Best Inventory Management Software

Track what’s in stock using a convenient online platform

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Knowing what’s in stock is key to building a successful business. In a Stitch Labs survey, 67% of respondents reported losing customers after errors led to overselling or being out of stock after an order was placed. The best inventory management software syncs in real time, ensuring seamless transactions whether your customers shop online or in your store. 

However, the needs of retail shops or restaurants differ from those of a small manufacturing plant, so it’s vital to pick the right tools for your business. We scoured more than 32 top-rated asset management systems to uncover easy-to-use tools offering stock, warehouse, order and shipping management. To find the best of the best, we compared services based on industry-specific features, integrations and overall cost. 

The Best Inventory Management Software for 2021

Best Inventory Management Software
Best Inventory Management Software

Best Overall : Orderhive


Orderhive

 Orderhive

With advanced features and plenty of integrations, Orderhive is an affordable solution that can easily become your all-in-one inventory, order and fulfillment partner.

Pros
  • Free for Shopify users

  • 15-day free trial, no credit card needed

  • Real-time multi-channel inventory updates

Cons
  • No SKU generator

  • $99 setup fee

  • Mobile app currently only available on Google Play

Orderhive provides plans to meet the needs of companies in most industries, from large enterprises to start-ups. It stands out by offering unlimited stock-keeping units (SKUs) and hundreds of integrations in its feature-rich plans, making Orderhive the clear winner for best overall inventory management software.  

As a web-based software tool, Orderhive works in all major browsers, but the company recommends using Chrome and Firefox for a seamless experience. It supports the first in, first out (FIFO) method and uses the Kanban approach for reordering or replenishing stock.   

It’s wide range of features include: 

  • Kitting, bundling and composite support
  • Automated purchase order (PO) creation
  • Bulk add, update, or delete products
  • Link or unlink products with different SKUs or names
  • Easily transfer stock between warehouses
  • Supports barcode scanning
  • Multiple reporting options including cost of goods sold (COGS)
  • Management of serial, batch, lot numbers, and expiry dates 
  • Low-stock and out-of-stock alerts
  • Zero and partial inventory dropshipping  
  • Over 10 e-commerce automation tools

Orderhive offers hundreds of integrations with popular apps like Etsy, Amazon, QuickBooks, WooCommerce and FedEx. 

Choose from five Orderhive plans with pricing based on monthly payments, but you can save 10% by paying annually. Orders fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) are free and count against your order limit. Additionally, you’ll pay a one-time fee of $99 for setup and can add extra users for $50 per user per month. Orderhive’s pricing page shows you how they calculate prices and your dashboard comes with a usage meter to trace monthly expenses. Choose from the following plans:

  • Free: Free for Shopify users for basic orders, shipping and inventory management features
  • Lite: $49.99 per month for 200 orders and one user; orders above the limit cost $0.30 each
  • Starter: $149.99 per month for 1,200 orders and three users, with extra orders costing $0.15 each
  • Growth: $299.99 per month for 3,000 orders and five users; orders over the limit cost $0.12 each      
  • Enterprise: For custom pricing and unlimited users, you can contact the company for a quote

Connect with customer service via email or chat 24 hours a day, six days a week. Orderhive also supplies a rich resource center with e-books, a knowledge base and videos.

Best for B2B Companies : inFlow


inFlow

inFlow

This easy-to-use platform provides a central inventory database and business-to-business (B2B) showrooms where clients can view and shop your products.

Pros
  • 14-day free trial, no credit card required

  • Two to six hours setup support

  • Over 30 reports

Cons
  • Limited telephone support

  • Only the highest plan option includes unlimited integrations

  • Some features only available with a Windows download

With inFlow, you get simple yet powerful software for manufacturers, B2B wholesalers, online sellers and retailers. Its robust reporting capabilities and shoppable B2B showrooms make it the best choice for B2B companies. 

The inFlow software is web-based (inFlow Cloud) or computer-based (inFlow Premise), and offers an intuitive app for Android and iOS devices. It supports FIFO, moving average and last in, first out (LIFO) methods. 

You can oversee your entire process using inFlow, with features such as:

  • Business intelligence reports: 14 sales, seven purchasing and 14 inventory reports
  • Create general B2B showrooms or password-protected showrooms for special clients
  • Vendor payments, order histories, and purchase orders
  • Kitting, bundling, work order, and assembly processing
  • Backorder capabilities
  • Scan and generate barcodes
  • B2B showroom and portal creation
  • Email invoices and receipts
  • Contact information and order histories

You can connect your inFlow software to several tools including Shopify, QuickBooks, Amazon, WooCommerce and Squarespace. 

