Inventory Storage Systems [Quickstart Guide] (2022)

As a business that sells actual physical solutions, selecting the right stock storage program is crucial to managing your stock in a way that saves time, money, and assets. 

With the proper inventory storage alternative, your stock will turn out to be an integral part of your company’s expansion. But with the mistaken units, you run the threat of your stock turning into shed, stolen, ruined, or unavailable when a purchaser wants to make a buy. And these downsides and incorrect inventory data can guide to lost sales. 

But choosing the correct stock storage strategy can truly feel too much to handle. Which is why we have produced this guide to support you apply the most productive, price-successful, and successful approaches of running your inventory.

What is stock storage?

Inventory is made up of solutions awaiting purchase. How you keep, track, and move these solutions is what establishes your stock storage option.

Each and every alternative will take account of the area out there, budgets, spoilage problems (for foods, beverage, cosmetics, or other things like batteries that can expire), and your choices when unloading stock. The two forms of unloading approaches are: 

  • Very last-in, 1st-out techniques, which are filled from one particular conclude and emptied from the other. They use generate-in racks or force-again racks that are closed at the upper level. 
  • 1st-in, to start with-out methods, which use push-by means of racks and stream-by means of racks that can be accessed from a variety of details. 

Stock storage solutions

There are 3 principal inventory storage options to select from. Right here, we’ll get a appear at each individual and demonstrate the pros and downsides of self-storage, third-celebration logistics (3PL), and warehouse storage. 


If you are just beginning out or are fed up with the deficiency of command dropshipping offers, self-storage might be the greatest alternative for your business. With couple of products to retail outlet and a absence of resources to pay back for a warehouse, finding some room in a garage, in a closet or spare place at your retail keep, at household, or in a storage facility can be a small-expression alternative for escalating your retail business, or a more time-time period resolution if you run a way of life business.


  • Low-priced or integrated in your retail store or dwelling charges
  • Manageable for new enterprises
  • Simple obtain to inventory


  • Risk of hurt or reduction is bigger
  • Complicated to manage, producing frequent frustrations
  • Unachievable to scale-up for expanding enterprises

Who it’s for

If you’ve just lately opened a boutique or have a lifestyle business and are not hunting to considerably increase in the in the vicinity of long run, self-storage is expense-successful and an effortless starting up place for smaller business stock storage. 

Unify your inventory management with Shopify

Only Shopify POS aids you manage warehouse and retail keep inventory from the same back business office. Shopify instantly syncs stock quantities as you get, promote, return, or trade merchandise on the web or in store—no guide reconciling important.

Third-occasion logistics (3PL)

Tons of current warehouses have more area that you can lease to retail outlet your stock. This is called 3rd-party logistics, or 3PL for shorter. Keeping inventory in a single of these locations requires housing and shipping fees, but substantially of the duty for storing and moving your inventory is shifted from you to the 3PL. These 3PLs are generally experts in their discipline and have the ideal means to deal with your brand’s merchandise.


  • Management of your inventory is totally looked just after for you
  • Delivery is typically quick and inexpensive
  • Fulfillment facilities belonging to the 3PLs will enhance deliveries and save revenue
  • Huge 3PLs will very likely have robust stability methods in put
  • You will have access to administration and stock monitoring equipment
  • Likelihood of bulk inventory savings without the need of the have to have for warehouse storage


  • Storing sluggish-going stock can turn out to be a cost load
  • Deficiency of regulate above inventory
  • Ongoing charges can be high
  • A have to have for bulk stock investment to protected a location in the warehouse

Who it is for

If your retail business is escalating and you’re opening extra locations or increasing into physical retail following expanding an ecommerce business, working with a 3PL is an affordable inventory storage choice, in contrast to working your have warehouse. 

Warehouse storage

Warehouse storage is the most regular stock storage answer. When you’re completely ready to get this action, you can shell out for a central area the place all your inventory is stored. Preserve in intellect, you will possible also have to personnel the facility. 

Warehouse storage

Then all the inventory you get or create can be despatched to the warehouse, and from there it can be processed, stored, and despatched to your retail shops or directly to shoppers if you also have an online store. 

Acquiring this ideal often involves an initial expense in both of those time and capital, but a reduction in longer-term operational prices make it worthwhile if the revenue are there.


  • Total management over inventory
  • Fewer mistakes many thanks to effortless-to-implement inventory management systems 
  • Additional experienced than self-storage
  • Lengthy-phrase discounts when when compared to 3PL


  • The warehouse may well be much too large for your requirements or too compact for scalability
  • Can require signing a extensive-phrase lease, building chance in a regularly changing market
  • Upfront investment decision can be high, which include investing in the choosing and coaching of a workforce
  • Area cannot be rapidly moved if demand modifications

Who it is for

If your retail business is developing, you are on the lookout to preserve dollars extended term, and you have the time and resources, it may possibly be time to take into consideration warehouse inventory storage.

Reward: dropshipping

Dropshipping is the a single possibility that doesn’t seriously contain inventory storage, at the very least not for your business directly. As a substitute, you obtain products and solutions instantly from a third-celebration provider or suppliers. 

When your business gets an get, your supplier is notified and the merchandise are transported right to your customer.


  • Your provider usually takes entire treatment of the stock storage
  • Inventory costs are drastically lessen without the will need for a warehouse, 3PL, or fulfillment team
  • Lowers threat and improves funds move in the early levels
  • Legal responsibility for any stock shrinkage is held by the supplier


  • No control in excess of storage conditions 
  • Dropshipping prices are greater, which can damage your margins 
  • Item quality and branding checks taken out of your palms
  • Speed of offer is normally sluggish

Who it is for

If you are opening an ecommerce keep and never have room for inventory storage or never want to hazard buying merchandise that may not market, dropshipping is a terrific starting position to take a look at need. 

