Inventory Storage Systems [Quickstart Guide] (2022)

As a business that sells bodily products and solutions, choosing the proper stock storage system is crucial to taking care of your stock in a way that saves time, money, and means. 

With the proper stock storage solution, your stock will become an integral element of your company’s progress. But with the wrong systems, you run the hazard of your inventory getting missing, stolen, broken, or unavailable when a buyer would like to make a invest in. And these downsides and incorrect stock documents can guide to missing sales. 

But selecting the correct inventory storage process can feel overwhelming. Which is why we have produced this manual to assist you apply the most effective, value-successful, and effective techniques of handling your inventory.

What is stock storage?

Inventory is manufactured up of products and solutions awaiting obtain. How you keep, track, and go those people products is what determines your inventory storage answer.

Each solution will take account of the area offered, budgets, spoilage issues (for food stuff, beverage, cosmetics, or other things like batteries that can expire), and your solutions when unloading inventory. The two types of unloading techniques are: 

  • Very last-in, to start with-out methods, which are crammed from a single end and emptied from the other. They use push-in racks or push-back again racks that are shut at the higher amount. 
  • Initial-in, very first-out systems, which use push-as a result of racks and flow-through racks that can be accessed from many points. 

Inventory storage solutions

There are three principal inventory storage selections to opt for from. Below, we’ll just take a glimpse at each individual and describe the professionals and negatives of self-storage, 3rd-occasion logistics (3PL), and warehouse storage. 


If you’re just commencing out or are fed up with the lack of management dropshipping presents, self-storage may perhaps be the greatest selection for your enterprise. With handful of products and solutions to shop and a lack of cash to fork out for a warehouse, acquiring some space in a garage, in a closet or spare home at your retail retail store, at household, or in a storage facility can be a quick-expression solution for escalating your retail business, or a longer-time period solution if you run a way of living company.


  • Low-cost or integrated in your retailer or residing costs
  • Workable for new organizations
  • Simple access to inventory


  • Risk of hurt or decline is higher
  • Tricky to manage, leading to standard frustrations
  • Extremely hard to scale-up for developing firms

Who it is for

If you have lately opened a boutique or have a way of life company and are not searching to considerably mature in the close to potential, self-storage is price-efficient and an easy starting up place for compact business stock storage. 

Unify your stock management with Shopify

Only Shopify POS will help you deal with warehouse and retail shop stock from the very same again place of work. Shopify routinely syncs inventory quantities as you receive, promote, return, or exchange merchandise on the net or in store—no handbook reconciling vital.

Third-bash logistics (3PL)

Heaps of existing warehouses have excess room that you can hire to shop your inventory. This is identified as third-social gathering logistics, or 3PL for shorter. Keeping inventory in just one of these destinations includes housing and shipping service fees, but much of the responsibility for storing and going your inventory is shifted from you to the 3PL. These 3PLs are normally specialists in their subject and have the ideal resources to offer with your brand’s products and solutions.


  • Administration of your stock is totally appeared following for you
  • Transport is often fast and reasonably priced
  • Success facilities belonging to the 3PLs will strengthen deliveries and help save funds
  • Big 3PLs will possible have potent security procedures in place
  • You will have accessibility to administration and stock tracking applications
  • Possibility of bulk stock savings without having the have to have for warehouse storage


  • Storing sluggish-relocating stock can come to be a value burden
  • Absence of control around inventory
  • Ongoing expenditures can be large
  • A want for bulk stock investment to protected a location in the warehouse

Who it’s for

If your retail organization is escalating and you’re opening much more destinations or growing into bodily retail after growing an ecommerce organization, working with a 3PL is an affordable inventory storage selection, as opposed to jogging your own warehouse. 

Warehouse storage

Warehouse storage is the most classic inventory storage option. When you’re ready to take this phase, you can pay for a central location wherever all your stock is saved. Hold in brain, you’ll likely also have to staff the facility. 

Warehouse storage

Then all the inventory you buy or deliver can be sent to the warehouse, and from there it can be processed, saved, and sent to your retail merchants or instantly to buyers if you also have an on the net store. 

Obtaining this appropriate frequently involves an first expense in both equally time and cash, but a reduction in extended-time period operational prices make it worthwhile if the product sales are there.


  • Total handle more than stock
  • Less faults many thanks to straightforward-to-apply stock management systems 
  • Far more experienced than self-storage
  • Extensive-phrase cost savings when when compared to 3PL


  • The warehouse might be far too massive for your desires or also small for scalability
  • Can entail signing a extended-term lease, producing danger in a constantly changing market
  • Upfront investment decision can be high, including investing in the employing and training of a workforce
  • Place cannot be quickly moved if demand from customers alterations

Who it’s for

If your retail company is expanding, you are looking to help save cash extensive time period, and you have the time and methods, it could possibly be time to take into account warehouse inventory storage.

Bonus: dropshipping

Dropshipping is the one particular selection that doesn’t actually entail inventory storage, at the very least not for your business enterprise immediately. Instead, you obtain merchandise directly from a third-party supplier or suppliers. 

When your business enterprise receives an purchase, your supplier is notified and the solutions are shipped instantly to your client.


  • Your provider normally takes comprehensive care of the stock storage
  • Inventory expenditures are appreciably decrease with out the have to have for a warehouse, 3PL, or fulfillment workforce
  • Lowers risk and enhances funds movement in the early phases
  • Legal responsibility for any stock shrinkage is held by the provider


  • No manage in excess of storage conditions 
  • Dropshipping costs are bigger, which can damage your margins 
  • Item quality and branding checks taken out of your hands
  • Pace of provide is generally gradual

Who it’s for

If you are opening an ecommerce retail store and really don’t have space for stock storage or really do not want to threat obtaining items that could not market, dropshipping is a great setting up issue to exam desire. 