Choose from three plans that you can upgrade or downgrade. Add-on services include bill of materials (BOM) processing ($39-$129 per month, depending on the plan), five extra users for $99 per month (only available on the Plus plan), or access to the inFlow application programming interface (API; $29-$59 per month, depending on the plan)). The following plans are based on monthly payments, but you can save 10% with an annual payment:

  • Light: $79 per month for two users, one location, 100 orders, two integrations and two hours of setup support
  • Standard: $199 per month for five users, unlimited sites, 1,000 orders, three integrations, and four hours of setup assistance
  • Plus: $499 per month for 10 users, unlimited locations, 10,000 orders, unlimited integrations, and six hours of setup 

On inFlow’s website, you’ll find webinars, videos and a knowledge base. Get answers to your questions using live chat and email, or request a callback Monday through Friday.

Best for Retail Stores : Lightspeed Retail


Lightspeed Retail

 Lightspeed Retail

This combination point of sale (POS) and inventory management program is built for small retail shops with stock tracking tools, tons of integrations and excellent e-commerce capabilities.

Pros
  • 14-day free trial, no credit card needed

  • Integrates with applications in 29 categories

Cons
  • Basic plan doesn’t include e-commerce functions

  • Doesn’t work on Android devices

  • May contain unnecessary features for small shops

Lightspeed Retail is a web-based inventory management tool designed to meet brick and mortar and e-commerce stores' needs. Its industry-specific options and in-store sales functionality earns it the top spot in our best for retail stores category. 

The Lightspeed Retail program is cloud-based and comes with an iPad version to check out customers on your sales floor quickly. It supports average cost and FIFO methods. 

Although Lightspeed Retail's main service is the point of sale, it provides excellent retail inventory tools. Plus, it integrates with SkuVault, a warehouse management system for increased capabilities. The top inventory features for retail shops include:

  • Bulk change prices and automate discounts
  • Track inventory levels and SKUs across multiple locations
  • Allows for coupons, promotions, giveaways, and employee discounts
  • Syncs your e-commerce and in-store inventory
  • Set up customer reorder guidelines
  • Calculates COGS
  • Works with bundled products
  • Import catalog files from vendors
  • Create and send purchase orders

With Lightspeed Retail, you can integrate with multiple applications such as Kimoby, Pointy from Google, RetailNext, and Retail Toolkit.

All Lightspeed Retail plans come with Lightspeed Payments, which charges 2.6% plus $0.10 per card-present transaction and 2.6% plus $0.30 per card-not-present transaction. All plans come with one register, and extra ones cost $29 each per month. The packages are based on annual payments, but monthly plans are available for $10 to $40 more than the annual plan per month. Lightspeed Retail plans consist of: 

  • Lean: $69 per month for basic POS and retail operations
  • Standard: $119 per month to add accounting and e-commerce functions
  • Advanced: $199 per month to add Lightspeed's loyalty program and analytics
  • Enterprise: Provides all the services of the Advanced plan, plus extra features like personalized consultation and preferred Lightspeed Payment rates. Price available on request.

You can access a full line of training videos on Lightspeed's YouTube channel and a knowledge base. Or get in touch with customer service 24/7 by chat, email, telephone, or request a callback.

Best for Restaurants : Upserve


Upserve

 Upserve

Upserve’s automatic tools track your ingredients and costs, with customers reporting a “30% increase in revenue and a 10% drop in time to table on orders”

Pros
  • In-app barcode scanner

  • Recipe Costing

  • Real-time ingredient inventory deductions

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Offline mode can be buggy

Upserve is a comprehensive restaurant management solution with a strong POS system and inventory capabilities. Its ability to track ingredient use down to the ounce and other excellent features make Upserve the clear winner of our best for restaurants category.

The software is cloud- and app-based, with the mobile app working on Android and iOS devices, allowing you to oversee and run your restaurant from anywhere. Upserve also provides an offline mode and you can choose from a range of hardware offered by Upserve.

Along with menu optimization and employee management tools, Upserve’s inventory software provides tools to help you:  

  • Sync your recipes to the POS system
  • Automatically replenish quantities when you get new stock 
  • Use one-click purchasing for inventory
  • Manage vendors and supplies 
  • Scan inventory from your mobile app
  • Compare actual and expected stock reports
  • Track real-time ingredient inventory 
  • Receive alerts for low-stock items

Upserve integrates with more than 40 programs, including bar monitoring, reservations and online ordering tools.

