April 29, 2024

Best Free Inventory Management Software for 2024

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Free inventory management software enables budget-conscious SMBs to automate the tracking of stock levels, orders, sales, and deliveries without incurring additional costs. These solutions provide essential insights in real-time, streamline operations, reduce manual errors, and help avoid common issues such as overstocking or understocking, making them a key tool for operational efficiency.

This guide covers six of the top free inventory management software options for 2024, tailored for various business needs:

  • Square: Best for retailers and restaurants
  • Zoho: Best for large inventories
  • Sortly: Best for low-volume sales
  • SalesBinder: Best for multilocation tracking
  • Boxstorm: Best for warehouse management
  • Odoo: Best for automation features
Square Zoho Sortly SalesBinder Boxstorm Odoo
Pricing (per month) Free – $79 Free – $249 Free – $149 Free – $99 Free – $79 Free – $37.40
Software integrations Excellent Excellent Poor Poor Good Good (cost per integration may incur)
Mobile app ✔ (iOS only)
Customer support Online forum, phone, email, live chat

6am–6pm PST Mon–Fri
Phone, email

24 hr/day Mon – Fri
Online help request form only Phone, email

9:30am–5pm PST Mon–Fri
Phone, email, live chat

8am–5pm MST Mon–Fri
Phone, email, live chat

Support hours not listed; vary by country
Scalability Good Good Fair Excellent Excellent Excellent
Learn more
Visit Square
Visit Zoho
Visit Sortly
Visit SalesBinder
Visit Boxstorm
Visit Odoo

Not seeing the right solution for your needs? Check out our comprehensive guide to the Best Inventory Management Software.

Square: Best for retailers and restaurants


Pros

  • Unlimited users, locations, items/products, and transactions
  • Specialized plans for niche markets
  • Easy to use
  • Extensive integrations

Cons

  • No batch and expiry tracking features
  • Limited custom reporting
  • Square ecosystem restriction
Square logo.

Our Rating: 4.96/5

Read more:Best POS Hardware for Business in 2024

  • Allowances: Square supports unlimited products, users, and transactions in all its plans, allowing businesses to expand without constraints. However, transaction processing fees apply to both free and paid plans as part of Square’s payment processing services.
  • Inventory tracking: Create product or item categories, Automated low stock alerts, Import and manage products in bulk, Create product variants and modifiers like size and color, Track inventory between location and sales channels
  • Tracking and item management: Offering sophisticated product categorization and support for GTIN/SKU barcodes, Square facilitates comprehensive tracking. While the free plan includes essential tools, paid plans expand the system’s capabilities with inventory counting, automatic purchase orders, label printing, and enhanced vendor management.
  • Integrated ecosystem: Square provides a seamless suite of tools, including payment processing, POS, online sales, and customer management, streamlining operations with less administrative overhead. Its integrated ecosystem simplifies retail business operations but may limit use with certain third-party tools.
  • Ecommerce and omnichannel: With a free online store builder that integrates directly with Square, businesses can launch a custom-branded store, syncing inventory in real-time across digital and physical storefronts and enabling sales on social channels and various shipping or pickup options.
  • Mobile app: Square’s mobile app facilitates real-time inventory management from anywhere, featuring stock transfers, purchase orders, label printing, barcode scanning, and receiving low-stock alerts for comprehensive on-the-go management.
  • Usability: Square’s user-friendly interface is supported by extensive training, support, and compatibility with various hardware, including barcode scanners, printers, and cash drawers, making it accessible and efficient for users.

All Square plans, both free and paid, incur POS processing fees ranging from 2.5% + 10 cents per transaction to 3.5% + 15 cents per sales transaction.

  • Forever free Plan: Offers essential inventory management, POS, and a complimentary ecommerce site, ideal for startups and small businesses looking to establish their operations without initial costs.
  • Square Plus for Retail: $29/month per location, with enhanced inventory and sales management features.
  • Square Premium: $79/month per location, with lower processing rate and enhanced customer support
  • Square for Restaurants: $60/month per location, includes one countertop POS and supports unlimited kitchen display systems.

