One of the things that we’ve discovered while researching the market is that there is an awful lot of tools and an awful lot of ways you can track your inventory already.
There’s also a lot of awful half-baked solutions too. Solutions that are trying to serve everybody but end up serving nobody.
I had a great conversation with my friend Bryce from Metorik the other day and we were talking about the WooCommerce market.
Metorik is a sales reporting SaaS and it’s far from being the only one of its type out there. But the difference with them is that it’s 100% focused on WooCommerce.
You might think that narrowing the focus like that to just users of WooCommerce might be hindering, but Bryce’s product is very sticky. He has one of the lowest churn rates of any SaaS I’ve seen.
I think one of the reasons his product is so sticky is because of that focus. They know what they’re all about and they own it.
Where should Inventoroo fit?
I’ve counted over 20 legitimate SaaS businesses in the inventory management space, some being direct competitors and some indirect competitors.
That’s a lot of existing people to trample on our way to the top!
Actually, there’s a lot of existing research around choosing the right market approach. Books such has Wes Bush’s Product Led Growth and this essay titled The Jobs-to-be-Done Growth Strategy Matrix by Tony Ulwick come to mind.
And one common graphic representation of the approaches is this matrix (described in Tony’s essay):
“The matrix suggests that companies can create products and services that are (1) better and more expensive, (2) better and less expensive, (3) worse and less expensive, and (4) worse and more expensive.”[*]
Which segment of that matrix you choose depends on the market conditions, what you’re building, etc.
And of course, you can take a hybrid approach to the matrix.
There are some pretty convincing points made about choosing the right approach to the market given the variables.
For us, it looks like a disruptive strategy. Providing a tool for a segment of the market (just like Metorik does), might be the go. But there are parts of the other approaches I like as well.
Solving a job for someone
I like to think of building a tool as “solving a job for someone” just like Tony. To put it in my own words it’s about “solving someone’s big problem”.
Thinking of Inventoroo this way, for me, puts into perspective that the people who are eventually going to use the tool will use it to solve an inventory problem that is bothering them.
So with that in mind, I’d like to state that our primary goals are to:
1. Solve the problem of inventory for WooCommerce store owners
We love WooCommerce, we’re good at building stuff for its users (and have done so with a couple of successful products) and we believe in the platform.
We don’t believe the tracking of inventory is solved very well in WooCommerce. Inventoroo will fix that.
2. Solve inventory for WooCommerce more deeply than the general-purpose inventory solutions
Even though some of the 20-odd other inventory management tools out there have WooCommerce integrations, they don’t integrate very deeply and that bothers us.
The fact is people rarely run a vanilla WooCommerce without any extensions and most people rely on those extensions to solve other problems. Why should they have to compromise to satisfy their inventory management tool? Inventoroo will help those people who are left out to dry by other inventory management solutions.
3. Understand the people that use our solution and help them solve their problems
We have a strong grip on what we want to be the “core” of our product. Tracking the movement of inventory as accurately and as automatically as possible.
But what are the problems that store owners face on a day to day basis with their inventory? How can we make their lives easier and provide features that solve those problems?
We want to work hard at figuring out the best ways to solve all those little inventory related problems our store owners have and proving our worth is a high priority.
Some of the bigger things we’ve uncovered already and want to solve are:
- Knowing what goes into the making of a product and being able to track those things accurately
- Knowing when to reorder inventory items and helping people reorder from suppliers
- Reporting on the worth of stock. Both in terms of movement and also what is sitting on their shelf in their warehouse
- Making stocktakes easier to do and, at the same time, less necessary
Have ideas about inventory management? Leave a comment!
We’re open to talking to people about Inventoroo. If you’ve been waiting for that perfect WooCommerce focused inventory management solution to come along, that’s basically what we’re hoping to build!
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts 🙂