Knowledgebase: Products
How Can I Control My Store's Inventory?

There are several ways of controlling inventory within your console. One way is to configure settings on a storewide basis. The other is to change inventory settings on a per item basis. This guide will give you a step-by-step process on how to manage your inventory, as well as options on how customizing inventory management for your online store. It will also show you how to import/export product information.


General Storewide Settings
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The first step in our process is to enable the store's Inventory Control settings which will track your product inventory and determine the various actions that occur when an item's stock reaches 0. This setting is usually turned on by default, but in case you need to revisit the setting, we'll describe it here.

Log into your 3dcat Online Store Manager and, using the left hand navigation menu:

  1. Go to Settings ->General ->Store Settings
  2. Once there, look along the top of the page and click on the "General" tab

Within this tab, you'll have some general options for the store. Look towards the right hand side of the page and find "Inventory Control"

  1. Check the Enable Inventory Control checkbox
  2. Click "Save" at the top right to commit your changes.

The store will now be set to keep track of the store's inventory stock.

Below the enable checkbox, you will have the following radio buttons which will allow you to control what happens to a product when it's stock reaches zero.

You may Choose 1 of the following options:

  • Hide Items
    When the item stock reaches zero, items will be hidden from the store front and will not be able to be seen at all by the shopper
  • Show as "Out of Stock"
    When the item stock reaches zero, items can be seen on the store front, but they will be visibly marked as being out of stock. Furthermore, the add to cart buttons will be removed from the listing page display to prevent anyone from ordering the item
  • Allow Back Order
    When the item stock reaches zero, items can be seen on the store front but they will be visibly marked as being on "Back Order." Add to cart buttons are preserved and the items can be ordered, allowing you to ship the item(s) to the shopper when stock is replensihed.
  • Use Waiting List
    When the item stock reaches zero, items can be seen on the store front but they will be visibly marked as being "Out of Stock." However, rather than an "Add to Cart" button, the listing will have a "Put me on the Waiting List" button that allows the shopper to sign up to be notified when the item is re-stocked. Click here for more information on using this feature.

Additional Information
With the exception of "Hide Items,", these settings in the Store Settings section will act as global settings for the entire store. Please note however, that they can also be set on the individual product level as well.

Hiding items can also be done on the individual product level, however it is more of a manual checkbox option rather than automatic when the item reaches zero.

The next section in this article will discuss item settings a bit more.


Per Item Settings
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You will use per item settings if you want to make inventory management changes to specific items rather than to all products in general.

Change inventory control

  1. Go to Products ->Product List
  2. Locate the product that you'd like to make changes to* and click on its ID, Name,
    or look to the far right of it and click on its "Action ->Edit" button

*Tip
Need help locating your product? At the top of the Product List there's a search bar that will help you find items if you have a really large store. There's also an "Advanced" button next to the search that will let you filter product searches by category, distributor or manufacturer!

  1. Once you're in the product's Information Tab, scroll down to the "Inventory Options*" section.
  2. Look at this section's "Inventory Control" drop down menu and set your option here.

*Note:
If you don't see the Inventory Options section on the product, check to make sure the store's Inventory Control checkbox is enabled in Settings ->General ->Store Settings section as described at the beginning of this article

Your settings in the Inventory Control drop down are similar to the global settings discussed earlier, except that they will affect only the specific product that you are working with at the moment. To recap, the settings are:

  • Default
    When the item stock reaches zero, the item will follow whatever the global setting (in store settings) is set to.
    For example, if the global setting is to hide out of stock items, setting the product to default will follow this rule.
  • Out of Stock
    When the item stock reaches zero, the item can be seen on the store front, but will be visibly marked as being out of stock. Furthermore, the add to cart button will be removed from the listing page display to prevent anyone from ordering the item
  • Back Order
    When the item stock reaches zero, the item can be seen on the store front but it will be visibly marked as being on "Back Order." Add to cart button is preserved and the item can be ordered, allowing you to ship the item(s) to the shopper when stock is replensihed.
  • Use Waiting List
    When the item stock reaches zero, the item can be seen on the store front but it will be visibly marked as being "Out of Stock." However, rather than an "Add to Cart" button, the listing will have a "Put me on the Waiting List" button that allows the shopper to sign up to be notified when the item is re-stocked. Click here for more information on using this feature.

Tip
When an item's inventory control option is triggered, the store will display the appropriate label on the product listing page. In other words, the store will say "Back Order" if the product is set to show "Back Order" when it reaches zero inventory.

To change the wording of these labels, we give you two separate options:

  • Change the Inventory Messages Individually for specific items
    While editing the individual product's Inventory Control options as described above, you will see three fields:
    • In Stock Message
      This is what the item will say when it's in stock and available
    • Out of Stock Message
      What the item will say when it's out of stock
    • Back Order Message
      What the item will say when it's on back order
  • Change the Inventory Messages Globally for all items
    Go to Settings ->Design ->Store Language to change the inventory messages globally for all products across the store.
    Just do a search at the top for the phrase "availability" and you'll see the language tags that can be changed.