Square POS is widely known for its user-friendliness and affordability for small retail businesses, and its included inventory management solution makes it one of our top picks. It delivers niche-specific features and flexibility in product cataloging that outshines competitors like Zoho. It offers a holistic, secure, and dependable platform that integrates flawlessly with Square’s extensive POS and payment processing services, delivering an all-in-one solution for retail and restaurant operations.

Pricing: 3.75/5

Core Features: 3.0/5

Usability: 3.75/5

Integration and Compatibility: 4.58/5

Security and Reliability: 5.0/5

User Scores: 4.70/5

Square is the go-to choice for small retailers and restaurants, as well as our top-rated pick overall. Every Square for Retail account comes with essential features like live inventory tracking, ecommerce integration, mobile support, a POS (point-of-sale) system, detailed order management, product variant capabilities, and more.

Unlike most other providers on our list, Square’s forever-free plan comes with no limits on users, locations, items/products, or transactions. It also features robust integrations with a native ecosystem of retail-oriented hardware and software. This enables it to support businesses as they scale from microbusinesses to mid- and large-scale multilocation operations with plans and tools for businesses in a variety of niches.

Read more: Best Restaurant POS Systems for 2024

Zoho Inventory: Best for large inventories


Pros

  • Robust free plan
  • Comprehensive purchase orders and vendor management capabilities
  • Intuitive user interface and highly-rated mobile app
  • Strong data security with a 99.9% uptime commitment
  • Excellent software integrations

Cons

  • Limited automation tools
  • Limited order fulfillment features
  • No batch or expiry tracking available without upgrading
  • Multi-location support not included
Zoho Inventory logo.

Our Rating: 4.76/5

  • Inventory tracking: Zoho Inventory offers real-time tracking, allowing businesses to monitor items individually or by groups and variants with detailed information, including SKU numbers, prices, and quantities. However, its lack of pick lists and batch/expiry support may limit functionality for some operations.
  • Vendor and purchase order management: Zoho comes with advanced capabilities to manage up to 20 purchase orders and 20 bills per month, vendor credits, and payments, including support for multi-currency vendors.
  • Scalability: Zoho provides key inventory features without any upfront costs, and allows businesses to seamlessly transition to more advanced paid plans as they grow. These plans provide increased limits and additional functionalities, including batch tracking, multi-warehouse management, and advanced reporting, to support scalability.
  • Centralized multi-channel management: Zoho excels in managing sales and inventory data across multiple channels, offering integrations with leading platforms like Amazon, eBay, Shopify, and Etsy on a single dashboard to simplify multichannel selling.
  • Customization and intuitive interface: Zoho’s UI balances customization and ease of use, making it accessible to users with different levels of tech-savvy.
  • Software integration: Extensive API availability and pre-built integrations with a broad range of software are available, alongside a highly-rated mobile application for both iOS and Android devices.
  • Security and reliability: Zoho adheres to stringent data security measures with a solid uptime 99% guarantee (unlike many competing providers), ensuring business operations remain uninterrupted.

Beyond its free plan, Zoho offers multiple paid subscriptions. Many of its upgraded options are highly affordable, but the cost of its upper-tier paid subscriptions can make growth expensive for small businesses.

  • Free: 50 orders/month, 2 users, 1 warehouse
  • Standard: $29/month – 500 orders/month, 2 users, 1 warehouse
  • Professional: $79/month – 3,000 orders/month, 2 users, 2 warehouses
  • Premium: $129/month – 3,000 orders/month, 2 users, 3 warehouses
  • Enterprise: $249/month – 15,000 orders/month, 7 users, 7 warehouses

Zoho is one of our top picks thanks to its comprehensive set of features that can be used to manage small and large inventories alike— as well as a variety of business models, sales channels, product types, and operational complexities. While the free plan offers a solid starting point, the platform’s scalability ensures that businesses can expand their inventory management capabilities as needed. We also like that it provides an intuitive and eBay-to-learn interface that delivers enterprise-level security and reliability. However, its lack of multilocation support and batch tracking impacted our ratings.

