ConsignCloud uses optional inventory Categories in a number of ways to make managing your resale store more efficient. Mastering categories early and using them often will give you access to valuable ConsignCloud features as your store grows.
While categories are not strictly necessary, it is helpful to create categories early on during store setup so they are available when it's time to start entering items and analyzing sales. To set up your categories:
- Go to Menu » Settings » Categories in ConsignCloud
- Click the + Add Category button.
- Select a Name and Department for your new category. The name can be anything you'd like. Departments are used mostly for analysis — just pick whatever seems closest. It can be changed later.
Pro tip: Categories work best when they match natural sections or departments you'd find in a typical retail store. Think about how you arrange your inventory — you may group tops or pants together, or you may have a housewares section in your store. It's not necessary to get them correct right off the bat, and your categories will grow and change right along with your store.
Try to keep your categories list short. ConsignCloud asks you to choose a category when entering items or setting up table filters, and if your list is too long or a lot of your categories are similarly named, it will slow you down and lead to errors down the road.
Using categories during item entry
During item entry, ConsignCloud uses categories to help speed things up by pre-filling the Description field with the category. This works well a lot of the time, because most stores group things like jeans or shirts together. This isn't always the case, though — you may have a category called Accessories that makes sense on your sales floor but doesn't work on individual item tags. That's perfectly fine! After ConsignCloud pre-fills the Description field, if it's not a good fit, just enter what should go into the Title instead. The category will stay put but tags and receipts will show the more appropriate Description field everywhere that matters.
Using categories for sales and inventory analysis
When it's time to roll up your sleeves and start analyzing your sales data, Categories are a powerful tool. Many stores eventually face high-level questions like whether or not they should continue to sell a certain kind of item — for instance, a growing number of resale stores are reducing the size of their Women's Pants sections or eliminating them altogether. Categories will help you determine whether or not a decision like that is right for your store.
To analyze your data by category, you'll use the Inventory Table and possibly also export spreadsheets for deep dives. The exact process depends on your unique question, but to get started:
- Go to your Inventory Table.
- Add the appropriate filters.
- Click the Export button, found near the top right of the table.