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Inventory Management for Small Grocery Stores: 3 Must-Have Tools

Your customer is hosting a dinner party that’s scheduled to start in an hour, and they’ve just realized they’re missing an essential ingredient for the main dish. 

They rush to your grocery store — only to find the crucial ingredient out of stock. 

This scenario is a nightmare for both of you, with you losing a sale and your customer having to make the trek to yet another store. 

Fortunately, there’s a way to avoid this disaster: You need an effective inventory management strategy for your small grocery store. In this blog, we’ll explore three essential tools you need to keep your store well-stocked, your customers happy, and your sales high. 

Why Grocery Store Inventory Management Matters

Inventory management is a crucial but often overlooked aspect of grocery store profitability. 

Related Read: How Grocery Store Inventory Leads to Increased Profits: 4 Things to Know

If your store is understocked and shoppers frequently find their grocery staples out of stock, you’ll see lower customer retention rates and eventually reduced overall sales. On the other hand, overstocking can cause storage problems and costly spoilage and waste. 

That’s why your grocery store inventory management strategy should strike the perfect balance, allowing you to keep your shelves stocked with the right products at the right time. 

But keeping your grocery store well-stocked isn’t a job you can do on your own. 

You need the right tools, including a powerful inventory management software solution, an arsenal of barcode scanners, and an integrated deli scale for items sold by weight. Let’s take a closer look at each of these tools and discuss how they can help you implement an effective inventory management strategy in your small grocery store. 

1. Grocery Store Inventory Management Software

A modern software solution should be the cornerstone of your grocery store inventory management strategy. This tool does all the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping track of your stock levels, replacing the tedious and error-prone method of counting your stock by hand and recording your inventory on paper or in a spreadsheet. 

Let’s take a look at a few ways inventory management software makes keeping your grocery store stocked effortless: 

  • Real-time inventory tracking allows you to see at a glance exactly what you have in stock. Whether you’re working from home or on the sales floor, you can keep a close eye on your inventory levels. 
  • Low stock notifications alert you when a particular product is running low, giving you the chance to take action before losing sales. 
  • Integrated purchase orders streamline the inventory reordering process. If your software detects that an item has dropped below a certain threshold, it will automatically generate a purchase order for that item, making it a breeze to keep your store well-stocked. 
  • Reporting empowers you to optimize your grocery store inventory and stock more of what your customers want — and less of what they don’t. For example, if your inventory software reports that whole grain breads sells faster than white bread, you’ll be able to adjust your ordering strategy accordingly. 

To put these features to work in your grocery store, your best bet is to invest in a grocery point of sale (POS) system with integrated inventory management software. 

Choosing integrated POS and inventory management software means that you’ll only have to learn and use one system for everything in your grocery store, from regular sales transactions to stock counts. 

Relying on integrated POS and inventory management software also results in more accurate stock records. Your software will automatically update when new items hit the shelves and when products are purchased via the POS system. 

2. Barcode Scanners

The next tool to leverage in your fight against stockout and spoilage is a barcode scanner

Barcode scanners play a key role in your grocery store’s inventory management strategy at the checkout counter and on the sales floor. At checkout, barcode scanners allow your cashiers to ring up customers’ items quickly and provide speedy service, and they also ensure your sales are accurately reflected in your inventory reports. 

For example, let’s imagine that your store has 30 boxes of a particular brand of macaroni and cheese in stock. After your customer brings 5 of them to the checkout counter, your cashier will scan each box using the barcode scanner, and your POS software will automatically adjust your inventory from 30 to 25. 

Without the barcode scanner, you run the risk of adjusting the wrong brand’s inventory count or not updating your stock records at all. 

Along with making the checkout process easier for your cashiers and customers, barcode scanners make a huge difference for your employees on the sales floor. Instead of having to count each item in your inventory by hand, your team members can use a handheld barcode inventory scanner to scan each item on the shelf and complete stock counts quickly and accurately. 

Markt POS guide to grocery POS hardware

3. Deli Scale With a Printer

Your grocery store’s deli and butcher counters present an inventory challenge. These departments deal with highly perishable products that are tracked and sold by weight — which means you’ll need a different, tailored approach. 

That’s where a deli scale with a printer comes in. 

With this tool, your deli or butcher associate can cut meat on demand for your customers, weigh it, package it, and generate a custom barcode label that includes the item type, exact weight, and price. When it’s time to check out, your cashier simply has to scan the barcode, and your POS will charge the customer the right price and automatically adjust your inventory records to reflect the sale. 

To make sure your deli and butcher employees, cashiers, and customers all benefit from a deli scale, choose one that integrates seamlessly with your grocery store’s POS and inventory management system. 

[H2] Master Inventory Management in Your Small Grocery Store With Markt POS

Ready to get started with these tools to manage inventory in your small grocery store?

We’ve got you covered — and we’ll guide you as you learn how to use them. 

Markt POS is an all-in-one POS solution designed for specialty markets and grocery stores just like yours. See Markt POS’ powerful inventory management features and user-friendly interface in action by scheduling your personalized demo today.

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