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Ruairi
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Hi Naomi,
If I was starting a small online business and wanted to keep costs down, I’d probably use Microsoft Access. There’s dozens of really good stock control templates you can download for free which include some useful reports – these can help you get up and running quickly and easily be tweaked to suit your workflow.

You certainly can do it in Excel, but I personally don’t think it’s a good fit. Excel is for crunching numbers whereas you need to store transactional information, like sales, demographics etc. and then report on them.

As for Xero, as stated before, it doesn’t have stock management but that’s coming soon.