Inventory is the quantity of a particular product that is available for sale in your store.
Tracking your inventory can help you avoid selling out-of-stock products, or let you know when you’re running low and need to order or make more.
As far as I can see, the Inventory settings and tracking are very similar between Shopify and Lemonstand. However, please note that in the past, I haven’t messed with inventory tracking very much on any of my stores. I mostly sell items that don’t have inventory such as print on demand t-shirts or digital goods.
Shopify lets you edit the inventory tracking settings on each individual product page:
You can set specific inventory for each Product Variant. For example, you might have different quantities of each size t-shirt, which need to be tracked individually.
You can also indicate whether to allow customers to order the item when it’s out of stock.
There is also one central place on Shopify to manage the inventory for all your products. That’s really helpful for when you get in a shipment and need to update the quantities of many products at once.
As you can see on that page, you can add, change, or remove inventory from your system.
You can also schedule Transfers which is a Shopify feature that lets you record, keep track of, and receive incoming inventory from suppliers. This feature allows you to record inventory after it’s purchased or confirmed, notate partial shipments, automatically update your product inventory after you’ve received a shipment, and monitor incoming shipments in one central place. Here’s what the page looks like where you add product transfers:
If you use Shopify’s Point of Sale system at your brick and mortar store, you can sync your online and offline inventories. Lemonstand currently doesn’t offer a POS feature, however, you can sync your Lemonstand inventory with other 3rd party POS systems.
Lemonstand lets you edit the inventory tracking settings on each individual product page:
Just like Shopify, you can set specific inventory for each Product Variant. And you can also indicate whether or not to allow customers to order an item when it’s out of stock.
Lemonstand has one additional option not available with Shopify called “Hide when out of stock” which means the product won’t appear anywhere for sale on your store when inventory reaches a certain level. You may set the “out of stock” level to be 2 or 3 if you sell from the same inventory as your brick and mortar store, to be certain that there’s no overlap between when an online customer orders the product and when you’re able to pull it from your store’s shelves. Either your online customer will say “Where’s my product??” or your in-store customer will say “Why can’t I buy this??” when they bring an item to the register that’s technically already been sold.
You can hide unavailable items on Shopify from displaying within specific Collections, but not by default from the entire frontend.
I do not see one central place to manage inventory for all products on Lemonstand, but I added that to the questions page to clarify with Lemonstand later.
You tell me. I really don’t know because like I said, I haven’t dealt with inventory tracking and management very much in the past.
Shopify’s system looks really streamlined. Transfers are a nice built-in feature. Lemonstand may be assuming that bigger stores that require advanced inventory management are integrating a 3rd party service.
Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below if you have more experience than me with inventory management on either platform.