Keeping the stores up to date with accurate stock levels is an important part of channel integration. When inventory is received, Goflow will automatically update the stock levels across all integrated stores where the product is listed. On the other hand, when a sale is made on one store, and the available inventory decreases, Goflow will promptly update the inventory availability on all other stores.
Before we delve into the topic of channel inventory updates, let's review some key concepts related to channel listings:
Before enabling inventory updates on a store, make sure that your listings are properly mapped to their corresponding products, and that the products have inventory.
To enable sending inventory to a particular store, follow these steps:
Management of inventory allocation settings involves three key aspects:
The inventory source determines the origin the inventory in Goflow. The source may be:
In the From Warehouses field, select one or more warehouses that will serve as the source of inventory. The available inventory of the mapped product in the selected warehouse will be sent to the store. If you select multiple warehouses as the source, the available inventories from the selected warehouses will be added together, and the total will be sent to the store.
When the available inventory is negative in all of the selected warehouses, Goflow will send a 0 to the store. If one of the warehouses is negative while other warehouses are positive, the negative will decrease the overall available. For example, if you selected East and West warehouses as sources, and East has available 2 while West is -1, the sum of 1 will be sent to the store.
If you choose to leave the From Warehouses field empty, then no warehouse will be used as a source of inventory. This is a valid option if you intend to specify a vendor as the source of inventory, or you intend to set a minimum across all listings, or you actually want to send 0 for all listings.
In the From Warehouses field, select one or more FBA warehouses that will serve as the source of inventory.
Goflow will first look at the product mapped to the store listing, and identify all FBA listings - belonging to the selected FBA warehouse - also mapped to that same product. Then it will combine the Amazon reported available from all FBA listings, and send the total to the store.
The Goflow FBA warehouse, like all other warehouses in Goflow, tracks inventory on-hand, available, and reserved for open transactions. In addition, for Amazon FBA listings, Goflow also imports on-hand and available quantities directly from Amazon.
When allocating inventory to channels, Goflow prefers to use the Amazon-reported quantities over its own calculations, as these are the more accurate and up-to-date figures. When using an FBA warehouse as an inventory source, Goflow takes the Amazon-reported available quantity as-is. It does not deduct any inventory reserved for open FBA orders within Goflow, as these are already accounted for in the Amazon-reported available.
However, Goflow does deduct from the Amazon-reported available any reserved inventory of which Amazon is not aware. This includes merchant orders assigned to the FBA warehouse for MCF fulfillment, and open transfers out of the FBA warehouse.
In the From Vendors dropdown, select either All Vendors, or Specify one or more vendors who will serve as a source of inventory.
Goflow will first look at the product mapped to the store listing, and identify the vendor products mapped to that same product. Then it will combine the vendor reported available inventory from the selected vendors, and send the total to the store. When vendor inventory expires, it becomes unavailable, and Goflow will send 0 to the store.
The fulfillment method on a product determines whether it can be fulfilled by vendors through the Dropship or PTO flows. Consider whether you want to use vendor inventory as a source for all products, or only for products with a fulfillment methods of Dropship or PTO.
Vendor reported inventory remains static and does not automatically decrease when sales are made. To account for previous sales, it is recommended to include the warehouse where PTO or Dropship orders will import as an inventory source, alongside vendor inventory. The quantity reserved in the warehouse will offset the available vendor inventory.
However, once orders are fulfilled by the vendor and marked as shipped in Goflow, the reserved quantity will be reduced, resulting in an increase in the available vendor inventory.
For example, say the available vendor inventory is 1, and you receive one order. The quantity reserved will become 1, and the available warehouse inventory will become -1. The total available inventory sent to the store will thus be 0. After the vendor fulfills the order, the quantity reserved will become 0, and the available warehouse inventory will become 0 as well. The available inventory sent to the store will rebound to 1 because the vendor available inventory of 1 was not removed. This cycle will continue until a new feed is imported with a vendor inventory of 0.
To ensure accurate store inventory updates, it is important to frequently upload vendor inventory.
You can use the Goflow API to relay inventory updates, which Goflow will then forward to the store channels. The API offers endpoints for updating either warehouse inventory through adjustments or vendor inventory through vendor product feeds. Each route has its intended use. API developers should consider which endpoint to use based on their unique needs.
