Whether your business is wholesale, retail, or a combination of the two, any product-based business owner knows that your inventory is your business. If you’re not paying attention to where your inventory is, how much you have available, re-ordering needs, inventory financing, and so much more, you can easily be wasting your money on products no one wants while missing opportunities to offer the products your customers are most excited about.
That’s where inventory management apps come in.
Fortunately, an explosion of inventory-related technology means that there are more inventory management apps on the market than ever before, offering custom options sure to fit any business’s needs. The only problem is… which ones do you choose?
We’re breaking down our 20 favorite inventory apps to help you select the best fit for your operation.
Before you can start shopping for the perfect inventory management apps for your business, you first need to determine exactly what that inventory apps might look like—based on your business’s needs. Consider the following factors and weigh them in order of importance to discover exactly which inventory apps are the right fit for your company’s inventory needs.
This first one should be simple. How many users will need access to your new inventory management app?
Be sure to include not only yourself, but also anyone filling or counting inventory, and maybe even your accountant. A good system can be useless if the right people don’t have access.
The amount of inventory you have on hand—both now and in the future—will dictate the level of sophistication needed from your inventory app. As you assess this, it’s critical that you think not just about today’s inventory, but also that you consider the long term needs of your business.
Will the inventory management apps you choose be able to grow as your business does, or at least be able to quickly export to a later choice? The last thing you’ll want is to have to manually re-enter all your inventory when you reach a point beyond the capability of your current system.
In some cases, the type of inventory you’re working with might dictate which inventory management apps you choose.
For example, below we feature a few apps that are specific to the healthcare or food service fields, so those will be obvious choices within those industries. If temperature control or freshness are significant factors in your inventory management, look out for inventory management apps that feature location and time-in-stock reporting.
As with all things, the different levels of features and capabilities within different inventory apps can come with a pretty wide variety of price tags, so it’s important to consider what you’re willing to spend.
That said, keep in mind that if a slightly more expensive inventory management system saves you man hours on tracking your inventory, you could still be saving money in the long run!
When it comes to mobile devices, most everything falls into the category of either OS or Android. While we do feature a few web-based apps here that could theoretically work on any device, it’s worth considering the equipment you already have when reviewing your options—unless you’re in the market for new equipment as well.
Do you need your inventory management apps to communicate with existing systems, like your accounting or time keeping software? If so, pay attention to the available software integrations to find your best option.
Of course, it’s likely that not all inventory apps will offer all the exact features you’re looking for while being offered at your ideal price point, so it’s important to prioritize your needs to find your best option. Can you live with fewer user accounts if the price is right? Are you willing to make equipment changes to find the perfect product?
By knowing exactly what you need (and what you can and can’t compromise on) before you shop, you’ll be prepared to hone in on the perfect inventory app for your business.
We’ll be as objective as possible here, but it’s hard to deny that when it comes to variety, versatility, and user experience, the mobile inventory apps available in Apple’s OS seem to dominate the inventory management game. These apps are all available in Apple’s app store, and most work across most or all Apple devices.
Mostafa Ashour, Tryvin
iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch
The clean and versatile design of this app is a great place to get started with automated inventory management. The app has 20 different information categories to customize your inventory database and meet your individual organizational style and needs. If customizing isn’t quite your thing (or just sounds too intimidating right now!), preset forms are also an option for staying organized. All your information syncs easily across devices and can be exported as a spreadsheet, CVS, PDF, or even to other programs like Evernote.
If this interface is appealing for you, Tryvin also has a small business app bundle that includes 8 other apps to keep you organized.
Multiple Price Points
This family of apps offers several different versions to accommodate your needs. Cloud backup, easy to use data export options, useful reporting options, and multiple search features make these very easy-to-learn apps. Upgraded versions include expense and income tracking, as well as multiple location capabilities. And because there are multiple tiers available, Daily Sales Tracker gives you the opportunity to start small with your inventory management, then upgrade as the need arises without completely overhauling to a new system.
Integrations into the Goods Inventory system make light work of creating and finding products, as well as tracking profits and losses. This app includes barcode scanning, shipment tracking, multiple device iCloud sync, and a bright and simple interface. And with a low one-time price point, you have little to lose in seeing if this simple inventory app will work for you!
Like many of its competitors, this app offers customizable fields, easy data exports, in app reports, and user-friendly sorting options. An interesting feature to this barcode scanning capable program is that it is built to keep track of inventory across several locations, and has options for multiple languages or currencies.
Offline mode is a great option if wifi service or data plans can be difficult to access, but keep in mind that taking the app offline will put a major dent in the storage on your device.
Little Tan Dog
$4.99; ($29.99 – $49.99 optional cloud backup service)
On Shelf takes your inventory management a step further through the use of customer-specific tracking.
