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Inventory Management Software and Systems help businesses keep track of inventory throughout the supply chain. Depending on the software and type of business, there are a variety of features that can be available, such as warehouse management, barcoding, pricing, point-of-sale (POS) integrations, demand forecasting, accounting integrations, and more. Inventory management software can also be used to track sales, orders, deliveries, and to create work orders. It’s used by business owners in a wide variety of industries.
We reviewed more than a dozen inventory management software companies before deciding on our top choices. We chose reputable companies with industry experience and compared them based on features, ease of use, available integrations, pricing, and more. Keep reading to find out which inventory management software is best for your business.
Best Overall : QuickBooks Commerce
Why We Chose It: QuickBooks Commerce offers a great inventory and accounting combination backed by a reputable industry leader.
Manage your entire business in one place
Millions of users already use QuickBooks
Track inventory across multiple sales channels
Doesn’t support larger order volumes
Can’t be used if every order is customized and made on demand
QuickBooks Commerce was founded in 2012 by three entrepreneurs in New Zealand who wanted every business to be able to build and scale with ease. It is part of the well-known QuickBooks family and is a one-stop-shop for all of your business needs. You can manage inventory, track orders, and perform all your accounting tasks in one place with an intuitive interface and mobile capability. Its goal is to help you take control, sell more, and work smarter.
It offers seamless inventory integrations and the ability to manage and add channels. You can improve your sales strategy by identifying the highest performing products across all markets. It manages orders, tracks inventory, and replaces manual data entry. It integrates with online shopping platforms like Shopify, Amazon, eBay, and more.
It’s compatible with all the QuickBooks products and pricing starts at $20 per month for 12 months plus a QuickBooks online subscription. It can be used by a variety of industries including bookkeeping, retail, marketing businesses, and online stores.
One downside to the software is that it’s geared towards small and medium businesses and can’t handle more than 30,000 per month in order volume. It’s also not designed for businesses that offer completely customized goods.
Most Affordable : Square Inventory
Why We Chose It: It offers free inventory management services for small businesses.
Free inventory management from any computer
Reputable company and easy to use
Daily stock alert emails
Features may be too basic for some companies
Not suitable for larger volume businesses
Square is a well-known company in the payment processing and POS space. It was founded in 2009 and its first app was launched in 2010. It now has a new component called Square Inventory which offers free inventory management software and systems that can be accessed anytime from any computer.
It’s easy to set up and only requires an account with Square (which you can create online). It supports restaurants, bars, breweries, retail stores, coffee shops, beauty professionals, and more, and it integrates with Stitch Labs and Shopventory.
All of its inventory and reporting features are free. It gives daily low stock alerts, downloadable reports, and bulk inventory management. If you want to add on more complex features such as cost of goods sold and multi-location management, you can upgrade to Square Retail which offers a free version for single-location accounts or $60 per month per location for multiple-location accounts.
It’s the most affordable software out there because it gives small businesses a free option for managing inventory. It is a great place to start if you’re a small business or aren’t sure if you need inventory management software and don’t want to make a big investment. Customers have positive things to say about its ease of use and no hidden fees.
Best for Small Businesses : Zoho Inventory
Why We Chose It: It’s easy to use, has customization options, and reasonable prices perfect for small businesses.
Easy to use
A large variety of integrations
Plans to grow into
Some reporting functions may be too limited for larger companies
Shipping volume limits
Zoho was founded in 1996 and has seven global locations including headquarters in India and California. Zoho Inventory was a later addition to the Zoho family and was designed to make it easier for small businesses to properly and efficiently manage their inventory and thus help them grow and expand their operations.
Small businesses can set up their controls and keep a close eye on their inventory and choose different plans as they grow and expand into more warehouses and more employee users. Zoho offers integrations with Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify, all the Zoho software, and more. It features automated workflows, shipment tracking, shipping label creation, item grouping, batch tracking, and more. Its features are quite robust and it’s a good option to use when you want to scale a small business.
It’s free to sign up and request a demo and there is a basic free plan that includes two users, one warehouse and 25 online orders, and 25 offline orders. There are other, more comprehensive plans that range from $25 per month to $199 per month billed annually.
Best for Large Retailers : Cin7
Why We Chose It: The company specializes in inventory management for large retail stores, e-commerce sellers, and wholesalers and offers lots of integration options.
One-on-one assistance to explain features
Custom inventory fields
Takes time to learn how to use it
No free trial
Cin7 is an integrated inventory management system founded in 2012. The software tries to match its features to the types of businesses it serves. It’s considered a premium product and has advanced features for companies that need them.
Some basic features that are offered include order automation, full reports with real-time numbers, custom inventory fields, forecasting, warehouse and production management, payment processing, and point-of-sale transactions. There are also many more complex features and tools available and you can chat with a customer service agent to find out which tools your business needs. The site also features industry white papers, blogs, and customer stories.
If you own a large retail or e-commerce company or create a lot of sales volume, then this may be the company for you. There is a free demo of the features and services, but they don’t offer a free trial.
However, the pricing is cost-prohibitive for most smaller businesses. Pricing starts at $395 per month for e-commerce and wholesale businesses and $695 per month for multi-channel businesses. Custom quotes are also available. It’s best to contact the company directly to find out what is included in each plan.
The software has positive customer reviews especially around inventory and POS features.
Best for E-commerce : Shopify
Why We Chose It: Shopify is well-known for offering online e-commerce sites to set up stores and also offers inventory management software specifically for e-commerce.
