How ProductCart Adjusts Inventory Levels
ProductCart automatically keeps inventory levels updated for you. When you add a new product to your product catalog, you have the ability to specify the initial inventory level. As orders are submitted for a particular product, the inventory level for that product is adjusted accordingly.
- Inventory levels are adjusted immediately at the time an order is placed. So when an order is pending, the inventory levels for the purchased products has already been adjusted.
- When an order is processed the inventory is not updated, since it had already been updated when the order was initially placed.
- When an order is edited, the inventory level of a specific product is updated according to the changes made to the ordered quantity (if any).
- When an order is cancelled, the inventory level is reinstated.
- When an order is shipped, then partially or fully returned, inventory levels are NOT updated. The rationale behind this behavior is that the customer may be returning a product that is damaged. So ProductCart leaves it up to the store administrator to decide whether the inventory level should be adjusted or not.
Manually Updating Inventory Levels
Since you may receive new shipments of products, or produce new products, etc. you need to be able to change the inventory settings at any time. You can update the inventory levels:
- Editing products one by one
- Importing data
You can import a file that will append data to the product database (learn about updating the store database using the Import Wizard)
- Using the Update Inventory Levels feature located under Products > Update Multiple Products > Update Inventory Levels.
When you use this feature, you will be shown a list of all products in your product catalog and their inventory level. You can sort products by SKU, product name or inventory level using the small arrows located next to the column name. You can also Show Back-Ordered Items only and Show Out-of-Stock Items only using the corresponding check boxes.
To adjust the value in the Inventory Level column, use the Add Units field. Enter a positive number to add units to the current inventory level. Enter a negative number to decrease the current inventory level. Make sure to check the check button next to the products for which you have entered values, and then click on the Update button to apply the change.
If you wish to change the inventory level on multiple products by the same amount, select the products to which the change will apply, enter a positive or negative amount at the bottom of the page, and then click on the Update button. Click on the Check All link to select all products that appear on the page.
Inventory and Inventory settings
Now, let’s look at how the inventory settings located in the Store Settings page affect the way ProductCart deals with inventory.
When the feature Allow customers to purchase out of stock items is set to No, customers will not be able to order products that are out of stock. The “Add to Cart” button will not be displayed on the product details page. You can opt whether or not to show an “Out of Stock” message on the product details page by checking the corresponding option on the Store Settings page.
- You can have individual products ignore this general inventory setting by checking the Disregard Stock option on the Add/Edit Product page or by allowing a product to be Back Ordered. You can learn more about this two features in the section that talks about adding a new product to the store.
- Another order-related restriction is enforced automatically by ProductCart when the store is set not to allow the purchase of out of stock items: customers will not be able to order a quantity that exceeds the quantity in stock for any of your products. If they attempt to do so, they will receive a message indicating what the maximum allowed quantity is. This is true both when they add the product to the shopping cart and when they “recalculate” the quantity on the shopping cart.
For example: if the stock level for a certain pair of shoes were 25 and the customer were to add 26 units to the shopping cart, a message would be displayed indicating that the ordered amount exceeds current inventory levels. If the customer were to add 20 units to the shopping cart, no message would be displayed. However, if the same customer were to add 6 units to the order by editing the quantity field on the shopping cart and recalculating the shopping cart total, ProductCart would then display a message indicating that the maximum number of units that can be purchased for that pair of shoes is 25.
These and virtually all other text messages dynamically displayed by ProductCart can be easily edited by following the directions outlined in Editing Text Strings
Note that if you are using product options, ProductCart will not treat each product variation as a separate inventory item. However, there is a ProductCart Add-on, called the Apparel Add-on, that provides this and other features for advanced inventory tracking on product options.