All plans use Upserve Payments for credit card processing with a flat rate of 2.49% plus $0.15 per transaction. Choose from three Upserve plans, with inventory included on the Pro and Pro Plus packages, while it’s an extra fee of $99 per month for the Core plan. Your options include:

  • Core: $59 per month per location plus a $60 terminal fee for POS, marketing, and reputation features
  • Pro: $199 per month per site plus a $50 terminal fee for inventory features and a loyalty program
  • Pro Plus: $359 per month per location plus a $40 terminal fee for advanced account management and API access

Upserve provides built-in POS training along with a website packed with information to get the most out of the software. You can also contact customer service by phone, email, or chat support.

Best for Manufacturing : Megaventory


Megaventory

Megaventory

Easily manage your material-based inventory and get manufacturing updates using Megaventory.

Pros
  • 15-day free trial

  • Simple to use

  • Handles up to 20 locations

Cons
  • No mobile app

  • No phone customer support

  • No videos or webinars for training

Megaventory is an operations management solution that helps you track the bundling or assembly process, and oversee inventory, ordering and fulfillment. It's an easy system to implement, making it perfect for small to medium-size manufacturing companies. 

As a cloud-based service, Megaventory runs well on any browser on any operating software (Windows, Mac, Linux) with an internet connection and the plan supports five users, although you can add more. It works with the FIFO method. 

For those operating a manufacturing plant, these features will keep you on top of everything:

  • Creates BOMs, packing slips, and work orders
  • Allows for user access permissions 
  • Tracks customer and vendor contact information
  • Supports expiry dates and batch numbers
  • Bulk and quick updating options 
  • Receive automatic stock alerts for materials
  • Barcode scanning and printing
  • Multiple reports including gross profit and inventory value
  • Handles dropshipping and consignment sales and purchases

This software integrates with Shopify, Magento, Zapier, QuickBooks and WooCommerce. Plus, Megaventory offers a simple API so your team can connect to industry-specific programs. 

Megaventory features one plan that costs $135 per month via an annual payment or $150 for month-to-month payments. Additional users cost $50 per month per user and an extra $50 per month per 25,000 in transactions. If the Pro plan doesn't work for you, the company will create a custom plan. The plan limits are: 

  • Up to five users
  • Two hours of training 
  • 20 locations
  • 20,000 in products
  • 50,000 in transactions
  • 20,000 in clients
  • Five integrations

You can access Megaventory's knowledge base, get in-app guides, or request support via live chat or email.

Best Free Option : Zoho Inventory


Zoho Inventory

Zoho Inventory

Zoho Inventory offers a free tool with automated workflows, out-of-the-box integrations and order fulfillment.

Pros
  • 14-day free trial

  • Multiple shipping options

  • Intuitive desktop and mobile apps

Cons
  • Low usage limits on free plan

  • No serial or batch tracking on free plan

  • Limited accounting integrations

Zoho Inventory is an online inventory management software with a robust free version and affordable paid plans. For small businesses or start-ups, Zoho Inventory lets you add items, fulfill orders and view inventory from any device, making it the best free option. 

This cloud-based program works on desktops, tablets, or phones. You can access it via a web browser or Android and iOS apps. It supports the FIFO method.  

Key features of Zoho Inventory consist of:

  • Automatically order out-of-stock items or email order confirmations 
  • Send real-time status notifications to buyers
  • Handles dropshipping and composite items
  • Real-time and automatic inventory updates across all channels
  • Comes with a customer relationship management (CRM) program
  • Can accept backorders on out of stock items
  • Reports about inventory, customers, and sales
  • Barcode scanner capabilities

Integrate your inventory software with Etsy, eBay, Amazon, WooCommerce and Shopify. Or choose from dozens of shipping options, payment gateways and all Zoho tools. 