Software is easy to use
Multiple popular integrations
No free plans
Mixed customer service reviews
Shopify is one of the most well-known companies and in addition to inventory management software, it offers online stores, POS, payment processing features, sales channels, e-commerce software, and a host of helpful online tools and marketing features for e-commerce business owners. It was founded in 2006 as a set of tools that online merchants could use to build their own sites.
Some inventory-related features that Shopify offers include unlimited products and images, bulk imports and exports, dropshipping, and automatic shipping rates. It also integrates with a host of inventory management apps to make managing your e-commerce store easier and offers multi-language checkouts. Additionally, guests don’t need to create an account to make a purchase.
You can try Shopify free for 14 days. After the free trial, you’ll need to select from one of their three plans, which are priced at $29, $79, and $299 per month. The basic plan includes two staff accounts and up to four locations as well as printed shipping labels, discount codes, and fraud analysis. The more expensive plans offer additional features including options for global selling, an increase in staff accounts available, and an increase in the number of physical locations you can track.
Customers rave about the site and how easy it is to set up a store, but some complain about inconsistent customer service.
Best for Restaurants : Upserve
Why We Chose It: Upserve specializes in inventory management for the restaurant industry and offers free tools.
Free food costs calculators and restaurant industry news and tips
Manage food costs for multiple locations
No free plans
Website could use more detailed information and fewer reviews
Founded in 2009 as Swipely as a startup that helps users share their purchase information with friends, it expanded into business payment tools and marketing and loyalty rewards. Eventually, the company changed its name to Upserve and switched its focus to the restaurant industry. Now it provides a place where restaurants can purchase inventory management software, use free tools such as food cost calculators, and read about relevant industry news.
Because it focuses on the restaurant industry, it offers tools specifically for the industry. In particular, it offers a POS system, tableside and online ordering, and inventory management systems designed to control food costs and boost profits. It also streamlines back-of-house operations and helps cut down on food waste. Real-time ingredient tracking down to the ounce is included, and bar and beverage inventory is also tracked including how much is poured into each drink.
There are three pricing plans: Core ($59/month), Pro ($199/month), and Pro Plus ($299/month). Inventory management is included with the Pro and Pro Plus plans as a free add-on, but for those who only need the Core plan, you will need to pay for the inventory management feature. In addition, you need to purchase the POS from them which costs between $40 and $60 per terminal. These costs can add up if you’re a small business, but it is convenient to have everything all in one place.
We reviewed inventory management software that has different price points, features, and is compatible with different types of software. We looked at the best software in a variety of industries. Some software is ideal for small businesses and others are better for large retailers. Some inventory management software is quite expensive and others offer free versions.
Although all of the companies that we chose as our best inventory management software have positive features and attributes, we recommend looking at QuickBooks Commerce first. This software is reputable, has been around a long time, and incorporates both accounting and inventory management software into one easy-to-use program.
|Company||Category||Why We Chose It||Standout Feature||Cost|
|QuickBooks Commerce||Best Overall||Combines inventory management and accounting||Manage all aspects of business in one place||Starts at $20/month|
|Square Inventory||Most Affordable||Free basic inventory management||Unlimited items||Free to $60/month (depending on plan)|
|Zoho Inventory||Best for Small Businesses||Customizations and affordable plans for small businesses||Free starter plan available||Free to $199/month (depending on plan)|
|Cin7||Best for Large Retailers||Multiple integrations and can handle large sales volume||Can handle sales from multiple locations||$395-$695/month|
|Shopify||Best for E-commerce||Specializes in managing e-commerce inventory||Templates and product packages for online retailer||$29-$299/month after 14-day free trial|
|Upserve||Best for Restaurants||Handles specific inventory needs of restaurants||24/7 support and restaurant resources||$59-$299/month|
How Does Inventory Management Software Work?
Inventory management software is a type of software designed to help small and large businesses manage their inventory in one place. It counts items, tracks goods from beginning to end, keeps track of sales, and helps you maintain consistent and organized processes within your organization. This software also maps the journey of a product and can confirm stock quantities and sends out alerts when stock is getting low.
How Much Does Inventory Software Cost?
The cost of inventory software varies widely by industry, type of software, and the size of your business. Some software offers basic features and is free. Other software may offer a free trial period to test it out before you buy it. Expect to pay at least $20 per month for software and larger companies and companies that are producing more volume will pay much more often into the hundreds of dollars per month per location.
What Should I Look for in an Inventory Management System?
An inventory management system should include:
- Track your goods through the entire supply chain
- Identify first-in and first-out stock
- Follows purchasing, production, and sales
- Efficient and accurate data
- Integrated with other applications and software
- Offer additional features
If you find a software you like that doesn’t offer all the features you need, contact the company to see if it might be added or if you can create a custom package.
Does My Business Need Inventory Management Software?
If you’re not sure if your business needs inventory management software, you can always try out a free option or even use the free trial before deciding to take the plunge and purchase a paid version. Typically your business needs inventory management software if:
- Customer orders aren’t properly managed
- You are frequently out of stock of items
- You can’t account for major losses in inventory
- Your business is growing and your current method isn’t scalable
- There is too much inventory to manually count
How We Chose the Best Inventory Management Software
We researched more than a dozen inventory management software before making our selections. We compared them based on factors such as pricing, free trial periods, industries served, reputation, and ease of use. We also considered additional features, specialties, and integrations.
All of our choices had services specifically for the restaurant industry, offered robust features, and had reputable industry experience.