By tracking customer history, the app allows you to see a customer’s purchase history, mail specific products to buyers, import contacts, and contact all your customers. In addition to some of your standard inventory tracking options (bar code scanner, multi-user and device capabilities, filter and sort options), On Shelf’s reporting options include a highlight of your most and least profitable products, searchable time frames, and in-app invoicing.
If you’re already using another system (or just tracking inventory in a spreadsheet), this inventory app also makes it easy to import data from your existing spreadsheets. Be aware that there are two apps, each designed for iPad or iPhone, and that cloud backup service is an additional monthly cost. Pricing depends on length of subscription and number of synced users, but is still within the lower than average price point of the most functional apps we found.
$9.99 (demo available)
Stock Control allows you to stay on top of your inventory levels and value across multiple locations, as well as multiple groups. This comes in very handy when you’re managing inventories for a couple of different businesses, or if you keep track of personal inventory but want it separate from your business.
In addition to the convenient search, sort, and overview functions, Stock Control can also keep track of item locations (great for warehouses) as well as send shortage alerts. Exporting options include spreadsheet files and PDF catalogs.
Your inventory doesn’t operate in a black hole, separate from the rest of your business—so why should your inventory management app?
These inventory management systems offer integrations with a variety of accounting, point of sale, and other business software to ensure that supply line insights are available at every point within your company.
OS, Android, Web, Desktop
This free app is designed for Ventipix Asset software. Compatible with mobile device barcode/QR code scanning, as well as external scanning, it also allows for uploading or taking photos as part of asset profiles.
The app works offline and will sync when internet connection is available and has convenient spreadsheet import and export options when you need your information available outside the app.
Cashier Live LLC
$75/mo (14-day free trial)
iPad, iPhone, Android
The Cashier app is part of the larger suite of subscription-based services offered by Cashier Live. The app lets you keep track of and input new inventory either manually or through barcode scanning. The expanded options that come with Cashier Live services include customer tracking and extensive reporting options, as well as seemly integration with QuickBooks accounting software.
At $75 per month, the price point on this inventory app is admittedly on the higher side of our list, but we hear from reviewers that along with great features, the app’s support team is great to work with. If you’re on the fence, give Cashier Live’s two week trial a go to see if it works for your needs.
$249/mo and up (30 day free trial)
This system comes with a ton of bells and whistles. Cin7 integrates with the very popular QuickBooks accounting software, as well as Shopify, Woo Commerce, BigCommerce, and Magneto e-commerce systems. The iPad app, and compatibility with bluetooth barcode scanners allows you to keep track of inventory and update your online store, so that you’re never caught overselling inventory.
In fact, when Cin7 sees that you’re running low on stock, it can create purchase orders for you. Add to that the extensive reporting and forecasting options, and you’ve got a great system.
The interface of Inventory Now is designed to be a non-flashy way to keep track of your inventory through the product cycle. By telling the app when you purchase new inventory, it allows you to quickly sort, filter, and track supplies, while also giving you easy access to the current snapshot of your inventory value, accumulated profits, and profit margins.
The bar code scanning function allows for easy addition of new products, as well as pairing with PayPal Here to replace your point of sale system. Data can be imported and exported as a spreadsheet, as well as automatically backed up to your existing Dropbox account.
Saddle Oaks Software
$29 – $99/mo (30 day free trial)
SOS Inventory’s software was designed specifically to integrate with QuickBooks Online. Sort and filter options, bin tracking, and FIFO come with the basic package, but multiple locations, barcoding, and advanced reporting are available in the upgraded plans.
The UX was designed to mimic the setup and operation of QuickBooks Online so that users can easily learn the software. SOS Inventory comes recommended by the Intuit team.
$58 – $150 monthly
Apple OS, Android, Desktop
Top Shelf offers 4 different subscription levels to best fit your company’s specific needs. The first level, “Everyday Asset Tracking,” offers useful reports, barcode scanning, simple tracking, and unique ID creation. More advanced options include email alerts, data import and export, shipment tracking, advanced reporting, and SKU number cross referencing.
That said, the price point for Top Shelf falls in line with the app’s name, as it was among the priciest subscription services we came across. If you invest in this inventory management app, make sure that you’re reaping the full benefits of its various bells and whistles.
Plans start at $99 (14-day free trial)
TradeGecko’s system allow you to track inventory across multiple locations, including your online store, as well as keep track of your customer accounts and information. For QuickBooks users, TradeGecko sends invoices directly to QB, and automatically synchronizes income/sales, purchase accounts, payments, cost of goods sold, stock purchases, and inventory assets. It also updates inventory levels when you make sales, or new purchases. The interface also makes it easy to search and filter your inventory, and to assess the state of your current stock.