Zoho Inventory plans are based on usage limits with pricing based on annual payments, or select a month-to-month plan for $20 to $60 more per month. You can also add-on 50 extra orders and shipping labels for $6 or pay $8 for each additional warehouse per month. The four plans, billed monthly, include:

  • Free: $0 for one warehouse, two users, 50 orders, 50 shipping labels, and 50 tracked shipments
  • Standard: $79 per month for 2 warehouses, 3 users, 1,500 orders, 1,500 shipping labels, and 1,500 tracked shipments
  • Professional: $129 per month for 5 warehouses, 5 users, 7,500 orders, 7,500 shipping labels, and 7,500 tracked shipments
  • Premium: $199 per month for 7 warehouses and 10 users, 15,000 orders, 15,000 shipping labels, and 15,000 tracked shipments
  • Elite: $299 per month for 15 warehouses and 15 users, unlimited orders, unlimited shipping labels, and unlimited tracked shipments

You’ll find plenty of online documentation, small business guides and webinars. Plus, you can send an email or call 24 hours a day from Monday through Friday.

Verdict

The best inventory software for your company is one that supports the way you buy supplies and sell products. An e-commerce shop selling on Amazon has different requirements than a small manufacturer, so it’s essential to compare software based on your specific sales channels and your inventory valuation method. 

Our favorite inventory software is Orderhive, as it’s an affordable way to start selling across multiple sales channels. It gives business owners tools for automated real-time updates, barcode scanning and inventory reports. Its easy-to-use interface helps you quickly bundle products for sale or set up a dropshipping business.

Compare Providers

Company  Category Key Benefit
Orderhive Best Overall All-in-one software with automation tools
inFlow Best for B2B Companies Easily pull business intelligence reports
Lightspeed Retail Best for Retail Stores Sync your in-store and e-commerce inventory
Upserve Best for Restaurants Track your ingredients down to the ounce
Megaventory Best for Manufacturing Oversee materials from assembly to shipping
Zoho Inventory Best Free Option Real-time inventory oversight from any device

FAQs

What Is Inventory Management?

Inventory management is the process of tracking all incoming and outgoing supplies and products. Nearly all businesses that create or sell goods keep inventory on hand. For example, entrepreneurs may store retail items in a warehouse or shop. Manufacturers need materials for assembly and must track the movement of products from warehouses to stores or sellers. 

Lastly, restaurants account for every shot of liquor, food ingredient, and paper goods. 

When Do You Need to Use Inventory Software?

Tracking numerous items or selling on multiple channels are two key times to use inventory software. Using a cloud-based tool can save you time while giving you total visibility over your ordering, shipping, and fulfillment processes.

Some retail shops or restaurants may use a POS system with inventory tools. But manufacturers require software to oversee the assembly side, while e-commerce stores need to keep all channels updated with real-time inventory counts. 

Small business owners are hesitant to spend money on inventory software because they worry about their budget. But even free services include helpful automation tools that can save time and prevent sales loss. 

How Much Does Inventory Software Cost?

Nowadays, most inventory software is cloud-based, where you pay a monthly or annual payment. Software providers may offer a 10% discount for yearly payments. Standalone inventory tools base prices on the number of orders, whereas POS systems with inventory features offer tiered plans providing a more extensive range of features as you move to higher levels. 

Additionally, programs may have limits on the number of users, warehouses, and store locations. And POS systems add extra fees when adding more terminals. Inventory management systems range from free to $300 or more per month. Higher-priced plans support companies with high sales volumes and may provide more features, like advanced analytics, integration, or automation tools. 

What Are the Benefits of Inventory Management Software?

Installing and using inventory management software decreases the time spent tracking inventory you purchase and the items you sell. But inventory management software provides numerous benefits for small business owners, including: 

  • Reduced errors: Manual data entry is prone to errors. Inventory software allows you to scan barcodes and update many sales channels automatically.
  • Increased efficiency: Automation tools handle repetitive tasks in the background, so entrepreneurs can focus on more pressing matters. 
  • Optimized inventory: Maintaining the right balance of stock is crucial to your budget and customer experiences. The software gives you visibility into this process.
  • Higher profits: Accurate inventory tracking reduces waste and helps you catch theft, and productivity increases help you do more without adding to labor costs.
  • Improved customer experience: With a seamless and transparent buying and shipping process, customers receive better service, leading to more sales. 

How We Chose the Best Inventory Management Software

We combed through more than 32 companies to narrow our list down to the best inventory management software. The software needed to be affordable for small to medium-size businesses and provide a simple user interface to make our list. Plus, we also looked at features and integrations tailored to specific industries, such as manufacturing, retail, and restaurants. Lastly, we considered customer support options and unique tools that help business owners oversee the ordering and fulfillment process.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Stitch Labs. “What Is the Most Frequent Cause of Inventory Fulfillment Issues?.” Accessed September 10, 2021.