  • Pricing: 4.38/5
  • Core Features: 2.50/5
  • Usability: 3.75/5
  • Integration and Compatibility: 3.75/5
  • Security and Reliability: 5.00/5
  • User Scores: 4.43/5 

Zoho Inventory is a powerful solution for businesses looking to manage large inventories efficiently. With its structured free plan and excellent scalability, Zoho caters to businesses’ growing needs with advanced inventory categorization, order fulfillment, and centralized multichannel management features. The platform also excels in handling vendor management, composite items, and dropshipping, all within a user-friendly web or mobile app.

Sortly: Best for low-volume sales


Pros

  • Excellent standalone app
  • Simple and easy-to-use
  • Supports multiple locations
  • Highly-rated mobile app with offline mode
  • Very customizable

Cons

  • Limited core features with no vendor management
  • Restrictive scalability
  • Limited customer support options
  • No built-in ecommerce, shipping, or POS integrations (API only)
Sortly logo.

Our Rating: 4.51/5

  • User interface: Sortly’s interface is highly intuitive, making it accessible to businesses of all tech skill levels. Its cloud-based, modern design stands out, especially for small businesses, microbusinesses, and startups prioritizing simplicity with a minimal learning curve. 
  • Mobile app: While many of the providers on our list offer a mobile app, Sortly’s os the only one that ensures uninterrupted inventory management with its offline mode. This feature is ideal for on-the-go inventory tracking across multiple locations, syncing data as soon as an internet connection is re-established.
  • Hardware compatibility: Sortly excels in barcode and QR code management, supporting the scanning, creation, and printing of labels through a variety of compatible hardware devices, enhancing inventory tracking efficiency.
  • Customization: Although the free plan is limited to one custom field, Sortly offers significant customization options, including user access, folders, fields, and tags, allowing businesses to tailor the platform to their unique needs.
  • Integration and compatibility: Sortly offers minimal direct software integrations but its open API enables businesses to connect with existing systems. Noteworthy pre-built integrations include QuickBooks, Microsoft Teams, and Slack, though creating custom connections may require additional technical resources.

As your business grows, Sortly offers upgraded paid plans with more advanced features to accommodate it. That said, it’s a small business-oriented software that offers significantly less scalability for large companies than competitors like Zoho and SalesBinder. 

  • Free: Up to 100 items, 1 user, 1 custom field – $0/month
  • Advanced: Up to 2,000 items, 2 users, up to 10 custom fields – $49/month
  • Ultra: Up to 10,000 items, 5 users, up to 25 custom fields – $149/month
  • Enterprise: Customizable for unlimited items and 10+ users – Custom pricing

Sortly is uniquely positioned as a user-friendly, standalone app designed for startups as well as micro and small businesses. Its focus on simplicity, combined with effective inventory management features, makes it an excellent entry point for those looking to organize and track their inventory without the complexity of more extensive systems. Although it lacks scalability and some advanced features, its strengths in usability, cost-effectiveness, and mobile accessibility present a solid foundation for businesses prioritizing straightforward inventory management.

Pricing: 4.38/5

Core Features: 1.50/5

Usability: 3.33/5

Integration and Compatibility: 2.92/5

Security and Reliability: 5.0/5

User Scores: 4.5/5 

Sortly stands out as the perfect inventory management solution for microbusinesses and small businesses seeking a straightforward, standalone app. Its simplicity and ease of use, combined with a free plan that caters to basic needs, make it a great choice for businesses just starting out or those with minimal inventory management requirements. While the platform scores lower in scalability and core features, it’s a great choice for low-volume businesses that don’t need extensive inventory management and order processing tools.

SalesBinder: Best for multilocation management


Pros

  • Multi-currency handling and availability in 130+ countries
  • Robust multilocation tracking features
  • Highly affordable paid plans
  • Barcode scanning and generation

Cons

  • No pre-built integrations on free plan (API only)
  • Limited item allowances
  • Limited training and support options
SalesBinder logo.