But if you have a boutique, you will want to make absolutely sure solutions are out there for in-retailer purchases, so dropshipping is not a good alternative. But you could contemplate just-in-time (JIT) inventory management—a sort of dropshipping strategy exactly where inventory is shipped to your retail outlet just just before providing it, relatively than storing it for weeks or months till you need to have it. 

Sorts of stock storage

  • Central storage
  • Block stacking
  • Shelf storage
  • Rack storage
  • Place-of-use storage

Now it’s time to concentration on the kind of stock storage that satisfies your business very best. There are several variables to consider, which include the type of stock and the turnaround pace. Right here, we’ll consider a look at the various varieties of inventory storage alternatives and what they’re made use of for.

Central storage

Owning everything in a single put makes entry to your stock easier and monitoring more accurate. You can retail outlet stock in bins or on cabinets and racks. With central storage, you can ship stock to all locations when needed, but it also indicates you have significantly less reserved stock on place, which could guide to shed gross sales if there’s a spike in desire.

Block stacking

Block stacking keeps expenditures small, as your stock will be stacked from the floor or from pallets. This suggests you won’t need to have to invest in further gear or materials, but you or your employees may possibly wrestle to obtain inventory stacked at the back or lower down.

Rapid relocating inventory these as sale products is frequently saved making use of block stacking. For superior organization, you can retain the identical type of product on a single pallet. You are going to also need to have to keep self-supporting stock at the bottom to reduce the possibilities of destruction. 

Shelf storage

Shelf storage mixed with bins is fantastic for storing compact quantities of products in several dimensions. Organizing your stockroom is straightforward and you have the selection of making use of stationary or cell bins.

Some enterprises take away aisles to help you save house and use mobile bins alternatively. You can even acquire benefit of automatic carousels and other techniques to make products assortment a lot easier.

Rack storage

Rack storage is additional easy and provides much more support than a block-stacking method. The variety of rack you use will rely on irrespective of whether you’re operating a previous-in, 1st-out or a initial-in, 1st-out inventory administration system. 

Level-of-use storage

Place-of-use storage spots inventory at a keep location or directly with the client when it’s essential. Just-in-time and repetitive manufacturing operations, which use level-of-use storage, do not have significantly have to have for a warehouse or central spot.

If you only purchase stock when it is wanted, position-of-use storage will lessen operational costs and lower inventory mistake. 

Inventory storage guidelines

  • Apparent out dead inventory
  • Track bestsellers
  • Established reorder details
  • Rely stock routinely
  • Leverage inventory management techniques

Let us just take a seem at some of the finest methods to hold on top of your stock. 

Apparent out useless stock

When you make investments in stock, you may not want to throw any of it absent. That is absolutely comprehensible, as it can really feel like squandered money. But is stock you never ever use supporting you? Test to get rid of any stock that has not been applied or offered within just a yr and only obtain new stock as soon as your aged inventory has been bought or taken out of your inventory.

Make certain you log an inventory adjustment to keep your publications up-to-date. It is critical to observe these changes for close-of-yr accounting uses. 

Track bestsellers

The Pareto Principle, also identified as the 80/20 rule, claims that 80% of final results are attributed to 20% of the brings about. This is effective for inventory also.

Approximately 80% of your revenue will arrive from 20% of your solution line.

With that in brain, hold the 20% of inventory that you offer the most close by. To make guaranteed you know which objects are your bestsellers, place a tracking process in spot. Make positive the figures in your computer software match the physical goods. 

Your bestsellers will practical experience the most modify and will as a result be the best to eliminate keep track of of, so they’re a terrific spot to start out.

💡 Pro Tip: With Shopify, it’s straightforward to observe profits by channel, shop spot, or merchandise around time. To get commenced, perspective Revenue experiences in Shopify admin.

Set reorder factors

Set up a program to make guaranteed you really do not around-get or under-purchase stock. Use the reorder position formula to set computerized thresholds for every solution so you’re purchasing the ideal quantity at the correct time. What that threshold is will rely on the frequency of revenue for just about every item.

💡 Professional Idea: Want to acquire the guesswork out of restocking? Set reorder factors in Shopify Admin to get minimal stock notifications and guarantee you have plenty of direct time to replenish stock of a products just before quantities access zero.

Rely inventory routinely

Do you really know what goods you have? A standard physical stock rely of inventory is very important to decide just what you have, to cut down reduction, and to avoid spoilage. You can also do cycle counts to stay away from disrupting business functions. 

Every day or weekly inventory reconciliation will enable lessen theft and retain you up to date with stock accounting.

Leverage inventory administration programs

As your retail business grows, you will have much more to deal with. Commit in a very good stock administration program to hold up with buyer demand from customers, keep away from stockouts, and expand your business. 

Skip the headache of making use of spreadsheets to manage stock experiences by discovering an inventory administration procedure that will enhance your procedures. Stock information will become easier to access and you are going to vastly make improvements to your tracking capabilities. 

Strengthen inventory storage at your shop

Now that you fully grasp how to boost inventory storage and the diverse systems obtainable for your retail business, it is time to choose concerning self-storage, 3PLs, warehouse storage, or dropshipping. 

Regardless of the inventory storage answer you employ, retain factors functioning effortlessly by clearing out lifeless inventory, monitoring your bestsellers, environment reorder points, counting stock routinely, and leveraging the right stock management system.

Take care of your stock with assurance

Only Shopify POS allows you handle warehouse and retail shop stock from the exact back business office. Review inventory charges to earnings, see which things are providing out or sitting down on shelves, forecast demand, and a lot more.