Inventory Overview

You can manage product inventory in Admin, which allows you to associate products with inventory and track quantities for your products. The products' storefront behavior can then be selected based on whether inventory exists for each individual product while the available quantities at different locations are considered when routing orders for fulfillment.

Inventory can be used with either Kibo eCommerce, Order Management-only, or a full solution implementation of the Unified Commerce Platform. For the API calls associated with managing inventory, see the Inventory API documentation.

Real-Time Inventory Service

Real-Time Inventory Service (RIS) is a new service that provides accurate and real-time inventory visibility to your e-commerce site, using a single source of truth to reflect inventory availability. An accurate inventory picture is essential to minimize order cancellations and avoid missed business, in turn increasing revenue and customer satisfaction.

The Real-Time Inventory Service is enabled on most eCommerce+OMS implementations. If you have an eCommerce+OMS implementation but RIS is not enabled for you yet, please contact Support.

The key capabilities of RIS for your storefront include:

  • Real-time visibility to inventory availability on search and category pages
  • Product availability on the product details page in real-time
  • Accurate and near real-time inventory quantities on the product details page

RIS on Search and Category Pages

Visibility to inventory at the beginning of the customer journey is critical in driving customer engagement. Inventory availability can be reflected on search and category pages in real-time, in which in-stock or out-of-stock inventory status for products updates instantaneously.

In-stock inventory counts across the site provide a clear, single aggregate view of available inventory across all locations and segments. In-stock inventory counts localized to a store inform the customer about in-store pickup availability.

For example:

  • If a customer searches for Charcoal Grill, RIS returns a count of available charcoal grills that have at least 1 SKU in stock site-wide.
  • If a customer searches for Charcoal Grill at Timber Creek Store, RIS returns a count of available charcoal grills that have at least 1 SKU in stock at Timber Creek Store.
  • If a customer searches for Charcoal Grill at multiple locations, RIS returns a count of available charcoal grills that have at least 1 SKU in stock at each of the selected locations.

Inventory counts both across the site and filtered to a location or locations are supported for category navigation. This location filter supports both In Store Pickup (BOPIS) and Direct Ship (STH) locations, as well as product bundles. Filtering for bundles supports both "ANY" and "ALL" product search types, in which "ANY" returns locations that have at least one product code in the bundle available while "ALL" returns locations that have every product code in the bundle available. If logic is not provided, then the system will return locations based on "ANY" by default.

You can select whether this filter returns BOPIS or STH availability in your site settings at System > Settings > General. Set the Location Fulfillment Types option shown below to either one or both values. If neither are specified, the filter will default to pickup locations.

The Location Fulfillment Types option on the Site Settings page

Note that if you want to display counts on search results or category listing pages, you must set that up in your custom theme.

RIS on Product Details Pages

A product becoming in-stock or out-of-stock is reflected instantly, providing inventory accuracy as the customer is making the critical decision to purchase the product. This prevents overselling or underselling of products.

The updated quantity of a product in stock is reflected in near real-time (within about 15 mins). Updated inventory quantity information is available at an aggregate level across the site. At a location level, the quantity available for pickup can be displayed if you set it up in your custom theme. This can be used effectively for urgency messaging such as "Hurry! Only 4 items left in stock!" 

For example:

  • If a customer navigates to the product details page for a Shirt which is available in multiple colors and sizes, RIS returns an accurate in-stock picture for the product. The page displays only the Shirt's sizes and colors that have at least one SKU in stock. This helps the customer quickly view what is available for purchase.
  • If a customer navigates to the product details page for a Shirt which is available in multiple colors and sizes, and then selects Color = Red and Size = XS, RIS returns the SKU availability and quantity site-wide (such as 20 XS Red Shirts). The page enables the "Add to Cart" button based on this inventory information.
  • If a customer has selected a store and navigates to the product details page for a Shirt which is available in multiple colors and sizes, and then selects Color = Red and Size = XS, RIS returns SKU availability and quantity at the location (such as 5 XS Red Shirts available at the Timber Creek Store). The customer may select Buy Online Pick-up In Store (BOPIS) or Curbside Delivery as a fulfillment option.  

Inventory UI 

The Inventory page is located at Main > Orders > Inventory.

  1. Go to Main > Orders > Inventory.
  2. When this page is opened, there will be a prompt to select a location or enter a product code in order to view inventory. Enter a value into the appropriate column header or select a location from the Location Name drop-down and click Enter
  3. Alternatively, you can use the Base Product Code search field to easily retrieve the variants of that base product. Entering a product code will trigger a popup with a list of all its variants, allowing you to select which ones you want displayed in the results. Upon confirming your selections, those results will populate the inventory table.
    • The "Product Code" field in the interface maps to the upc parameter in the Inventory API.The Inventory page

Once inventory is displayed in the table, the Code, Part Number, SKU, Location Code, and Location Name columns can all be searched on either as single filters or in combination. If only a single product is selected without a specific location code or name, then the aggregate inventory levels will be displayed. 

  1. Click the dropdown at the far right of the column headers to hide and unhide columns from the table as desired depending on what type of inventory levels you want to see.
  2. Adjust the inventory record levels by clicking an entry in the product table. This will allow editing of the cell values.The Inventory page with example products and the drop-down options in the top right of the table
  3. To add a new product, click Create New Location Inventory in the top right. This will simply add an empty row to the table where a product can be selected and its current inventory levels set. See Configure Inventory for more details about creating new inventory records.

If inventory is out of stock (in other words, if the available inventory is 0) at a particular location, then its table row will be highlighted red. If available inventory is less than the safety stock but is not yet 0, then it will be highlighted yellow to warn that it will be going out of stock soon.

Returns and Inventory Interaction

During return processing, when you receive the return you can specify whether the product should be restocked at a return location as documented in the Returns guide.

If you choose to restock the product, then the on-hand quantity is automatically increased appropriately.