The best small business inventory software as ranked by Canadians

Published on 10/27/2022 by Tessa Anaya

Keeping track of inventory is of utmost importance to retailers, especially those who sell both online and in physical stores. To streamline item tracking, stock levels, and order details, consider adopting the best small business inventory software in Canada.

a list of the best small business inventory software ranked by Canadians

Alt text: a list of the best small business inventory software ranked by Canadians

Whether selling secondhand or new goods, in person or via eCommerce channels, inventory management is key to ensuring successful sales. This article covers the four highest-rated inventory management software on Capterra Canada, listed in alphabetical order. For this list, we considered products with at least 10 reviews from Canadian users over the past year and a minimum overall user rating of 4 out of 5 stars. These tools are intended for retail businesses. You can find the full methodology at the bottom of the article.

A video comparison of the best small business inventory software and their most notable features

1. Lightspeed Retail

A look at the functionality of the Lightspeed Retail dashboard (Source)
  • Ease of use:  4.2 / 5
  • Customer service: 4.1 / 5
  • Features: 4.1 / 5
  • Value for money: 4.1 / 5

This commerce platform markets itself as a “one-stop” Point of Sale (POS) system, aimed at providing cloud-based service to retailers in many industries. Lightspeed Retail offers users a responsive way to manage their inventory across multiple locations, as well as glean insights from reporting functions based on inventory and sales data. 

Lightspeed Retail puts inventory control in the hands of business owners, allowing them to add or import inventory items using plugins for WooCommerce, BigCommerce, or Shopify. Product variations can also be added and an internal keyword system can be used for simplified item searches. Users can also create reminders to refill stock when products fall below a certain threshold, where new purchase orders are automatically generated and sent to vendors.

As far as Lightspeed Retail’s pricing plan, they offer three different tiers of software packages for SMEs: Lean, Standard, and Advanced. Companies without need for many bells and whistles may find the Lean package offers the small business inventory software capabilities they need, while those wanting more accounting, eCommerce, omnichannel, or advanced reporting features would be better served by bigger packages. For specific pricing information, go to the vendor’s website.

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2. QuickBooks Online Advanced

An introduction to inventory management using QuickBooks Online (Source)
  • Ease of use:  4.3 / 5
  • Customer service: 4.0 / 5
  • Features: 4.3 / 5
  • Value for money: 4.2 / 5

QuickBooks Online Advanced, one of a few accounting software products available from Intuit, is a cloud-based program for growing businesses. Advanced is the package with the most features available to users, though companies can downgrade to a smaller offering if need be. For feature-specific and pricing information, head to the vendor’s website for comparison.

From the product inventory dashboard, managers can view inventory levels and click products to create and send purchase orders directly to their preferred vendors. Once the purchase is received and processed, inventory levels are automatically updated. QuickBooks Online Advanced also gives users a variety of options for importing, entering, editing, tracking, and sending invoices in batches. 

Lastly, with QuickBooks Online Advanced offers robust performance reporting based on the inventory operations it logs. It can generate reports on a yearly, quarterly, and monthly basis, as well as give users a view of their ranking against competitors.

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3. WooCommerce

A demonstration of the WooCommerce plugin’s inventory capabilities in WordPress (Source)
  • Ease of use:  4.2 / 5
  • Customer service: 3.9 / 5
  • Features: 4.5 / 5
  • Value for money: 4.6 / 5

WooCommerce is a free eCommerce plugin for WordPress that allows retailers to create and customize an online store. It can also be used as a small business inventory software via its stock management capabilities.

With stock management enabled, many options for inventory management are customizable:  low stock threshold setting, low-stock/no-stock notifications, backorder purchasing, and the amount of time customers can hold items in their cart. Shop owners can also choose whether to show inventory levels to shoppers, which are automatically updated once sales are finalized. 

WooCommerce is an open-source, free-of-charge platform. However, online shops must be paired with a hosting service that would most likely incur some fees. Also, additional plugins like those for payment processing and lead capture functions, may also cost money. 

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4. Xero

A walkthrough of the Xero’s inventory management features (Source)
  • Ease of use:  4.3 / 5
  • Customer service: 3.9 / 5
  • Features: 4.2 / 5
  • Value for money: 4.2 / 5

Xero is designated as an accounting software, though it also provides a range of usable features for inventory management as well. Thanks to its accounting capabilities, users can connect the software to their bank. This allows companies to keep their financials up to date and process transactions automatically.

Financial and inventory operations are also linked in the inventory database section of Xero. Users can import inventory using a downloadable Excel template and adjust items according to local tax rates. Based on information from purchase orders, inventory quantities are updated automatically and the average costs are tracked over time, enabling users to optimize inventory control for future orders. Xero also offers a look at the best and worst selling product types, which could then be used to help retailers with pricing optimization.

Xero offers different plans depending on the size and growth rate of a company. There are three plans: Starter, Standard, and Premium. Each package also includes add-on features at various prices, and more information is available on the vendor website.

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best tools for inventory control in Canada
Looking for more inventory management software? Check out our catalogue!

Methodology:

To select the products mentioned in this article, we considered those which:

  • Received more than 10 local reviews (from users in Canada) over the past year from August 2021-2022
  • Are specifically designed for the retail industry
  • Rated at least 4 out of 5 stars
  • Met our inventory management software market definition: Inventory management software helps businesses track and manage product location, item details, and stock level, as well as report on trends to inform forecasting decisions, in order to reduce the costs of holding overstock and the missed revenue from out of stocks.

They also have the following core features:

  • Inventory information
  • Inventory optimization
  • Product identification

This article may refer to products, programs or services that are not available in your country, or that may be restricted under the laws or regulations of your country. We suggest that you consult the software provider directly for information regarding product availability and compliance with local laws.

About the author

Tessa is a Content Analyst for Capterra, delivering software-related insights to local SMEs. She was featured in the Globe and Mail, La Presse, the Financial Post, and Yahoo.

Tessa is a Content Analyst for Capterra, delivering software-related insights to local SMEs. She was featured in the Globe and Mail, La Presse, the Financial Post, and Yahoo.