Our Rating: 4.12/5

  • Multilocation inventory management: SalesBinder offers robust management for inventories spread across multiple locations. It integrates all location data into a single, purpose-built dashboard for unified tracking, making it easier to oversee stock levels, movements, and adjustments across all operational areas. This ensures efficient inventory distribution and control.
  • Inventory tracking: The platform updates inventory levels in real-time across unlimited locations, with efficiency tools like barcode generation, printing, and scanning. Automated low-stock alerts and detailed inventory reports also help prevent stockouts and optimize stock levels.
  • Integrated CRM: Unique to SalesBinder, including CRM (customer relationship management) capabilities within its free inventory management software enables businesses to maintain detailed customer records, including purchase history and contact information, in one place.
  • Global accessibility: SalesBinder operates in over 130 countries, offering seamless multi-currency handling. This global reach, combined with language customization for documents, ensures businesses can easily manage international operations.
  • Customization: You can tailor SalesBinder to your operational needs with customizable inventory fields and user permissions. Its comprehensive reporting tools also allow for high levels of customization, providing valuable insights into inventory trends and financial metrics.
  • Versatile order management: Beyond standard inventory tracking, SalesBinder supports a range of operations such as vendor management, purchase order placement, sales orders, and packing lists creation.

SalesBinder offers the most affordable paid plans on our list, with subscriptions starting at just $9/month. Even the provider’s top-tier plan, which comes with generous allowances, is highly economical. 

It’s worth noting that native integrations are only available on certain tiers of the paid plans.

  • Starter: $9/month – 2,500 active records, 1 user, 0 integrations
  • Bronze: $19/month – 5,000 active records, 5 users, 1 integration
  • Silver: $49/month – 25,000 active records, 25 users, 3 integrations
  • Gold: $99/month – 100,000 active records, 50 users, unlimited integrations

SalesBinder is recommended for its comprehensive approach to inventory management, especially for businesses operating across multiple locations. Its advanced tracking features, coupled with affordable options for growth, make it a leading choice for effectively managing inventory in a multilocation or international setup. That said, its lack of pre-built integrations on the free plan makes it a poor fit for multichannel sellers.

Pricing: 4.69/5

Core Features: 4.0/5

Usability: 3.75/5

Integration and Compatibility: 2.92/5

Security and Reliability: 5.0/5

User Scores: 4.7/5

SalesBinder is an inventory management system with unique features that support businesses managing products across multiple locations. It also provides the accessibility and tools needed for operating internationally. It provides a detailed, real-time overview of stock across various locations and the advantage of integrated CRM features. With highly affordable plans designed to cater to both SMBs and large-scale companies, SalesBinder streamlines inventory control, enhances customer relationship management, and optimizes operational efficiency.

BoxStorm: Best for warehouse inventory management


Pros

  • Top-rated in user reviews
  • High-quality support
  • Advanced vendor management and WMS tools
  • Backed by Fishbowl’s reputable software ecosystem
  • Robust hardware integrations

Cons

  • Limited categorization features
  • Restrictive user, location, item, and transaction allowances
  • No multi-location support on free plan
  • System reliability may vary, with no guarantees for uptime
Boxstorm logo.

Our Rating: 4.6/5

  • Advanced Tracking and Custom Reporting: Boxstorm offers sophisticated tracking for inventory items using lot, expiration, and serial numbers, and allows for detailed categorization through tags. Combined with custom reporting, businesses gain better oversight and insight into their inventory status.
  • Vendor management: Boxstorm offers vendor portals for streamlined communication, automated purchasing to generate replenishment orders efficiently, and detailed vendor profiles to store essential information and preferences. These features help improve procurement efficiency, supply chain transparency, and vendor relationships.
  • Scalability: Although the free plan has restrictive allowances, Boxstorm is designed to grow with your business, offering plans that accommodate an unlimited number of users, locations, items, and transactions under the Pro plan, making it an ideal platform for expanding operations.
  • Integrations: Unique among free inventory management software, Boxstorm is designed to integrate seamlessly with QuickBooks Online, eliminating double data entry and enhancing financial and inventory record accuracy. Its other pre-built integrations are limited to Stripe, Shippo, and BigCommerce, but an open API is available. 
  • Advanced tracking and custom reporting: Boxstorm offers sophisticated tracking for inventory items using lot, expiration, and serial numbers, and allows for detailed categorization through tags. Combined with custom reporting, businesses gain better oversight and insight into their inventory status.

