Is real-time inventory critical for successful B2C/B2B ecommerce and offline sales? You can mention UX and page loading speed as the most often cited factors of increasing the conversion rate in ecommerce. Much less frequently discussed is that real-time inventory is the third most important factor for conversion growth in B2C and highly likely the first in B2B.
After making a purchase decision, every B2C & B2B buyer wants to be sure that the purchased or ordered product is in stock at the supplier. Otherwise, if the supplier rejects the order at the time of fulfillment and delivery, the buyer will have a disappointing experience. Moreover, the buyer will lose time, which in B2B may jeopardize the buyer's production plans.
Up-to-date inventory data are especially important in fields such as mechanical engineering, construction and healthcare. If a customer buys many items online for their production facility or supply chain, they must be sure that all the ordered SKUs are in stock.
For example, even the absence of small components can delay the manufacturing of a large and complex machine. More serious consequences could be associated with supply disruptions in healthcare and aviation leading to financial losses and having a serious impact on people’s lives.
The other side of real-time inventory is that reliable information about the availability of desired products at the supplier's warehouses has a positive effect on sales. The simple explanation is that customers can only buy what is available, but brand loyalty plays a significant role in a long-time partnership. In B2B, it is imperative to have a reliable supplier, and real-time inventory is one of the key factors by which customers evaluate your company to do [or not] a successful mutually beneficial business with you.