It should not be difficult for companies to keep tabs on their goods, tools, and other assets using the finest inventory management software, regardless of whether the software is used on its own or in conjunction with a point-of-sale (POS) system. Free inventory management software often restricts the functions that may be used, in contrast to expensive software. We looked at plans that provided enough for a solopreneur or a small firm to get started, subscriptions that were free forever but offered the opportunity to upgrade, and cloud-based software that was simple to use.
According to our research, the following free software packages provide the greatest inventory management capabilities for small businesses:
- Zolo Inventory is the best free inventory management software available overall.
- Square: Best for merchants
- ABC Inventory: Ideal for industrial and automotive repair businesses
- Boxstorm is the best option for integrating with QuickBooks and online stores.
- SalesBinder is the best option for small enterprises operating internationally.
- To put it another way: it’s ideal for mobile inventory management across various sites.
- 1 Zoho Inventory: Best Overall Free Inventory Management Software
- 2 Square: Best for Retailers & Storefronts
- 3 ABC Inventory: Best for Repair Shops & Manufacturing
- 4 Boxstorm: Best for Custom Tracking
- 5 SalesBinder: Best for Small International Businesses
- 6 Sortly: Best for On-the-Go Inventory Management for Multiple Locations
- 7 FAQ’s
Zoho Inventory: Best Overall Free Inventory Management Software
You have access to a significant number of inventory capabilities with Zoho Inventory’s free plan, all of which make it simpler for you to manage your stock. It offers low stock warnings, kitting and packaging options, and several connectors to ecommerce platforms, customer relationship management (CRM) applications, and payment gateways, among other features. You may print packing slips and produce inexpensive shipping labels from major logistics providers like USPS and UPS straight from your dashboard using the shipping tools that are provided to you by this service. Other big logistics suppliers include FedEx.
Because of its mobile app, Zoho is not only the free inventory software that we recommend most highly for all types of small companies, but it is also the greatest option for company owners who are often on the go.
According to the results of our analysis, Zoho Inventory received a score of 4.16 out of 5. In contrast to Square, Zoho’s free plan comes with several restrictions, including a limit on the number of sales orders, labels, and tracking that may be generated each month. Additionally, Zoho’s lack of real-time and multilocation monitoring stopped it from receiving a better grade. In spite of this, Zoho is our pick for the best paid inventory management software due to its overall fantastic value and the fact that it came out on top in our study.
- Excellent mobile app
- Kitting talents
- Shipping management tools
- Integrations for online retailing
- Limits on sales and purchases made via orders
- Does not provide support for Bill of Materials (BOM), pick lists, or bin IDs
- There is no forecasting, and the sole costing method supported is FIFO
Zoho Inventory Features
- Integrations with Shopify and Zoho’s mobile e-commerce platforms for both iOS and Android devices
- Tracking by serial number and in batches
- Stripe may be used to both receive and make payments for orders and transactions.
- Organizing products into groups and bundles
- Dealing with refunds
- Sales order management
- Create and keep tabs on customers
- Packaging and shipping
- Deposit funds into the accounts of the customers and establish
- credit limits
- Track shipments
- Create purchase orders
- Barcode scanning
- Client portal
- Backorders and drop shipments
- Integrates with Shopify, Etsy, eBay, and Amazon
- Purchase order templates
- Mobile app: 4.5 out of 5 on Android; 4.6 out of 5 on iOS
- SKU generator
- Set automated reorder points
When to Upgrade
Even with a premium subscription, Zoho Inventory has restrictions on the number of sales orders that may be processed. If you need to monitor more than one warehouse, provide support for more than one currency, and create bespoke views for your processes, then upgrading to its first premium tier will meet all of your needs. The starting price for the basic plan is $79 per month, and it has a maximum of 1,500 orders per month, three users, and two warehouses. The rental fee for extra users is $3 per month, and the rental fee for additional warehouses is $10 per month. Tracking of batches and serial numbers, in addition to automated processes, is included at higher levels.
Square: Best for Retailers & Storefronts
Square is at the top of both our list of the finest POS systems and our list of the leading free POS systems because it is most well-known for its point-of-sale (POS) capabilities for businesses and restaurants. However, in addition to getting access to all of Square’s capabilities for inventory management, you also receive free use of those features for one location if you have a POS account. When you take into account everything that comes standard with a Square account—in-store sales, ecommerce integrations, mobile capabilities, and point-of-sale (POS) capabilities—Square is the best all-in-one solution for retailers who want to manage their inventory for free and sell in-store, online, and via invoice on their mobile devices.
This programme received an overall score of 4.12 out of 5, placing it only below Zoho, which offers more tools for inventory management on its own, but behind this software still. Square, on the other hand, was awarded great marks for its user-friendliness, cost, and our specialist value score. The only items that prevented Square from receiving a better score were the absence of kitting capabilities, multiple-location inventory monitoring, and sales tracking; restricted customer support hours; and reporting, vendor management, and purchase order functionality that was hidden behind a paywall. Square, much like Zoho, provides its users with a good mobile app that allows them to not only make sales but also scan things and count inventories.
- Can be used for mobile sales
- Unlimited products, including variations
- Free, user-friendly POS system
- Syncs across online, in-store, and mobile sales
- No custom reporting
- Only integrates with Square POS and Square Payments
- Cannot track perishable goods
Square Inventory Features
- Create product or item categories
- Set up automatic warnings when there are low supplies.