When your inventory originates from a parent company, it's advisable to update warehouse inventory using adjustments. For parent companies operating across multiple locations, create corresponding warehouses in Goflow for each location, and enter separate adjustments for each warehouse. This route is preferred, because warehouse inventory automatically decrements upon order fulfillment, unlike vendor inventory which relies on a new vendor feed to update quantities.
When the inventory is sourced from true external vendors unaffiliated with your company, it's advisable to use vendor product feeds. This route is preferred as it eliminates the need to create new warehouses for short-lived vendors. Additionally, because vendors may include products that you do not intend to sell, this route saves you from creating unnecessary Goflow products and from entering unnecessary adjustments.
Some channels don't require specifics about where your inventory is located. They only receive the total inventory count without going into exact locations. For these channels, combine all relevant warehouses into a single inventory source. The total inventory count is sent to the store. When orders are imported, the store fulfillment warehouses will determine the best warehouse for order fulfillment.
Other channels want detailed information on inventory locations. If you keep inventory in multiple warehouses, these channels require separate quantities for each warehouse. The channel might refer to these warehouses as facilities, distribution centers, or locations. In Goflow, these are referred to as store warehouse codes. When orders are imported, each order is assigned to a warehouse determined by the channel.
In allocation settings, create separate allocation sources for each store warehouse code. To do this, follow these steps:
Customize the final quantity that is sent to the store by adjusting these settings:
Percent: Move the slider to modify the percentage of the total available inventory that will be sent to the store. You can allocate the full 100 percent, or choose to hold back some inventory and give it only a portion of the available.
If the percent is less than 100, any fractional quantity will be rounded down to the nearest whole number.
When the percent is set to 0, all listing will go out of stock with the store. This is not the same as managing store inventory manually, and having no allocation settings at all . To disable sending inventory, uncheck Send inventory to store, instead of setting the percent to 0.
Minimum: Select to always display at least this minimum number. Even when the true available inventory falls to less, or to 0, the store will still show the listing as available with this minimum.
Maximum: Select to never display more than this maximum number. Even when inventory is more, the store will show that less is available. This is useful when you want to maintain low listed levels.
Safety Level: Select the minimum available that a product must maintain in order to be listed. When the available inventory falls to the safety level, Goflow will send 0.
The safety level holds priority over the minimum setting. As long as the inventory remains above the safety level, the minimum will be listed. Once the safety level is reached, the minimum will be disregarded. For example, consider a scenario where the minimum is set to 3, and the safety level is set to 1. When inventory reaches 2, it will still be listed as 3, according to the minimum setting. However, when inventory reaches 1, it will send 0, according to the safety level setting.
Safety level is very important to prevent overselling. Consider that there is a lag between the time a sale is made on one store, and Goflow being notified of the sale and getting around to update all other stores with the reduced availability. In the meantime, more sales can be made which can lead to overselling. It is advisable to set a safety level that triggers an update of 0 as soon as products reach depleting levels.
The optimal safety level depends on how well a product sells. Products that sell rapidly should have a higher safety level to account for the increased likelihood of multiple orders being placed within the time it takes to update inventory across stores.
Lead-time is the number of business days it takes from the time an order is placed until it is handed over to the carrier. Lead-time is expressed in a single number. For example, if the lead time is 2-3 days, set the lead time to 3.
The lead-time setting is applicable to Amazon Seller channels only. Lead-time updates provided through inventory feeds will only take effect if they align with the shipping templates applied to the listing on Seller Central.
For supported channels, when sending 0 available but the product is awaiting inventory from purchase orders, Goflow will include the expected inventory.
Expected inventory is sourced from open purchase orders for the out-of-stock products. The available-on date is based on the earliest Expected Date on open purchase orders, and the expected quantity is the total of all open purchase orders.
