Dear Inventory is a popular option for small and medium-sized retailers. In this post, we’ll help you figure out if it’s right for you.
Last updated 2o July 2020
3.8 Stackupp rating
$ 199.00 / month
Best formedium-sized retailers with upwards of five employees. If you’re looking for inventory management software that’s more powerful than a small-business app but not as complex as a fully-fledged enterprise platform, then Dear Inventory could be ideal for you.
Dear Inventory - which brands itself as an ERP or “enterprise resource planning” solution - is a popular inventory management app that caters largely to a client base of medium-sized companies. As far as enterprise solutions go, we found Dear Inventory to be one of the more competitively-priced options on the market.
Retailers have access to everything they’d expect, including inventory, reorder, and delivery tools, third-party integrations, analytics, automations (such as reorder alerts), and syncing across multiple sales channels like eBay and Etsy.
Because Dear Inventory is a solution for stores moving relatively large amounts of stock, it includes a comprehensive package of features for managing manufacturing tasks and multiple warehouses.
Dear Inventory also includes a dedicated POS, payment processor, and API.
you’re a medium-sized retailer, wholesaler, or manufacturer that needs an advanced solution that doesn’t come with the hassle and complexities of an enterprise app.
While Dear Inventory is generally very easy to use, it does take some getting used to. It’s not so much the interface that’s the issue as the range of options and features. Stock orders, for example, can be set for multiple warehouses and tied to a range of inventory accounts.
With a little familiarization however, you and your team should be up and running smoothly.
“The software can be used "out-of-the-box" after a minimal amount of setup, and can also be used in more complex installations where bespoke software development might be needed.”
“Dear lets us manage the extraordinary combination of materials, compounds and product that we manufacture on a daily basis in a straightforward manner.”
“Our overall experience is positive. It was a little bit of a learning curve, but now that we have it down, I couldn't imagine going back.”
Dear Inventory is an entirely cloud-based app, so you won’t have to worry about any technical or maintenance tasks. The platform is fully compliant with GDPR and uses secure servers. Unfortunately, a mobile app isn’t available (either on iPhone or Android), so you can only access the interface via a desktop computer.
In terms of training, Dear Inventory provides extensive documentation and 24/7 customer service. No direct setup support is offered, unlike some other platforms that include a dedicated onboarding manager on higher-tier plans. Still, the solution is relatively easy to use out of the box, so this shouldn’t present a problem in the majority of cases.
The analytics and reporting dashboard is fairly comprehensive. Users have access to a range of reports, covering purchases, sales, inventory, finances, auditing and more. Third-party integrations can be used to extend analytics functionality, which is good for retailers that want to leverage demand forecasting, smart data insights, and other similar data processes.
Dear Inventory automation features are also worth noting. Users have access to a package of time-saving tools to streamline workflows. These include scheduled reports, if-then task automation, notifications and alerts (for both staff and customers), and a dedicated workflow dashboard.
Our opinion of Dear Inventory’s library of integrations is a little mixed. While it’s good overall, it didn’t blow us away.
First, let’s take a look at the good points. The connectors for Xero, third-party marketplaces, and order fulfillment services have received particularly high praise from users. An integration for Zapier is also available, allowing retailers to sync up with hundreds of apps.
Notably, Dear Inventory has its own in-house POS (point of sale), B2B portal for corporate customers, API, and payments processor. All of these are big pluses for users that don’t want the hassle of managing multiple apps.
In terms of accounting, both Quickbooks and Xero are supported. Shipping connectors include ShipStation, Shippit, and Starshipit. Crossfire EDI provides electronic data exchange functionality.
But while Dear Inventory’s library of integrations is certainly satisfactory, it’s not as extensive as other solutions we’ve reviewed. In particular, the support for ecommerce platforms is lacking. Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce are all supported, but there’s no compatibility with platforms like BigCommerce, PrestaShop, Ecwid, or 3dcart (among others).
Equally, we would have preferred to see more native support for marketing tools like MailChimp and Salesforce, though the Zapier connector does go some way in making up for their absence.
If you’re thinking about opting for Dear Inventory, just make sure that you check the integration library first to make sure it includes what you need.
Dear Inventory has a straightforward and competitive custom pricing model. It’s one of the cheaper enterprise-level solutions that we’ve reviewed.
Because it’s aimed squarely at medium-sized retailers, Dear Inventory is a great choice for companies that require advanced functionality without the price-tag of a broad enterprise platform.
Pricing starts at $199/month for five users and a maximum of 100,000 SKUs (product listings). Users can also opt to pay $2189 for a discounted annual subscription. Every additional user costs an extra $50/month.
A free 14-day trial is available on all plans. If you opt for the annual subscription, you’ll get a month for free.
Generally speaking, support from Dear Inventory is very good. The majority of users speak highly of the level of customer service, citing friendly staff and quick response times.
Dear Inventory also provides extensive documentation covering all of its features, although we felt it could be slightly better organized.
Despite the quality and 24/7 availability, however, there are a few negatives. Support is only available via support tickets, even on the most expensive plans. Users that prefer to communicate via phone or live-chat might be left feeling frustrated. Finally, Dear Inventory doesn’t offer a dedicated setup manager, which may lengthen the onboarding and implementation period for some retailers.
Medium-sized retailers of five employees and up should definitely consider Dear Inventory. It’s an intuitive, powerful solution that provides an array of tools to streamline everything from sales fulfillment to reordering. The feature-set is extensive and includes a POS system, barcode scanning, integrations with third-party tools, analytics, and more.
Wholesalers and manufacturers should also try out Dear Inventory. Trade sellers have access to a dedicated B2B portal for their customers, along with tools for tracking components, assigning materials, and managing multiple warehouses.
Small and independent retailers will likely benefit from a more compact solution, while enterprises may find it too limited. All other companies, however, should definitely take advantage of the free 14-day trial.
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