The Best Inventory Management Apps of 2020
Choosing a good mobile inventory tracker can make it easier to manage your products on the go. We’ve reviewed the options and narrowed it down to the top five apps on the market.
Best overallIntuitive and easy to useTrusted by top brands nationwide
Best mobile salesOn-the-go point-of-sale featureMobile receipt generation
Best reportingAnalysis and sales reportsColor-coded inventory lists for easy analysis
Best for warehousingSort-by-location featureBuilt-in barcode scanning
Best software tie-inSyncs with full-featured cloud softwareEasy order picking and item scanning
Inventory management software is an essential tool for running your business. But not all companies do business from a single location. Warehouse managers, sales representatives, and owners of mobile businesses need a way to manage inventory while on the go.
If your business falls into one of these categories, getting an inventory system with a user-friendly mobile app makes a lot of sense. With a richly featured mobile app for inventory tracking, you can scan incoming and outgoing products, check stock levels, generate sales and purchase orders, and more—all from your smartphone.
The only question is: Which mobile apps are best for inventory tracking? Here are our top five picks.
While many inventory management platforms offer apps for desktop and laptop computers, we want to clarify that this review will focus exclusively on the best inventory tracking apps for tablets and smartphones. That way, we can provide the best advice for business owners looking to manage their inventory on the go.
Top inventory management apps at a glance
When analyzing the options for mobile inventory tracking solutions, we focused on the features we thought would be most helpful for employees who need inventory management on the go.
To that end, we primarily compared each app’s barcode scanning, warehouse management, and sales functionality. We also considered a couple of more advanced inventory management features, like item kitting and reporting.
Here’s how our top five apps stack up:
|Feature||Sortly||Inventory Now||On Shelf||Stock Control||inFlow Inventory|
|Built-in barcode scanning||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Sales, invoices, and receipts||✘||✔||✔||✘||✔|
|View Plans||View Plans||View Plans||View Plans||View Plans|
Sortly: Best overall inventory management app
All of the options on our list include the features most commonly used by inventory managers on the go. But Sortly goes a step further, offering features that no other apps have.
For starters, Sortly includes an offline mode, which allows you to scan incoming and outgoing items even when your smartphone can’t find a signal. Once you come back online, all your offline activity syncs with your account for seamless inventory tracking company-wide.
We also like that Sortly doesn’t just offer barcode scanning—it also supports QR codes. That gives your company more flexibility to choose the scanning method that works best for your business.
When you consider that Sortly is basically a full-featured inventory control system, it’s plans are very reasonably priced:
- Free ($0/mo.): Up to 100 transaction entries per month
- Advanced ($49/mo. or $468/yr.): Up to 2,000 transaction entries per month
- Ultra ($119/mo. or $1,138/yr.): Unlimited transaction entries
Considering all the features you get for under $120 per month, we think Sortly’s a pretty great deal.
Inventory Now: Best app for on-the-go sales
If you run a mobile business (like a food truck or pop-up store) or attend a lot of trade shows, Inventory Now may be the inventory app you need.
Inventory Now pairs with PayPal Here to essentially replace your business’s point-of-sale (POS) system. This gives you the ability to generate sales orders as you make your sale, as well as process payment for the order and set the order fulfillment process into motion immediately—all from your Android or iOS mobile device. You can also use this feature to process customer payments without investing in an expensive POS register.
Inventory Now software also supports item kitting (allowing you to group items together for bundles) and built-in barcode scanning. You can even generate UPC and SKU numbers within the app for use in barcode generation.
If your business sells fewer than 20 inventory items, you can use Inventory Now for free. Otherwise, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan. Inventory Now offers three plan options:
- Personal ($7/mo. or $60/yr.): Unlimited items, access on up to 3 devices
- Professional ($14/mo. or $144/yr.): Access on up to 10 devices, checkout with Square
- Enterprise ($99+/mo.): Dedicated servers, custom features, phone support
Keep in mind that the Enterprise plan starts at $99 per month, but the exact price will depend on the custom features you need.
On Shelf: Best app for inventory reports
On Shelf’s biggest selling point is its advanced analytics and reporting features. On Shelf offers perpetual inventory tracking, so the stock displayed in your app reflects your current inventory levels—not your inventory levels from the end of yesterday. This up-to-the-minute reporting makes it easier to make smart business decisions on the go.
What’s more, On Shelf displays your inventory list with color coding to indicate your business’s most and least profitable items so you can quickly hone in on your highest priority items. You can also access graphs showing sales trends for each product. On Shelf will even recommend correct inventory levels for each item so you never have to worry about ordering excess inventory again.
The biggest downside? On Shelf is available only on iOS devices, so any employees using an Android smartphone will need their own iPhone or iPad to access your inventory tracking system.
On Shelf is free for up to 15 inventory items. After that, the price varies depending on the length of your subscription and the number of users you need. For a single user, plans start at $2.99 per month, while multi-user plans start at $4.99 per month (or $49.99 per year). You’ll also need to pay extra if you want your inventory system backed up on the cloud.