Although not managed directly in inventory allocation settings, various other settings and statuses can affect the available sent to the store:
The ultimate objective of sending inventory updates is to keep the store's inventory numbers current. Exactly when the store is updated varies depending on the requirements of each channel. There are three approaches:
Partial Inventory Updates: In this approach, inventory updates are sent only for listings that have had inventory changes. Whenever there is a change in the product's inventory, feeds are sent to the stores. Changes result from transactions involving the product, listing mapping, FBA stock, vendor inventory, listing allocation settings, etc. The feeds are small, and include only listings that need updating. These partial updates go out approximately every 15 minutes throughout the day.
When updates are made to the store's allocation settings, a full feed is sent for all of the store's listings.
Full Inventory Updates: Certain channels prefer to receive periodic full updates rather than constant partial updates. For these channels, partial updates are not sent throughout the day. Instead, a full inventory feed is sent to the store at fixed intervals, depending on the channel.
Full & Partial: Certain channels adopt a combination of both methods. They accept partial updates throughout the day, but also request a full inventory feed at regular intervals. This hybrid approach allows for timely updates, while also ensuring that low-activity listings do not become stale.
In addition to global allocation settings for the entire store, you can customize allocation settings for individual listings. Customizations can be slight variations, such as a higher safety level, or they can be entirely different with unique sources.
To update allocation settings for a single listing, follow these steps:
In order to update allocation settings for a listing, the following are required:
Use a CSV file to create custom allocation settings for listings in bulk.
To be best equipped with an upload file for updating listing allocation settings, it is advisable to first download the existing settings. Follow these steps to export listing allocation settings:
To import listing allocation settings, follow these steps:
Review the Columns tab to understand the required and optional fields. Below is an expanded discussion on the file columns:
To see the inventory updates that Goflow has sent to the store, follow these steps:
Quantity Listed represents the total inventory that is currently listed with the store. Some points to consider:
On this card, you can see the details of inventory updates sent to the store. Here is what you can find:
Records of inventory updates are kept for one month. After that, the records are removed. For listings that only send partial inventory updates and have not had any changes in the past month, the list of recent updates will appear empty. The absence of records does not imply that inventory updates were never sent. It simply means that no updates have been sent recently. The Quantity Listed is still current, even though nothing was recently sent.
When faced with a situation where the quantity listed on the store does not match expectations, conduct an analysis to identify the cause. Follow these steps to methodically investigate the apparent discrepancy:
By following these steps, you can methodically analyze and troubleshoot discrepancies in Quantity Listed. Conducting your own research helps you to swiftly identify the problem and to take corrective measures.
If you are unable to identify the issue, reach out to Goflow Support for assistance. When contacting Support, it is important to provide them with as much relevant information as possible to facilitate a prompt resolution. Be sure to include the following details:
By providing these details, Goflow Support will be better equipped to understand the issue and provide you with the necessary guidance and solutions.
Vacation mode allows you to temporarily suspend operations during the time your warehouse is closed and unable fulfill orders.
Depending on the channel type, two approaches are available for vacation mode:
Extended lead-time is an additional option available. Amazon Seller stores may use the zero inventory option as well.
To enable zero-inventory vacation mode, follow these steps:
For peace of mind, you can set the vacation period well in advance of the vacation start. When the vacation start-time arrives, Goflow will send a zero-inventory feed to the store for all listings active and mapped. During the vacation period, all inventory is uniformly set to zero, regardless of any other allocation settings. Listings with custom allocation settings are also set to zero.
When the vacation end-time is reached, Goflow will send another feed to the store. This feed restores the inventory to its regular quantity determined by store and listing allocation settings.
Depending on the number of listings, the process of updating all listings may take some time. To ensure that listings are zero at the start of vacation, it is recommended to move up the start-time by 1-2 hours.
To enable extended lead-time vacation mode, follow these steps:
During the vacation period, Goflow will send an inventory feed to the store at the start of each day. The vacation lead-time is determined by adding the remaining vacation days to the regular lead-time.
As the vacation progresses, the lead-time is gradually decreased each day. For instance, if the regular lead-time is 3 days and the vacation lasts for 2 days, the vacation lead-time is calculated as follows:
The extended lead-time vacation approach does not supersede other allocation settings. The quantity sent to the store during vacation continues to be determined by either the store allocation settings or the listing allocation settings. Likewise, the base lead-time for each listing is also determined by its specific setting.