Ecommerce platform: Stock management
One of the worst nightmares of any Ecommerce retailer is overselling. This happens when customers are able to place orders for items which are not in stock anymore.
So Ecommerce platform should look after stock and ensure stock quantities are correct at all times and information about product stock is clearly communicated to the customers.
And so, what should a modern-day Ecommerce platform have available in terms of stock control? Here we outline what we see as essential features, however of course always open to hear more suggestions and ideas in the comments:
1. Warehouse stock - this one is obvious, and is a figure of all products currently located in the warehouse. Naturally, things don't always go easy here as well, and instead of one warehouse a business may have multiple warehouses. So, ideally, the Ecommerce solution should be able to support multiple warehouses
2. Allocated stock - this figure is based on the orders which have been received but not dispatched yet. Hence product stock gets allocated to those orders to ensure it doesn't get sold again.
3. Temporary allocated stock - this is a new concept which has only been going for a few years. Temporary stock is stock in orders which have been placed but not paid yet, or, sometimes, is based on what customers have in their shopping carts. By its nature, temporary allocated stock should be made available to purchase after a short while if the users do not complete the purchase process. Thus, temporary allocated stock to not paid orders can be released within 24 hours and to shopping carts - within 30 minutes. Those are only suggestions can can be configured as and how business requires.
4. Stock on order - if the shopping cart software supports Purchase orders, product stock can be sold "in advance", knowing that it will definitely arrive on or before certain date (the latter is taken from the Purchase order details).
5. Stock at suppliers - again, a relatively new feature for Ecommerce, where supplier product feeds are used to pre-sell supplier stock which has not been even put on a purchase order.
6. Free stock - actual free (or available to purchase) stock which is calculated as:
Free Stock = Warehouse Stock + Stock on Order + Stock at Suppliers - Allocated Stock - Temporary Allocated Stock
Does your Ecommerce platform operate with all these stock variables? Does your business do stock control any differently? Do let us know, would love to discuss!