Read more: The Best Supply Chain Management Software & Tools

At $79/month, Boxstorm’s Pro plan offers significant scalability for growing businesses and unlimited access to all features. 

  • Pro: $79/month – 1 user, unlimited items, unlimited locations, unlimited transactions
    • +$9/month per additional user

Given that warehouse management tools, encompassing inventory management solutions, usually come with a high price tag, BoxStorm’s free plan presents an exceptional value. It caters to businesses in search of specialized functions such as advanced vendor management, operational automation, and broad hardware support, all at no cost. Plus, the software has glowing user reviews from satisfied business ideas and comes with high-quality customer service. Ultimately, BoxStorm’s blend of comprehensive features, scalability, and affordability positions it as a standout solution for effective and economical warehouse inventory management.

Pricing: 4.25/5

Core Features: 4.5/5

Usability: 4.5/5

Integration and Compatibility: 4.0/5

Security and Reliability: 4.0/5

User Scores: 4.6/5

BoxStorm is a cloud-based inventory management system particularly designed for warehouse operations. Developed by Fishbowl, a leader in large-scale WMS and inventory solutions, BoxStorm offers a range of automated features designed to streamline warehouse operations— including purchase orders, vendor management, and stock alerts. Its user-friendly interface, paired with the backing of Fishbowl’s robust software ecosystem, makes BoxStorm a solid choice for businesses looking to manage their warehouse inventories more efficiently.

Odoo: Best for automation and scalability


Pros

  • Unlimited users, locations, and products
  • Advanced automation features
  • Exceptional vendor management tools
  • Custom reporting, forecasting, and alerts

Cons

  • Complex UI with steep learning curve
  • Integrations may incur added costs
  • Poorly-rated mobile app
Odoo logo.

Our Rating: 3.99/5

  • Automation features: Odoo streamlines inventory management with robust automation capabilities, including smart replenishment strategies that anticipate stock needs and automatically generate purchase orders to prevent out-of-stock scenarios. Workflow automation further enhances efficiency by setting up custom rules for actions such as order confirmations, stock adjustments, and low stock alerts, significantly reducing manual workload and minimizing human error.
  • Inventory tracking: With its double-entry system, Odoo offers detailed inventory tracking and full product traceability, from supplier to customer. Features like serial and lot tracking, along with expiration date management, ensure compliance and customer satisfaction with accurate inventory data.
  • Reporting: Odoo provides detailed reporting tools for inventory analysis, including customizable reports on stock levels, sales trends, and performance. Its analytics support strategic decision-making with insights into inventory valuation, product movement, and forecast accuracy, helping to optimize inventory and increase profitability.
  • Open-sourced: Odoo’s open-source platform allows for extensive customization and integration, catering to unique business needs. 
  • Warehouse management system (WMS): Odoo’s WMS tools can help support everything from receiving to shipping. It facilitates efficient order processing with barcode scanning, real-time adjustments, and automated warehouse operations, boosting productivity and operational workflows.
  • Integrations: Odoo offers a variety of pre-built, seamless connections, including ecommerce, HR, finance, and sales platforms, plus shipping carriers. However, many integrations incur a one-time fee ranging from $4.99–$800+.
  • Customization and reporting: You can tailor Odoo to fit your business needs with custom reporting, alerts, and automation. However, be prepared for a steep learning curve to unlock its full potential.

As your business grows, Odoo offers upgraded paid plan options with better features and additional apps to handle tasks, including marketing, sales, productivity, POS, accounting, and more. 

  • Standard: $24.90/month per user- all Odoo online apps 
  • Custom: $37.40/month per user –  all Odoo online apps plus Odoo.sh virtual cloud server, Odoo Studio, and external API

Read more: What Are the Different Types of POS Systems? 

