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How to Prevent Overselling on eCommerce Channels Integrated with WholeCell
How to Prevent Overselling on eCommerce Channels Integrated with WholeCell

Managing the eCommerce listing quantities tied to WholeCell inventory

Mike Banting avatar
Written by Mike Banting
Updated over a week ago

Overselling can be a common challenge for eCommerce businesses. Overselling occurs when incorrect quantities are displayed on your eCommerce listings, leading to orders being placed for more stock than you have. To avoid overselling it's crucial to follow these guidelines for accurate inventory management.

Before we dive in, take a look at this formula that WholeCell uses to calculate the quantity to sync for each eCommerce listing:

Here are tips to ensure calculated quantities are accurate:

1) Make Sure That Your Listings Have Been Imported Into WholeCell and That They Show as Connected

Your channel SKUs should have been imported into WholeCell so that when you import your listings, they will show as Connected. This is critical so that WholeCell can send quantity updates to your channel listings. If you have not uploaded your SKUs into WholeCell yet, follow the steps in this article to do so: Adding/Deleting Product Variations and SKUs

2) Commit Inventory Items to Sales Orders Before Moving the Order to the Shipped Status

To reduce the risk of overselling, it is essential to commit inventory items to sales orders. When you commit an item to a sales order you decrease the Available Quantity. Follow these steps to commit inventory items effectively:

  • Review sales orders and scan the picked items to "commit" them.

  • Avoid moving orders to the "Shipped" status until the inventory items have been committed.

  • By committing inventory items before marking orders as shipped, you reduce the number of items in the Available status. Then you also decrease the open orders by marking them as Shipped. Thus, you maintain accurate stock levels and avoid overselling situations.

Sample scenario which leads to overselling:

(Remember "calculated quantity" is your stock level, or the quantity that gets synced with eCommerce channels)

Before an order came in, you had four iPhones in stock and no other open orders or outstanding quantities:

Calculated quantity 4 = Available quantity 4 - Oustanding quantity 0

Then an order for two iPhones came in:

Calculated quantity 2 = Available quantity 4 - outstanding quantity 2

You shipped the two orders and updated their statuses to "Shipped", but you did not commit the two iPhones on the orders. Here's what's going to happen:

Calculated quantity 4 = Available quantity 4 (because no item was scanned) - Outstanding quantity 0 (because you changed the order status to Shipped, which was not set to be an 'open' order status)

Ultimately, you only have two items remaining, but you'll eventually oversell as the quantity in your listings is set at 4.

Had you committed the two items to the order and marked the order as "Shipped", you would avoid the oversell, as the computation would be:

Calculated quantity 2 = Available quantity 2 - Outstanding quantity 0

Take note that if you have ShipStation integrated with WholeCell, printing shipping labels in ShipStation will move the order to the 'Shipped' status. If you have not committed items to the order at that point, WholeCell will send incorrect quantities to your channels.

3) Set and Monitor Sales Order Statuses

Set the correct settings for your sales order statuses and regularly check them to identify any "open" orders that contribute to your outstanding quantities. Follow these steps to manage your sales order statuses effectively:

You can review which statuses are contributing to outstanding quantities by looking for "true" under the Open (order) column:

To change the setting, simply click the name of the status, then on the next page check or uncheck this box (pictured below). Remember if the box is checked, that means the number of items on the sales order with that status will count towards outstanding quantities.

4) Review eCom Channel Settings in WholeCell

You can configure the scope of "Available Inventory" by selecting inventory status and warehouse settings for each eCommerce integration. Check these settings to verify that the way they're configured aligns with the way your team is processing inventory in WholeCell.

To prevent overselling, verify the following:

  • Ensure that items are assigned the correct inventory status based on their availability for sale.

  • Double-check that inventory items are associated with the appropriate warehouse or location, especially if you have multiple storage facilities.

  • Regularly review and update these settings to maintain accurate inventory synchronization across your eCommerce channels.

5) Don't manually enter quantities in the channel

Don't manually enter quantities in the channel, in which WholeCell is integrated. WholeCell will not recognize quantities manually entered in the channel and override or correct it unless there is a quantity change for that SKU in WholeCell. Let WholeCell be the source of truth in terms of inventory quantities. Make the necessary corrections within WholeCell when needed by adding/uploading inventory items, committing items to sales orders, or deleting inventory items (when needed).

Preventing overselling in eCommerce channels integrated with WholeCell requires diligent inventory management and settings configuration. By committing inventory items to sales orders, monitoring sales order statuses, and reviewing channel settings, you can minimize the risk of overselling and protect your seller performance.

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