Having goods on hand is common sense. The tricky part is knowing how much inventory to have on hand. Stock too much and the goods don’t move fast enough. The price spoils. Have too little and a frustrated shopper will go elsewhere.
Now multiply this headache by the number of channels a shopper can use to purchase goods. Did they purchase in-store or online? Was an online order for in-store pickup or delivery? Did they order on desktop or on mobile?
How do you track all this action to match one good with one order?
Multichannel inventory management is the solution, but it is not the silver bullet. Retailers have to craft a system that works best for them, which should turn confusion into clarity. How a system is structured matters just as much as what system you purchase.