Best Inventory Management Software

man and woman in a stockroom looking at best inventory management software on an ipad

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The best software for inventory management is Zoho Inventory, according to our exclusive rating system.

From our industry research, we know inventory management software is an incredibly competitive space. This is great news for merchants, retailers, manufacturers and distributors because there's a range of excellent software choices currently on the market. The downside is that lots of them are really similar, so it's hard to pick out the differences between them.

In this guide to the best inventory management software, we'll consider customer reviews as well as industry specialisms so you can find out exactly which company suits you best.

Remember, you can always use an order fulfilment supplier who'll take care of inventory management for you. That means you can fully outsource inventory tracking to a third party, also known as a 3PL company. If you're ready to invest in serious growth for your business, consider those costs.

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Zoho Inventory

Fishbowl Inventory

inFlow

Cin7

Katana Manufacturing ERP

4.7
4.5
4.4
4.2
4.1
Best For

Easy-to-use inventory tracking

Best For

Ecommerce inventory management

Best For

Product variations

Best For

Marketing

Best For

Manufacturing oversight tools

Best software for inventory management: ranking

As seasoned experts in small business fulfilment companies, we know what it takes to run a warehouse. After extensive research, we've finalised the strongest options for inventory management software UK businesses could choose. And here they are:

  1. Zoho Inventory: Best easy-to-use inventory tracking 4.7/5
  2. Fishbowl Inventory: Best ecommerce inventory management software 4.5/5
  3. inFlow: Best for product variations 4.4/5
  4. Cin7: Best inventory management software for marketing 4.2/5
  5. Katana: Best for manufacturing oversight tools 4.1/5

Now we'll look at each product in some more detail: summarising who they are best suited to, their strengths and weaknesses plus their pricing options. When you're considering fulfilment costs you should bear in mind some software is priced in USD rather than GBP. For the purposes of this article, we've converted American pricing to English money to make it easier to plan your budgets.

1. Zoho Inventory: Best easy-to-use inventory tracking software

best software for inventory management zoho inventory logo
Zoho Inventory
4.7
Pricing £0-£203/month
Quick overview

Zoho can manage and track your inventory across multiple warehouse and retail locations from a single database. Even for an inexpensive product, Zoho delivers a wide range of inventory tracking features. A SKU generator, real-time shipping rates, multi-channel tracking and order management are just a few of its handy features. These are a godsend for subscription box fulfilment businesses, though online retailers of all kinds can capitalise on Zoho's stock streamlining services.

Customers across the board say it's easy to use – a bonus for any techphobic manufacturing managers who need to keep their inventory under control.

Zoho Inventory's main USP is value for money: it's the cheapest by far and even its enterprise plan costs less than CIN7's cheapest plan. We rated it higher for having a useful free plan, though the limitation is you can only put through 50 orders per month on it.

On the negative side, users with a long customisable product process struggled to automate using Zoho. For that reason, we recommend that only  manufacturing inventory managers with more simple product workflows use it.

Strengths

Easy to use

Clear visibility on stock

Convenient integration with Zoho Books and Zoho CRM

Weaknesses

Not suited to complex product process automation

Reporting customisation is limited

Pricing
Package Cost (billed annually) Prices exclude tax
Free 2 users, 1 warehouse, 50 orders monthly £0
Standard 3 users, 2 warehouses, 1500 orders per month £49 per month
Professional 5 users, 5 warehouses, 7500 orders per month £79 per month
Premium 10 users, 7 warehouses, 15000 orders per month £129 per month
Elite 15 users, 15 warehouses, 25000 orders per month £189 per month
Ultimate 15 users, 15 warehouses, 25000 orders per month plus advanced analytics £259 per month

2. Fishbowl: Best ecommerce inventory management software

fishbowl logo best software for inventory management
Fishbowl
4.5
Pricing From £213/month
Quick overview

Fishbowl has a couple of products for different types of inventory management, and we recommend Fishbowl Warehouse for managers of small or medium-sized warehouses, particularly those in ecommerce (online selling).

Fishbowl Warehouse is designed to integrate with Quickbooks, Salesforce, Amazon and more, so you won't struggle with repetitive data entry. It's easy to connect to a wide range of ecommerce platforms such as Shopify too, that's why Fishbowl is our pick for best ecommerce inventory management software.

You can also set-up dropshipping and generate real-time shipping labels from a wide range of couriers ready to print as you pack orders. By contrast, Katana Manufacturing ERP is much more limited in these areas.

Fishbowl Go is their warehouse app (on Android or Apple) with order fulfilment and barcode scanning capability. Although it's not unique – all the best inventory management software is mobile-ready – it's convenient for picking and cycle count.

One drawback is customer service which is not 24-7, unlike Cin7. Fishbowl's live chat support is closed on weekends, so be aware you'll need to solve your own issues outside of 8am-5pm MST – which is six hours behind GMT.

