $89 per month, 1 location, 1,200 sales orders per year

  • Small Business Plan: $219/month, unlimited locations, 12,000 sales orders per year

  • Mid-Size Plan: $439/month, unlimited locations, 60,000 sales orders per year

  • Enterprise Plan: Custom pricing for up to 120,000 sales orders per year

Free trial: There’s a 14-day free trial

Integrations include Squarespace, Quickbooks, Xero, Shopify, and WooCommerce

Reviews: G2 rating - 4.1/5

10. Zoho Inventory: Best for multichannel order management


Zoho Inventory reporting dashboard

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Zoho Inventory automates multichannel stock operations to help businesses sell across more channels without inventory friction.

It has ‌extensive inventory control and order management features, with a suite of integrations to streamline sales and fulfillment operations.

It’s best for small to medium-sized businesses with easy-to-use systems that scale ‌well as you add more sales channels.

Key features:

  • Multichannel inventory control

  • Warehouse management features

  • Order management and fulfillment

  • Vendor relations tools

  • Smart inventory management recommendations

Pricing: The basic plan starts at $29/ per month for two users, one location, and 500 orders/month.

Free trial: There’s a free 14-day trial.

Integrations include Etsy, Xero, Zoho CRM, PayPal, and FedEx.

Reviews: G2 rating - 4.4/5

11. Peak AI: Best for AI-driven inventory optimization


Peak AI analytics dashboard

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Peak AI is an AI-driven platform that provides advanced inventory intelligence.

It aims to drive growth, profit, and efficiency with tailored AI recommendations based on each business's unique patterns and needs.

Its AI-powered insights help you make better operational stock management decisions and replenishment calculations.

It’s software to plan inventory but lacks tangible inventory management features.

Key features:

  • AI-driven inventory optimization

  • Dynamic inventory management

  • Optimal reorder and replenishment calculations

  • AI performance guarantee for inventory management

  • Comprehensive demand forecasting

Pros:

  • AI solutions are customized to each business

  • Simple to set up

  • Proven to generate cost savings

Cons:

  • Lacks stock management tools

  • There’s a learning curve to align recommendations with business goals

Pricing: Custom pricing based on business needs

Free trial: Custom demo available

Integrations include Salesforce, Shopify, MailChimp, Oracle, and HubSpot.

Reviews: G2 rating - 4.4/5

12. Veeqo: Best for free inventory management


Veeqo interface for inventory audits

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Veeqo is a comprehensive free shipping management software designed for e-commerce businesses.

It has powerful automations that help with inventory planning and control and flexible mobile features that assist with order fulfillment.

In addition to stock management, the tool provides in-depth data-driven reports to help you forecast inventory based on projected demand.

Key features:

  • Inventory control and real-time updates

  • Mobile device picking and packing

  • Detailed reports and forecasting

  • Automated shipping rules

  • Product bundling and bulk shipping

Pros:

  • Free to use with no hidden fees

  • Discounted shipping rates

  • Easy to sync multiple sales channels


Cons:

  • Its user interface isn’t very intuitive

  • The setup process is time-consuming

Pricing: It’s free

Free trial: No free trial is necessary

Integrations include USPS, FedEx, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, and Etsy

Reviews: G2 rating - 4.5/5

13. Netstock: Best for demand planning


Netstock demand planning dashboard

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Netstock is a demand planning software that helps you make inventory management decisions.

Its tools help balance stock levels, reduce excess inventory, and optimize replenishment.

Netstock integrates seamlessly with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to synchronize data for better inventory performance insights.

Built for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs), powerful AI-driven software simplifies inventory control and forecasting decision-making.

Key features:

  • AI-powered demand forecasting

  • Inventory optimization tools

  • Replenishment recommendations

  • Hassle-free ERP integration

  • Advanced real-time analytics

Pros:

  • Enhances inventory accuracy and efficiency

  • Reduces over- and under-stocking

  • Easy to use for non-tech teams

Cons:

  • The reports aren’t customizable enough for complex business models

  • Its search functionality is limited

Pricing: Custom pricing

Free trial: Custom demo

Integrations include SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, and Fishbowl

Reviews: G2 rating - 4.7/5

14. Unleashed: Best for wholesale inventory management


Unleashed wholesale inventory tracking

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Unleashed is an inventory management software that focuses on wholesale businesses.

It centralizes and streamlines inventory processes for large-scale orders to improve stock control and connect end-to-end inventory management workflows.

Its tools maintain optimal stock levels, manage multiple warehouses, and track costs while working at volume.

Key features:

  • Granular inventory tracking

  • Detailed profit and loss visibility

  • Multi-warehouse capabilities

  • Multi-currency payment processing

  • Forecasting and projections

Pros:

  • Supports multiple warehouses and currencies

  • Advanced forecasting and optimization tools

  • Extensive integrations for a complete tech stack

Cons:

  • It’s pricey for small businesses

  • There’s limited search functionality and reporting options

Pricing: Packages start at $345 a month for three users

Free trial: There’s a free trial

Integrations include Xero, QuickBooks, Shopify, WooCommerce, and Amazon

Reviews: G2 rating - 3.9/5

15. Mintsoft: Best for integrations


Mintsoft dashboard for inventory insights

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Mintsoft is a cloud-based order management platform to help you manage inventory, warehousing, and shipping.

Mintsoft automates picking, packing, and shipping processes to improve accuracy and fulfill orders faster.

With over 150 integrations, Mintsoft seamlessly connects with a wide range of courier and e-commerce platforms to boost end-to-end productivity for scaling businesses.

Key features:

  • Extensive integration library

  • Automated order processes

  • Automatic order routing

  • Multichannel, multilocation inventory tracking

  • Mobile barcode scanning

Pros:

  • Extensive integration options

  • 100% pick accuracy with barcode scanning

  • Automations accelerate inventory workflows

Cons:

  • Mobile app can be clunky

  • Self-help resources are outdated

Pricing: Plans start at $200 a month for up to 500 monthly orders

Free trial: There’s a personalized demo

Integrations include DHL, Shopify, WooCommerce, Unleashed, and Wowcher

Reviews: Trustpilot rating - 4.⅘

Build inventory workflows that suit you

Your supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Without the right visibility and traceability, you’ll find it tough to understand what’s slowing down fulfillment or causing mistakes in the product lifecycle.

Retail inventory management software helps you track and manage your supply chains, plan stock levels, and spot bottlenecks in the fulfillment process.

This is why choosing a tool that can be tailored to your specific product lifecycle is important.

After all, all retail businesses have their way of receiving and distributing products to their customers. With the wrong software, you might be unable to create fulfillment workflows that suit your product journey.

This is why Lark shines. As a super app, it’s highly customizable, with versatile tools, templates, and workflows to connect your processes and align communications, so nothing’s ever out of stock again.