The physical sales channel has been joined in recent years by the digital channel (e.g. e-commerce, digital marketplace, …) and hybrid channels (e.g. click and collect, ship from store, ship to lockers, drop shipping, … ).
Being able to track stock in real time across the various sales channels and logistics processes is crucial, both to reduce operating costs and to increase customer loyalty to the brand.
However, inventory is still calculated by most retailers on a daily basis at store closing time. Within the day, sales are managed either with infinite stock logic or by applying guarantee buffers on the last known stock status.