Strengths

Wide range of ecommerce features

Mobile app on Android and Apple

Dropshipping feature available

Weaknesses

Customer support is not 24-7 and based in the US

Pricing
PackageExtra services
Fishbowl Online $3,000 for one year (£213 per month equiv.) Fishbowl Online additional integrations $600 (£508) per year
Fishbowl Warehouse (subscription) $3,195 for one year (£227 per month equiv.) Data migration $225 (£192) per hour
Fishbowl Warehouse (software purchase) $4,395 (£312 per month equiv.) 1hr remote training $225 (£192)
Fishbowl Manufacturing (software purchase) $6,495 (£461 per month equiv.) Custom in-house training (2 days) $4,295 (£3656)

3. inFlow: Best for product variations

inflow logo
inFlow
4.4
Pricing £0-£1123
Quick overview

inFlow offers excellent inventory optimisation and detailed reporting for stock managers. We recommend it to warehouse managers with multiple varieties of stock in similar categories, such as clothing and shoe retailers or pet food companies.

inFlow is particularly suited to products with multiple variables as the software includes product photos as well as serial numbers (at additional cost), units of measure and product categories.

There's a free version of their software available, and you won't even have to hand over credit card details to make use of the 14-day free trial, either. It's also the second cheapest product on this list overall.

inFlow had the highest average customer rating (4.5/5) out of all the inventory management software suppliers we reviewed.

Curiously, inFlow only allows users to accept online payments in the US or Canada – a significant inconvenience to businesses with customers in the UK and elsewhere. Additionally, customer support (email, chat or callback request) is all based in Lisbon, yet luckily they share a time zone with Great Britain.

Strengths

Real-time inventory oversight

Highest customer rating

Product photos for easy stock identification

Free version available

Weaknesses

No in-person training available

Users can only accept payments in US or Canada

Support team is based in Lisbon

Pricing
PackagePrice
Entrepreneur 2 users, 1 location, 100 sales orders/month $79/month (£67 equiv.)
Small Businesss 5 users, unlimited locations, 2,000 sales orders/month $219/month (£186 equiv.)
Mid-Size 10 users, unlimited locations, 10,000 sales orders/month $439/month (£373.67 equiv.)
Enterprise 25 users, unlimited locations, 30,000 sales orders/month $1319/month (£1122.70 equiv.)
Looking to grow your multichannel sales fulfilment? We've got a 3PL supplier for that

4. Cin7: Best inventory management software for marketing

Cin7_Logo
Cin7
4.2
Pricing £225-£725/month
Quick overview

A robust and multi-faceted inventory management system, Cin7 is best suited to business managers with an eye on marketing. Its features are focused on distribution rather than manufacturing, so ecommerce retailers in supplements, cosmetics and homeware would benefit the most.

Marketing features include email marketing, SEO management, and promotions management – all helpful for increasing customer delight and retention.

Cin7 actually offers a B2B ecommerce platform with inventory management built in, so you can connect 3PL, sales and marketing all on the same platform.

You'll get the expected integrations: Shopify, Amazon, Quickbooks, and Xero. So you can unite your sales streams with your fulfilment processes. Handy FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) features, such as shipping plans and status updates plus a built in EDI, will improve stock visibility and fulfilment oversight.

Cin7 actually had the lowest average customer rating of 4/5 stars which drops to just 3.4 if we only look at Trustpilot. It seems their customer support is lacking, with some users waiting too long for any response at all.

There's a fair amount of work you'll need to do to get up and running with Cin7 which is a bit of a drawback if you're hoping to get scaling quickly.

Strengths

Range of bonus marketing tools

B2B ecommerce platform with inbuilt inventory management

Handy FBA features

Weaknesses

Set-up is time-consuming

Concerning issues with customer support

Pricing
PackagePrices Excluding taxes
Small business 2 users £225+ per month
Business 5 users, integrated warehouse management £375+ per month
Advanced 8 users, account manager £725+ per month
Enterprise Tailored Tailored

5. Katana Manufacturing ERP: Best inventory management software for manufacturing oversight tools

best software for inventory management katana logo
Katana Manufacturing ERP
4.1
Pricing £84 - £510 per month+
Quick overview

Last but not least is Katana, our pick for inventory management software for small manufacturing business leaders.

Katana has a decent range of features that make it particularly suited to small manufacturing business leaders. For example, it has dedicated tools for manufacturing planning, material requirements planning and quality management.

However, lots of Katana's functionality comes in the form of APIs (for example purchase order creation, reporting, automation), which can be a bit tricky to get up and running. Nonetheless, this style of software means entrepreneurs are unlikely to feel overwhelmed with a surplus of unnecessary features.

You won't get any particular value for money with Katana: it's the third most expensive of the suppliers in this list. Pricing is based on usage, so you should carefully consider your sales projections for the sake of your budget planning.