In addition to QuickBooks, Tradegecko also integrates with Google Drive, Magneto, Woo Commerce, Amazon, Crossfire Cloud, Xero, Shopify, Salesforce, ShipStation, and ShipIT.
There’s no denying Apple’s incredible presence in today’s smartphone and tablet market. Many of the best rated apps are designed specifically for Apple’s OS.
But if you’re not an Apple user or you need to use a program works on both Android and OS, here are the best apps available right now.
Free Trial and individual quote
Apple OS, Android, Windows
Canvas has a whopping 242 different inventory management apps, specialized for a myriad of uses. From classrooms to paramedic drug inventory, restaurants to general barcode inventory tracking, Canvas has an option that will suit your needs. A big appeal to this family of apps, beyond the endless choices, is the multiple system compatibility, and the no-risk free trial.
Meta Option LLC
$18.99-$319.99/mo (14 day Free Trial)
Apple OS, Android
With options for mobile, desktop, and web-based access, this app is on the pricier side of those we reviewed. GOI has 5 pricing plans designed to meet the needs of businesses of various sizes. Multiple platform options, easy sorting and filtering, multiple location capabilities, barcode scanning, and convenient reporting options make this a great choice for following the life cycle of products and tracking vendors.
Built for Android and Windows operating systems, Inventory Droid offers a number of customizable bells and whistles to accommodate your individual needs. Custom fields, multiple account options, custom categories, and barcode scanning are just a few of features.
If you’re not interested in customizing your database, pre-built categories are designed to integrate well with Google, Amazon, and other online databases.
Jump Technologies (Health Systems)
Apple OS, Android
Tailored for simplifying inventory in hospital systems, JumpStock’s cloud base system takes the burden from hospital IT support. Carefully designed long term reporting and analysis helps reduce wasted hours of valuable hospital staff’s time, as well as creating an easy to navigate view of complex inventories.
Keep in mind, though, that this program will take some time investment to get started since you can’t set it up on your own. And non-medical businesses can probably find a better product elsewhere that is more tailored to their needs.
Trace Width Technology Solutions
$4.99 (demo available)
In addition to excellent sorting and filtering capabilities, a barcode reader, easy data import and export, and user definable product categories, myStock also boasts DropBox backup/restore capabilities, multiple location tracking, and email integration. This is a great value for small- and medium-sized companies using multiple operating systems.
$165-$249/mo (Free trial available)
Fans of Spike TV’s Bar Rescue will already be familiar with Partender. This innovative app allows you to adjust the content level of each bottle in your bar’s inventory on the screen with a simple sliding bar, and then quickly swipe to the next bottle. This speedy (and fun) method also allows you to split up work amongst multiple devices to quickly track usage. Partender boasts a significant reduction in product “Shrinkage” compared to counting inventory from your register each night.
Additional features include usage analysis to identify stagnant stock, comprehensive cost and profit analysis, and quick purchase order creation. It also works with beer, wine, smallwares, kegs, and even food.
$2.99 (Demo available)
This inventory app has lots of convenient functionality for basic inventory management. Users can create their own specific data fields, and input data from the barcode scanner, camera, or through text selection. In addition to numerous sharing options, user-friendly search and filters, and Google Drive compatible export and backup, Spreadsheet & Inventory Pro also offers task lists, expense lists, and reminders to keep your inventory running smoothly.
Even when your options get narrowed down by budget or industry, it can feel like a lot of choices to sort through before you make a commitment. It might be hard to see now, but when you have your new system in place and running smoothly, it will have been worth the energy finding the right inventory management app for your business.
And luckily, there are some really useful ways to avoid buyer’s remorse. If you’re thinking about one of the simpler mobile apps, a number of them will have a sample option that limits the number of items you can input. Try these limited versions so you can get a feel for each of the inventory management apps before you buy.
The more complex systems will have a free trial period, normally between two weeks and a month. If you’re considering one of these, we strongly urge you to take advantage of the trial. You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive, and chances are you’ll be spending some serious time with your new inventory management app. If you’re just dipping your toe in the waters, you might need to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince.
What if I’m eyeing an app that doesn’t have a demo or a free trial?
We’ve still got you covered!
If you download a program, and then decided it just doesn’t work for you, you do have some refund options. If you purchased through Apple’s App Store, they make it pretty easy to “Report a Problem” in order to receive a refund. It will take a few days, but your money will come back to you.
Purchases made through the Google Play Store are a little trickier, but still doable. Refunds can be easy (within two hours of purchase), doable (within 48 hours of purchase), or risky (after 48 hours, it’s at the developer’s discretion).
Now, when you start thinking about how you’re going to stay on top of your inventory, we hope this guide will keep the task from feeling daunting. With the help of one of these 20 inventory management apps, it will instead feel like an opportunity to take a big step in the direction of making your life easier, and your business run more efficiently.