- Include images, descriptions, and SKU numbers for each individual product.
- You may export data to a printable spreadsheet or download the reports.
- Include and maintain a record of item modifications such as colours and sizes.
- Unlimited in terms of both items and consumers as well as transactions
- Import and manage products in bulk
- Mobile app: 4.4 out of 5 on Android; 4.8 out of 5 on iOS
- Sell on the go with Square’s mobile app
- Scan inventory barcodes and perform counts with Square mobile app
- Create product variants like size and color
- Fully integrated payment processing
- Process returns
- Create and track customer profiles
When to Upgrade
In the free edition of Square, complex inventory functions like as kitting, automated purchase orders, COGS tracking, and smart stock forecasting are not included. You will need to subscribe to Square for Retail, which costs $60 a month per store, in order to use these features. Learn more about why Square POS is the finest free inventory management software for shops by reading our comprehensive review of Square POS. On the other hand, if you would rather use another inventory software, it can interface with that.
ABC Inventory: Best for Repair Shops & Manufacturing
In spite of the fact that it is a locally installed system with an outdated interface, ABC Inventory by Almyta Systems is an ideal option for manufacturers or repair shops who have modest requirements and are looking to keep costs down. It contains capabilities such as the ability to have an infinite number of custom fields, up to ten custom dropdown lists for additional characteristics, and up to twenty tiers in its bill of materials.
ABC Inventory is open-source software, which means that it needs some level of ability to create and utilise to your liking. On the other hand, it provides you with a great deal of freedom when it comes to developing an inventory management system. In addition to this, ABC Inventory provides a multitude of features that are tailored only for manufacturing inventory. Some of these features include work orders, approvals, repair and maintenance orders, and customised serials for manufacturing or engineering. Neither Zoho nor Square includes these manufacturing-oriented capabilities by default in their packages.
Based on our assessment, ABC Inventory received a score of 3.27 out of 5. ABC Inventory has an antiquated user interface and a poor download speed, which make it difficult to use. However, the programme has won plaudits for its ability to monitor an infinite number of goods by location. In addition, other than a community forum, there is no customer assistance that can be accessed. Installing the software is limited to personal computers (PCs), and it does not automatically interact with any other apps. If you want a solution that already has a greater number of integrations as standard, Square is going to be your best alternative.
- Including administration of lease and assets as well as repairs.
- Multiple forms of communication and monetary systems
- Supports kitting
- Including operations related to production such as orders for machine assembly and consumption of components
- Older interface
- Forum customer assistance only
ABC Inventory Features
- Unlimited businesses, stockrooms, physical places, monetary systems, and brand identities
- Numerous languages, each having their own translations (popup or in-field)
- Data may be exported to a variety of formats, including Microsoft Excel, Word, and HTML.
- Orders placed for purchase
- Scheduled appointments, billing, and shipments from the warehouse
- Adjustments both positive and negative
- Barcode scanning
- Repairs to the inventory
- Leasing of available inventory
- Quick browsing and detailed search capabilities
- Make the necessary sales and shipment orders.
- Work orders
- Management of actual as well as intangible assets
- Schedule and oversee the management of warehouse appointments.
- Operations from one port to another port
- Take care of maintenance and leasing.
- Make work orders and oversee their management.
When to Upgrade
Because the free edition of ABC Inventory includes all of the tools, it is an excellent choice for a small company that just has one location for its operations. However, if you wish to use the programme on many workstations at the same time, you will need to purchase the premium version. If you want any form of customer assistance, in addition to getting one of the licences offered by Almyta Systems, you will need to pay for such service. The licences that are purchased come with free add-ons and lifetime upgrades as well.
Boxstorm: Best for Custom Tracking
Boxstorm, which was developed by Fishbowl Inventory, is a feature-rich and user-friendly inventory management system. One of its most notable capabilities is the ability to track items based on custom characteristics, which can include the expiration date, lot, serial number, and other details. This is an excellent tool for products that have a shelf life.
In our evaluation of inventory management software, Boxstorm came in at number three overall, with a score of 3.19 out of 5. It received good marks for the features of its inventory, such as barcoding, cycle counting, and automatic reordering, but the fact that it could only handle a certain number of transactions and inventory items kept it from receiving a better grade. Although it does not include a CRM manager that is as comprehensive as Zoho’s, it does offer more robust capabilities for managing vendors than Square’s free edition provides.
- Vendor management
- Includes a smartphone app for monitoring
- expiration dates and perishable commodities
- Limited items and transactions
- No variant product capabilities
- Integrations with API only
- The scanning and production of barcodes (including with mobile app)
Dealing with refunds
- Up to five photographs are allowed for each item.
- You can keep track of objects using up to five different custom fields (expiration, stock, serial number, etc.)
- Examine the items and perform the action on the whole list (ex: location change)
- Automate reordering at predefined stock levels
- Produce work/service orders, purchase orders, and sales orders.
- connections built right in with Shopify, BigCommerce, Stripe, and Shippo in addition to QuickBooks Online
- Set min/max stock levels
- The mobile app received a rating of 3.4 stars on Android and 3.2 stars on iOS.
- Get notifications by email and text message when there are low supplies.
- Transfer or move things across different places.
- Carry out the cycle counts.
- Create item categories
- Vendor management
- Forecasting on a granular scale
When to Upgrade
SalesBinder: Best for Small International Businesses
Is Zoho inventory really free?
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