• Sara Mays

Can Your Customers Trust You? The Significance of Inventory Accuracy

Having your customers' trust is a critical component to running a successful business. From protecting their personal information to accurately communicating inventory selection, trust with your customers can be enhanced or hurt daily. An incorrect address or phone number on your website, store hours that are accurate only about 50% of the time. These seemingly small things are frustrating for a customer, but when they get ready to buy, if your product information is inaccurate, you’ve lost not only a sale, but also a customer.

As the retail landscape continues to shift, customers want to be able to trust the accuracy of your on-hand inventory. Regardless of the tools they use- website, phone call, or in-person visit- they want to be confident that the information your site shows or your sales associate shares is correct.

Think about your experience as a customer. You are in a store or perhaps shopping on-line. You request an item in your size and color, and the salesperson or system indicates that the inventory is available. You make your way to the checkout where you’re informed that the item you selected is no longer available. The disappointment can be profound, and you usually don’t look for a substitute, at least not at THAT retailer. That inventory error cost the retailer that sale and perhaps future sales, too.

Smart retailers becoming more local with their inventory selection. This may mean a broader selection, but it also means streamlining the number of on-hand units to ensure inventory turn goals and budgets are achieved.

An example might be a boutique outside Philadelphia that orders cocktail dresses in Philadelphia Eagles green, with units in multiple sizes. When the order arrives, no one notices that all the dresses are size small and not the varied sizes you ordered. Or worse yet, some of the dresses are missing from the shipment. You assume the order arrived as placed, and ask your staff to highlight the dress on social media.

A few hours, and several requests, later you discover the error. You have now disappointed some of your customers since you don’t have the dress in their size, even though they were the first to comment.

The result is the same, whether it was a receiving error or a system problem. Either situation, on its own, won’t devastate your business. But if they happen repeatedly, regardless of the product, you run the risk of harming your reputation. Ensuring accurate inventory is paramount. Today’s buying strategies do not provide a cushion for missing product or inaccurate inventory data.

A process for verifying the on-hand accuracy of key selling products is critical to building and maintaining trust with your customers. You’ve worked hard to build trust in the communities you serve. Don’t let inventory errors harm your company’s good name or your sales.

Our expertise is focused on helping you create efficient systems to identify and resolve on-hand discrepancies so you can build trust and drive sales. If you'd like help developing an efficient inventory process to ensure your on-hands are accurate, contact us at

Sara Mays

Principal Consultant