Apparel Inventory Management Services

The apparel ecommerce market is expected to reach $759+ million by the end of year.

Though there’s plenty of opportunity, the logistics side of selling apparel online has its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to managing inventory.

If you’re struggling to keep up with apparel inventory, ShipBob can help.

ShipBob is a best-in-class 3PL that can help you optimize your inventory management process and  grow your business.

Read on to learn more about our inventory management solution for apparel brands..

Since partnering with ShipBob, we’ve been able to scale our business from $300,000 in sales per year to over $1.1 million due to infrastructure, technology, and scalability improvements.

Ryan Casas,

COO of iloveplum

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What is apparel inventory?

Apparel inventory refers to inventory of an assortment of clothing items, including jeans, t-shirts, dresses, and more, which often are available in several different variations — from size to color to patterns — increasing the number of SKUs an apparel business has to manage.

With apparel inventory, businesses must implement inventory tracking systems that offer SKU management capabilities in order to organize, update, and view SKU at a glance.

This allows brands to track inventory across their sales channels and quickly make decisions on SKU performance.

Best practices for managing apparel inventory

Managing apparel inventory can be a challenge. It often involves small variations of a similar SKU. Whether it’s offering polo shirts in a variety of colors or jeans in both regular and petite sizes — apparel inventory requires a system that makes it easy to track it all.

Here are some best practices for managing apparel inventory.

1. Track inventory in real time

Be sure to implement software designed specifically to help manage inventory in real time. With the right real-time inventory management solution, you can reduce risks of inventory shrinkage, inaccurate inventory reports, stockouts, and backorders.

With inventory tracking software in place, your orders and inventory are synced in real time. This makes it much easier to track inventory by increasing inventory visibility and providing insights into when it’s time to replenish inventory, run a promotion, and track slow-moving items that are no longer generating sales.

2. Practice proper SKU management

When selling apparel, SKU proliferation is inevitable. But holding on to certain variations of apparel items that don’t sell can cut into your profit margins in the long run.

To stay profitable, it’s important to optimize inventory by determining slow-moving SKUs and possibly discontinuing them.

With the right inventory tracking software, you can easily track slow-moving items vs. fast-moving items and make decisions on what SKUs to discontinue or replenish.

3. Simplify fulfillment

Managing inventory is a major component of the ecommerce fulfillment process.

If you are currently handing fulfillment in-house but offer different products in variations, it might be time to partner with a ShipBob.

ShipBob’s entire distribution network is powered by the same fulfillment software, which includes built-in inventory management software. ShipBob can receive and store each SKU separately, pick and pack orders efficiently, and ship orders through the most cost-effective route. This allows you to spend less time on logistics but maintain visibility into operations.

It’s simple to add products to the ShipBob dashboard automatically or manually. If you have the same SKU imported from different stores, you can easily merge them to prevent duplicate products/inventory.

“As we saw our small startup business beginning to gain traction, we needed to find a 3PL that could help us manage the thousands of orders we would get in minutes. When I was researching companies, I knew they had to be tech-enabled, integrate with Shopify, and a company that could scale with us. We found exactly that with ShipBob.”

Jason Ton, CFO of 100 Thieves

Partner with ShipBob

With a global fulfillment network and best-in-class technology, ShipBob offers a wide range of fulfillment capabilities to help you create a winning apparel logistics strategy, including flexible fulfillment, advanced data and analytics, and other world-class logistics solutions.

“Last time we shipped our own packages, it took us 3 weeks. It took ShipBob less than 2 days. I couldn’t wait to delegate this business over, because the stress level was through the roof. I am just so grateful for ShipBob.”

Andrea Hamilton, founder of The Finer Things 1920

ShipBob has vast experience in fulfilling a wide range of apparel, including:

  • Women’s wear
  • Men’s wear
  • Children, toddler, and infant wear
  • Clothing accessories such as hats, gloves, scarves, and jewelry
  • Active wear
  • Footwear
  • And much more

Distributed inventory

With ShipBob’s network of fulfillment centers, you can strategically split your inventory across our locations to get your products from point A to point B more quickly and affordably. Storing inventory near your customers helps reduce the shipping zones and costs associated with shipping orders to faraway destinations.

Distributed inventory also helps you stay competitive by offering fast shipping to your customers. When an order is placed, ShipBob’s algorithm automatically selects the warehouse and carrier that will give you the quickest turnaround at the best price. This strategy has helped our merchants bring 13% savings to their bottom line.

100% Coverage Across the Continental US

If you’re looking to expand into the United States, ShipBob has 2-Day Express Shipping that provides 100% coverage in the continental US from even just one fulfillment center.

You can also distribute your inventory across ShipBob’s fulfillment centers across all regions of the United States. We leave it up to you to decide where you want us to store your inventory.

Order management

At ShipBob, we track your orders from A to Z. Filter orders by status, search for specific orders, see a quick timeline view of where your order is in the fulfillment process (e.g. when an order is picked, packed, or shipped), easily find shipping-related information (e.g., weights, dimensions, or carrier service), and get a quick snapshot of any orders that require action.

With order management software for your direct-to-consumer and wholesale shipments, you can manage subscriptions, make changes to your orders post-purchase, map your store’s shipping options to ShipBob, and automatically share tracking information with your customers.

Inventory management

At ShipBob, we empower merchants to manage their inventory with the right tools and guidance. It’s easy to view the status of inventory and quantity on hand across locations at any point in time, identify slow-moving inventory with high storage costs, and gain insights into the performance of units sold over time by channel.

Our inventory management software helps you set reminders to proactively replenish inventory with reorder notifications, bundle your products for promotions, make inventory transfer requests, and much more.

Reporting and analytics

To provide you with visibility into our operations and performance, and also hold ourselves accountable, ShipBob’s free analytics tool is packed with charts to help you with everything from year-end reporting, to better supply chain decision-making.

Data can be a competitive advantage, and our reports show an analysis of which fulfillment centers you should stock, days of inventory left before you run out, impact of promotions on stock levels, each shipping method’s average cart value, shipping cost, and days in transit, your fulfillment cost per order, storage cost per unit, and much more.

End-to-end customer experience

We care about the customer experience as much as you and strive to be an extension of your team. From custom branded boxes to free plain packaging, ShipBob works with you to provide the unboxing experience you want. We also help you offer the fastest, most cost-effective shipping options to meet your customers’ expectations.

As soon as an order ships, tracking is pushed back to your store. We also offer return management services, allowing customers to generate return shipping labels and track returns, while getting your products processed and back into your available inventory as efficiently as possible.

Save on fulfillment costs

Coffee creamer brand Prymal joined ShipBob in 2019 and was quickly able to save $8,000 per month on fulfillment costs, while at the same time achieving 4x growth.

Learn more about Prymal’s growth

Improve your conversion rate

Not only was BAKblade able to scale internationally by partnering with ShipBob, but they found adding 2-Day Shipping increased their conversions as well.

Learn more about BAKblades’s growth

Store, ship, and grow internationally

Sunglasses brand Ombraz distributed their inventory across 3 fulfillment centers in two different countries. This has allowed them to ship to 55 countries on seven continents.

Learn more about Ombraz’s growth