Stock Control: Best inventory app for warehouse management
Have you ever tried to find a single item in a crowded back room or a huge warehouse? Stock Control makes it a lot easier to find that needle in a haystack.
With the Stock Control inventory app, you can attach detailed, custom location info to each item. So if an item’s stored in your back room, you can specify that it’s on the fourth shelf from the top along the back wall. Or you can attach the bin, row, and zone numbers for items within your warehouse. This level of detail makes asset tracking, order picking, and warehousing a lot faster and easier.
We also like that Stock Control lets you generate PDF catalogs of your items based on your current inventory levels. You can then share these PDF catalogs on your sales channels, ensuring that your customers only order items that are currently in stock.
Be advised, though: the Stock Control app is available only on iOS devices, so Android users are out of luck.
Like the On Shelf app, Stock Control is free to use if you’re managing fewer than 15 items. After that, you’ll have to upgrade to the full version of the app for $26.99, though it’s unclear whether that’s a one-time fee or a monthly subscription rate.
inFlow Inventory: Best tie-in app for full-service inventory software
As much as we like the options we’ve included on this list, the fact is that mobile-only software is more limited in the features available. A mobile interface just isn’t capable of offering all the features and customization you could enjoy on a desktop computer or laptop.
If you need an inventory management software with a little more oomph that can still offer easy-to-use mobile functions, we think inFlow Inventory may be the best pick for your business.
With inFlow Inventory, you get the desktop features of a complete inventory management platform—including team management, vendor and customer tracking, and order management. In addition, inFlow’s mobile app allows you to use a built-in barcode reader to scan items, adjust stock levels, and create new sales orders and purchase orders from anywhere.
People often think that you can use the inFlow Inventory app completely free, but that’s not 100% true. Yes, the app itself is free. And yes, inFlow does offer a free service option (inFlow On-Premise). But the free plan only includes local software, meaning you can’t access it from your mobile device.
To use the inFlow Inventory app, you’ll need to sign up for a paid subscription. inFlow offers three plans:
- Light ($71/mo.): 1 inventory location, up to 100 orders per month
- Standard ($179/mo.): Unlimited inventory locations, up to 1,000 orders per month
- Plus ($359/mo.): Unlimited orders per month
Inventory tracking app FAQ
Is there an app to keep track of inventory?
There are actually hundreds of apps to help you keep track of your inventory. Some (like the majority of the apps on our list) operate as mobile-based inventory trackers, meaning they don’t sync up with other inventory management systems. Other apps act as a mobile extension to your inventory management system, complementing their parent software. Both options are effective ways to track and manage your inventory on the go.
What is the best program to keep track of inventory?
If you’re looking for a comprehensive inventory management tool that can track your inventory items, orders, and supply chain efficiency, we think Cin7 is the best option. But if you’re looking for a more scaled-back, mobile solution, we prefer the Sortly app for iOS and Android devices.
How can I keep track of my inventory for free?
If you’re looking for a mobile app that can help you track your inventory for free on your iOS or Android device, Sortly, Inventory Now, On Shelf, and Stock Control all offer a $0 per month starting price. The only trick is these platforms limit the number of items you can manage on a free plan.
Alternatively, you could try a free, desktop-based inventory control platform. Our favorite free inventory management software is inFlow On-Premise, but Zoho Inventory and PartKeepr are close contenders.
Another free option is to simply track your inventory manually using Google Sheets, Excel, or other software. These options may not be available on your mobile device, but they should work well nonetheless if your business has only basic inventory needs.
Want to learn more about how to manage your inventory in an Excel spreadsheet? Check out our guide to Excel inventory management or download our free inventory management spreadsheet template to get started.
How is inventory tracked?
Inventory tracking, at its core, is pretty simple. When new items come in, you update your inventory levels and make a note of where the products are being stored. When an item is moved, you update the item’s location in your inventory management system. When items are sold, you subtract those items from your inventory levels.
The biggest trick with inventory tracking is ensuring that you’re staying on top of things and updating your inventory frequently and accurately. Inventory management software can be helpful since it offers more opportunities for automation (like automatically deducting sold items from your inventory), which reduces error. But you definitely can track your inventory manually if needed.
Inventory apps like Sortly, Inventory Now, On Shelf, and Stock Control are effective platforms for managing your physical inventory—even when you’re away from your warehouse. These options deliver easy, on-the-go sales features, built-in barcode readers, and many of the basic tools needed to track your inventory on the go.
inFlow Inventory is another promising app if your business needs more in-depth inventory management features. It syncs up with your inFlow account so you can still get order management and supply chain management features, in addition to many of the mobile features offered by the other apps on our list.
To find out more about desktop- and laptop-based apps, check out our guide to the best inventory management software options.
At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don’t guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.