Web Design and Development

Ecommerce Stock Integration

Integration of e-commerce stores with warehousing, stock and EPOS systems

Stock level and delivery time information is invaluable on ecommerce web sites for a variety of reasons. One main reason is that customers now often expect rapid delivery on their internet order. So if your site contains stock level information on individual product lines, you can provide information to the customer on their delivery time for that exact item. For example, when the customer selects their chosen colour of a product, and the size of the product from drop down menus, the system can inform the customer of their delivery time for that stock line. This means that your web site is much more informative to the customer. If your competitors web site does not have stock level/delivery time information integrated, it will be tempting to hit the back button and shop elsewhere rather than “shop in the dark” not knowing if the item ordered is going to be in stock for immediate delivery or not.

Integrating your in-house stock data into an online ecommerce web site is usually easily achieved. There are a wide variety of methods for doing this including ODBC connectors, MySQL syncs, scheduled tasks, CSV transfers and parsing routines, or often some combination of these methods.

This means that your online store has to deal with individual stock lines, as opposed to a “product” available in a variety of “options”. This is so because of course each “option” is an individual stock line. However this does not mean that you need to present your stock on the web as individual stock lines. It makes more sense for the customer to be able to shop for a product in a variety of options – colour options, or size options for example. So we have developed “product aggregation” to take individual stock lines and turn these into a “parent product” available in a number of options (or combination of options).

Another benefit of using this model, is that often product images and descriptions apply to the parent products only (also known as stock groups), and to apply the images and descriptions to each individual stock line often does not make sense. Therefore you need only worry about the images and descriptions for your stock groups, saving you time on entering new products into the system.

How the stock level information is used and presented on the site is up to you. We can simply adjust the delivery time on the item dependent upon its stock level status, allow you to set out-of-stock delivery times against each individual product group or line (dependent upon your suppliers delivery times) or make out-of-stock items unavailable on the site. Its up to you. Working with Webage is flexible, bespoke and geared to your requirements. Contact us to discuss your situation – let our experience help your grow your business.