Odoo is recommended for businesses prioritizing automation and comprehensive scalability in their free inventory management software. Its set of features, from handling complex warehouse operations to automating replenishments and vendor communications, makes it a powerful tool for businesses looking to minimize manual processes and focus on growth. However, its complexity and steep learning curve mean it may be better suited for organizations with the technical expertise to fully leverage its capabilities.

Pricing: 5.00/5

Core Features: 4.75/5

Usability: 2.92/5

Integration and Compatibility: 2.08/5

Security and Reliability: 5.0/5

User Scores: 4.10/5

Odoo is an ideal choice for businesses seeking comprehensive, highly automated free inventory management software capable of scaling with their growth. Its free plan comes with generous allowances, offering unlimited users, products, and locations. It is coupled with a suite of advanced features that cater to a wide range of inventory and supply chain needs. Odoo’s biggest strength lies in its automation capabilities, optimizing warehouse operations, replenishments, and vendor management with minimal manual intervention.

Read more: How to Choose the Best Inventory Management Software 

Choosing the right inventory management software for your business

Finding the right free inventory management software is a critical step for budget-conscious businesses aiming to optimize their inventory control without incurring additional costs. The ideal software should offer a comprehensive overview of your inventory in real-time, reducing the likelihood of stock discrepancies, overstocking, or running out of key items. 

It’s essential to assess how well a system can streamline your inventory processes, from tracking stock levels across multiple locations to integrating with sales channels for a unified operational view. This ensures that your business can respond dynamically to customer demands while maintaining efficient inventory levels.

When researching free inventory management solutions, consider the unique requirements of your operation. This includes the complexity and volume of your inventory, the specific sales channels you use, and your plans for future growth. The software’s ability to integrate seamlessly with your existing tech stack—such as accounting software or ecommerce platforms— is also crucial. Additionally, look for features that cater to the unique aspects of your business, whether you need support for backordering, dropshipping, multilocation management, or handling composite items. 

Ultimately, the best free inventory management software is one that not only fits your current operational needs but also supports your growth ambitions. It should enable you to make informed decisions based on accurate, up-to-date inventory data, streamline your order fulfillment process, and improve overall customer satisfaction. By carefully evaluating your options and choosing a system that offers the right mix of features, usability, and scalability, you can set your business up for success in managing one of its most important assets: its inventory.

Featured Partners: Inventory Management

1 Fireberry

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Fireberry is an all inclusive and customizable platform made to centralize all your business needs. Expedite your processes and pipelines with automations and data analytics. Work comfortably and efficiently to manage all your business needs and up your revenue.

Learn more about Fireberry

2 CrankWheel

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Share your screen friction-free with prospects in seconds. CrankWheel adds screen sharing capabilities to any phone call and your prospects can see your screen instantly from any device without installing an app.

CrankWheel is ideal for remote sales when you need visuals to support your pitch. CrankWheel is used for life and health insurance sales, solar sales, selling digital marketing to small businesses, financial planning, and home services.

Learn more about CrankWheel

3 Pipedrive

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Kick your sales into gear. In sales, spreadsheets and email tools are only a baseline. To drive sales consistently, you need more advanced software solutions.

Sales software –or a sales platform ​– is a centralized sales hub that’s designed to empower salespeople to collaborate, optimize their sales process and forecast sales cycles. And that’s not all – a sales platform is excellent for enhancing the customer journey and customer experience, generating new business and reducing overall costs.

Learn more about Pipedrive

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The best manual method for tracking inventory is by using a spreadsheet, where you can log purchase and sale dates, quantities, and prices for each item. It’s essential to consistently update this spreadsheet for accurate stock levels and insights. However, opting for free inventory management software can offer significant advantages— such as automated tracking, reduced errors, and enhanced operational efficiency.

Free inventory management software can work for many businesses, especially small to medium-sized ones. It automates stock tracking, reduces errors, and improves efficiency compared to free alternative methods. However, its effectiveness depends on your business’s complexity, volume of transactions, and specific inventory management needs.


Katie-Jay Simmons Avatar

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