It's got no free version, though you can use the 14-day free trial without giving your credit card details, which is excellent for your data privacy and saves you paying for premium by mistake.

As far as user reviews go, it's a 4.3/5, with feedback highlighting Katana's excellent customer service. This robust business support means you can run your burgeoning enterprise with better efficiency.

Strengths

Manufacturing inventory management tool

Dedicated capacity planning

Drag and drop production priorities

Track time spent on various manufacturing tasks

Weaknesses

Only one account user on cheapest plan (competitors have two)

API integrations can be tricky to set up

No free version

Pricing
PackagePricing (billed annually)
Essential 1 user, 3 warehouses, 500 sales order lines $99 (£84/month equiv.)
Advanced 4 users, unlimited warehouses, 5,000 sales order lines $299 (£255/month equiv.)
Professional Extra support, 25,000 sales order lines $599 (£510/month equiv.)
Enterprise Unlimited sales order lines Tailored

How do I know if I need inventory management software?

Good question. Inventory management software is for warehouse managers and floor managers of large stockrooms or storage facilities. For instance, you may be managing stock for a sizeable retail or rental operation and finding it hard to stay organised using printed notes and spreadsheets.

Inventory management software is a much more sophisticated system of controlling stock, so you can easily keep track of what goes where, for how long, and how much of it's left. You can also set reorder points according to your stocking strategy, so you'll never find yourself unable to fulfil incoming orders. If you're regularly stocking out because you've forgotten to reorder at critical moments, then chances are you could benefit from software to automate this process.

Usually inventory management software links up with your sales systems, so that floor staff are immediately alerted when a customer places an order. This keeps your fulfilment process efficient, because warehouse workers can begin picking and packing without wasting time walking over to an office or taking phone calls from the sales team. If you've noticed you and your team are wasting time trying to locate or identify stock, consider whether inventory management stock could solve these issues. Such technology is essential for 3PL companies.

▶ Not shipping enough orders? Check out: How to Start Dropshipping on Shopify 2022

How did we rank the best software for inventory management?

To make our ranked list, we weighed up the range of features on offer, combined with customer review scores and value for money. We scored each software product out of 19 for its range of features, then added this to the average customer review rating across five trusted platforms.

Finally, we awarded additional points for inventory tracking software that had a free version, a free trial or was exceptionally good value for money. The final tally was converted into a five star rating, and this is what you see on each of the scorecards below.

The best software for inventory management handles a number of tasks including:

  • Retail inventory management
  • Multi-channel tracking (eg. Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Etsy)
  • Reporting/analytics
  • Supplier management
  • Kitting
  • Mobile capability

All of the best inventory management software suppliers have the above features as standard. What differentiates them is their specialist features designed for particular users. So when you're deciding which of the below companies is best for your particular business needs, you should consider the software's target user, specific features and add-ons – not just the pricing.

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Expert Verdict

You need inventory management software as a single point of truth for identifying, barcoding, picking, labelling and reordering stock. Depending on exactly how you fulfil orders – and the size of your operations – will guide the type of product you should invest in.

As a recap, here are the final rankings and recommended uses for the best inventory management software UK merchants should use:

  1. Zoho Inventory: Best easy-to-use inventory tracking
  2. Fishbowl Inventory: Best ecommerce inventory management software
  3. inFlow: Best for product variations
  4. Cin7: Best inventory management software for marketing
  5. Katana: Best for manufacturing oversight tools

Remember, you only need this technology if you're managing your own warehouse(s). On the other hand, if you're looking to outsource warehousing, you'll need to choose between third-party logistics companies.

We've made this easy for you by creating a 3PL supplier matching service exclusively for our readers. All you need to do is outline your order fulfilment needs and we'll ask trusted partners to give you a call. They'll take the stress off your shoulders and take care of end-to-end stock management on your behalf, getting the right items to your customers in a timely and efficient way.

Written by:
Sabrina Dougall
Sabrina is a business journalist whose career began in news reporting. She has a master's in Investigative Journalism from City University London, and her work has appeared in The Times, The Daily Express, Money Saving Expert, Camden New Journal, Global Trade Review, and Computer Business Review. She specializes in writing about SEO (search engine optimization). Having run her own small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how critical digital marketing is to building a client base and local reputation.
Reviewed by:
Robyn Summers-Emler, Grow Online Editor, Profile Picture
Robyn started working on Expert Market in 2021 as a specialist in business websites and digital marketing. As the Grow Online Editor, she ideates, commissions and optimizes content on Expert Market that helps businesses thrive in online spaces and maximize their ecommerce potential. Covering everything from choosing a website builder to scaling a social media marketing strategy - Robyn uses her expertise to help startups, SMBs, and larger businesses realize digital growth in an increasingly competitive landscape.