But if you have a boutique, you are going to want to make sure products are available for in-keep buys, so dropshipping is not a very good decision. But you could take into account just-in-time (JIT) stock management—a sort of dropshipping system wherever stock is transported to your retail outlet just prior to advertising it, fairly than storing it for weeks or months till you have to have it. 

Kinds of inventory storage

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

Now it is time to aim on the kind of stock storage that suits your company best. There are many variables to take into account, together with the sort of stock and the turnaround pace. Right here, we’ll acquire a seem at the distinct forms of inventory storage methods and what they are made use of for.

Central storage

Obtaining anything in one put helps make obtain to your inventory less complicated and tracking more accurate. You can retail store stock in bins or on cabinets and racks. With central storage, you can ship inventory to all areas when wanted, but it also suggests you have considerably less reserved inventory on area, which could guide to lost gross sales if there’s a spike in demand.

Block stacking

Block stacking keeps prices minimal, as your inventory will be stacked from the flooring or from pallets. This indicates you will not need to have to invest in excess machines or components, but you or your staff may wrestle to obtain stock stacked at the again or lower down.

Swift transferring inventory such as sale products is generally saved working with block stacking. For far better firm, you can maintain the exact type of products on a single pallet. You will also need to have to retain self-supporting stock at the bottom to decrease the likelihood of harm. 

Shelf storage

Shelf storage combined with bins is best for storing compact portions of products and solutions in several sizes. Arranging your stockroom is simple and you have the possibility of applying stationary or mobile bins.

Some businesses get rid of aisles to help you save room and use cell bins rather. You can even acquire edge of automatic carousels and other techniques to make solution collection less complicated.

Rack storage

Rack storage is extra effortless and features more assist than a block-stacking technique. The form of rack you use will depend on regardless of whether you are working a final-in, to start with-out or a 1st-in, very first-out inventory management procedure. 

Place-of-use storage

Issue-of-use storage areas stock at a retail outlet site or specifically with the client when it’s wanted. Just-in-time and repetitive creation operations, which use stage-of-use storage, do not have substantially will need for a warehouse or central spot.

If you only get stock when it is required, level-of-use storage will lessen operational prices and minimize stock mistake. 

Stock storage guidelines

  • Very clear out lifeless stock
  • Monitor bestsellers
  • Set reorder details
  • Rely inventory commonly
  • Leverage stock administration techniques

Let us acquire a glimpse at some of the greatest methods to continue to keep on top rated of your stock. 

Clear out lifeless inventory

When you invest in inventory, you could not want to toss any of it away. That’s wholly comprehensible, as it can sense like squandered income. But is stock you under no circumstances use encouraging you? Consider to get rid of any inventory that hasn’t been made use of or offered in just a 12 months and only purchase new inventory once your previous inventory has been sold or taken out of your stock.

Make certain you log an stock adjustment to continue to keep your books up-to-date. It’s significant to track these improvements for end-of-yr accounting applications. 

Monitor bestsellers

The Pareto Basic principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, suggests that 80% of benefits are attributed to 20% of the triggers. This is effective for stock far too.

Around 80% of your income will come from 20% of your item line.

With that in brain, maintain the 20% of stock that you market the most nearby. To make absolutely sure you know which goods are your bestsellers, place a tracking method in place. Make sure the quantities in your program match the actual physical goods. 

Your bestsellers will experience the most improve and will therefore be the simplest to lose observe of, so they are a excellent location to get started.

💡 Pro Idea: With Shopify, it’s simple to track product sales by channel, retailer site, or products in excess of time. To get started, watch Product sales reviews in Shopify admin.

Established reorder factors

Established up a technique to make guaranteed you do not in excess of-purchase or underneath-buy stock. Use the reorder position components to established computerized thresholds for each products so you are purchasing the ideal amount at the ideal time. What that threshold is will count on the frequency of revenue for every product.

💡 Professional Suggestion: Want to take the guesswork out of restocking? Established reorder points in Shopify Admin to get lower stock notifications and assure you have enough guide time to replenish inventory of a merchandise right before portions achieve zero.

Count stock frequently

Do you essentially know what products you have? A normal actual physical stock depend of stock is very important to decide accurately what you have, to reduce reduction, and to reduce spoilage. You can also do cycle counts to stay clear of disrupting organization functions. 

Each day or weekly stock reconciliation will aid minimize theft and hold you up to date with stock accounting.

Leverage stock management systems

As your retail company grows, you will have additional to offer with. Spend in a good stock management method to keep up with customer need, stay clear of stockouts, and expand your small business. 

Skip the headache of working with spreadsheets to take care of inventory studies by getting an stock administration technique that will increase your procedures. Stock information and facts will become less difficult to entry and you will vastly increase your monitoring abilities. 

Make improvements to stock storage at your retailer

Now that you have an understanding of how to enhance stock storage and the diverse programs accessible for your retail enterprise, it is time to select among self-storage, 3PLs, warehouse storage, or dropshipping. 

Irrespective of the stock storage option you carry out, hold things functioning easily by clearing out lifeless inventory, monitoring your bestsellers, environment reorder points, counting stock regularly, and leveraging the proper stock management process.

Handle your stock with confidence

Only Shopify POS can help you regulate warehouse and retail store inventory from the exact back business office. Evaluate stock charges to revenue, see which things are advertising out or sitting down on cabinets, forecast desire, and much more.