Purpose and scope

Typically, stock availability is obtained in real-time from your ERP. However, you may want to manage your stock differently when you are selling products very quickly and want to ensure you do not oversell any of them. There are a number of scenarios where this might be useful to you:

  • You plan to run a sale event. So, you need to have tight control on your stock levels.

  • Your customers are checking out with the same products at the same time. Depending on stock levels, there may be conflict at Checkout that only some products are available.

  • You have a short selling window and a lot of demand, again requiring tight control of your stock levels. For example, food wholesalers must sell their food products for use later that same day.

  • Products are allocated in your warehouse after picking has started, which means you may have sold more products than you actually have available.

Primarily aimed at B2C WebShops, when this feature is switched on, stock availability is managed within WebShop. Managing stock within WebShop reduces the number of web service calls to your ERP, making it faster for you to sell and for stock to be allocated to specific orders. Once the stock assigned to WebShop has all sold, no more stock is available until you assign more stock, thus preventing overselling.

The purpose of this feature guide is to list the pre-requisites of this feature, explain how to turn it on and how it works.

Remember

This feature requires that you have integrated with a payment gateway that supports deferred payments; currently, we support deferred payments on SagePay and GlobalPayment.

Benefits

The key benefits of using this feature are:

  • it reduces or prevents the opportunity to oversell on your WebShop

  • it allows your customers to place their order in confidence, since only available stock can be allocated which in turn means their order is fulfilled

  • it allocates stock to orders when the order is submitted, providing you with tight coupling of orders with stock availability

Introducing terms and concepts used in this article

Term

Description

Deferred payment

is a credit / debit card transaction where an amount due has been authorised for payment with a credit or debit card, but the payment has yet to be charged.

Stock level

number of items of a particular product that is advertised as available to order by your customers and displayed throughout WebShop, PocketShop or SalesRep. By default, the Aphix Digital Platform is configured to use the Available stock number from your ERP. Other configuration options are also possible.

Tasks

Key points

  • Stock can be configured in your ERP but must be assigned to WebShop.

  • Only one stock location can be used.

  • Stock allocation takes place when the order is submitted.

  • Stock updates must take place at certain times - to allow for immediate stock allocation. 

  • The payment gateway must allow deferred payments; currently, we support deferred payments on SagePay and GlobalPayment.

Contact us

Contact us to switch feature on

Contact us to switch this feature on.

We'll turn it on, and talk you through the process of configuring / testing to verify it works as expected.

In particular, it is essential that you tell us which stock field you want to use for this feature, as some configuration and testing is required to verify the feature is working as expected.

Configure you stock and sell your products - quickly!

Configure

Assign a certain amount of stock to WebShop. The stock level is managed in WebShop - meaning no real-time requests for stock availability are made to your ERP while this feature is switched on. Stock levels reduce as you sell products. 

Checks are made against available stock in WebShop multiple times:

  • when the product has been added to the Cart

  • when your customer checkouts

  • when your customer attempts to either pay for the order (via a payment gateway with deferred payments enabled) 

If there is no stock available at any of these checkpoints, a message notifies your customer that one or more products they want is no longer available.

If all products are out of stock, your customer is:

  • informed products are no longer available and

  • are not charged

If some products are out in stock, your customer:

  • is informed which products are available and which products are not available

  • has a 5 minute time period to purchase the in-stock products before the stock reservation for those products is removed

  • can cancel the order, and is not charged

Once submitted, orders are queued to be placed into your ERP in real-time. Since the products ordered have already been allocated against existing stock in WebShop, there is little risk of over-selling products.

Once there is no available stock left, an Out of Stock is displayed until you assign more stock to WebShop. 

Restock WebShop

Restock

When you have sold all stock assigned to WebShop, it is time to re-stock.

The timing of your re-stock is crucial - we can set up a regular automatic task that resets stock in WebShop to a value you have configured in your ERP when all orders have been placed and allocated in your ERP to avoid any risk of over-selling products. 

Key points

  • The regular automatic import stock task used in this feature replaces the existing 'regular' B2C stock import while the feature is switched on.

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