Stock Alert
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The stock alert function will send you an email when an item gets low in stock. To use this function:

  1. Go to Products ->Product List
  2. Locate the product that you'd like to make changes to* and click on its ID, Name,
    or look to the far right of it and click on its "Action ->Edit" button

*Tip
Need help locating your product? At the top of the Product List there's a search bar that will help you find items if you have a really large store. There's also an "Advanced" button next to the search that will let you filter product searches by category, distributor or manufacturer!

  1. Once you're in the product's Information Tab, scroll down to the "Inventory Options*" section.
  2. Look at this section's "Stock Alert" field which is found to the right of the "New Stock" field.

*Note:
If you don't see the Inventory Options section on the product, check to make sure the store's Inventory Control checkbox is enabled in Settings ->General ->Store Settings section as described at the beginning of this article

  1. Enter the number that you would like to trigger the stock alert email
  2. Click "Save" at the top right to commit your changes.

The stock alert feature will automatically send you an email notification when the product's falls below the number entered into the Stock Alert field. In other words, if you write a "2" into this field and save your settings, the store will email you a notification when the item's inventory falls to 1.

Tip
Want the store to email you when you run completely out of stock on the item? Enter a 1 into the field.

As explained, the function sends an email when the item's stock falls below the specifed number. So entering a 1 into the field will trigger the alert delivery when the item reaches 0.


Update the Stock Number
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There are two ways to update the stock number. You can do this by going into the item itself and changing the stock number. You can also see a list of all of your products at once and change multiple stock numbers at the same time.

To change by item:
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  1. Go to Products ->Product List
  2. Locate the product that you'd like to make changes to* and click on its ID, Name,
    or look to the far right of it and click on its "Action ->Edit" button

*Tip
Need help locating your product? At the top of the Product List there's a search bar that will help you find items if you have a really large store. There's also an "Advanced" button next to the search that will let you filter product searches by category, distributor or manufacturer!

  1. Once you're in the product's Information Tab, scroll down to the "Inventory Options*" section.

*Note:
If you don't see the Inventory Options section on the product, check to make sure the store's Inventory Control checkbox is enabled in Settings ->General ->Store Settings section as described at the beginning of this article

Within the Inventory Options section, look for the "Current Stock" label. This will show the item's current inventory.

Additional Information
There are a couple of notes to be aware of as to how the Current Stock is displayed

  • Number
    The actual number itself will be a link that will take you to the item's Product Stock Update Report.
    This report will show you the item's stock history including orders for the item as well as updated made to the product.
  • (+n On Hold)
    Sometimes, the current stock will be displayed with a number, followed by (+n On Hold) where "n" is another number. This is intended to reflect how much of your inventory is actually available for purchase.

    For example, you may have 4 units of the item on hand but 3 of them have been ordered and those orders still need to be processed.

    In this case, the store will display current stock as "1 (+3 On Hold)" to show you that - although you physically have 4 items in your warehouse - 3 of those items are tied to unshipped orders. Once those orders are shipped, the current stock will remove the (+n On Hold) label.

To continue with updating the current stock:

  1. look towards the immediate right of the "Current Stock" section and you will see a field labeled "New Stock"
  2. Use this field to update* the Current Stock number.

*Tip
When changing the Stock number, you can either type in the new stock number, or +[number] to add an increment to the exisiting inventory.

For example, if your store has 10 units in stock and you receive a shipment of 5 new units, you can either type in 15 and save the page, or type in "+5" to have the store automatically update to the new on hand qty.


To update multiple stock numbers at the same time:
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You also have the ability to update stock for multiple products at once.

  1. Go to Products ->Product List
  2. Look to the top right of the page and click on the "Actions" button
  3. Select "Inventory" from the Actions Button drop down

This page will provide you a list of all of your products (up to 150 at a time). Each product will be listed with its ID, Name, a QTY field and a "Hide" checkbox.

Tip
Using the search function at the top of the list, you can narrow down your products to just a few at a time. You can also filter the search using the "Advanced" button which will let you filter based on minimum/maximum stock, category and manufacturer!

  1. To update multiple item stock at once, enter the updated amount in each product's "Qty" field
    If you'd like to hide items en masse, just click the "Hide" checkbox for each item that you'd like to take off display.
  2. Click "Save" at the top right to commit your changes.

Manage Stock Numbers for Products with Multiple Options
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You also have the ability to track inventory for individual item options if needed. For instance, let's say you have a sweater that comes in multiple sizes and colors.

As far as the store is concerned, you may have 25 units of the product available. But the store doesn't know how many of the items are red/small, or blue/large. It only knows that you have 25 units of the product on hand.

This is where Advanced Options comes into play. With it enabled, you can manage the stock numbers of each variant of sweater for that product so that the store then knows exactly how many units are red/small, blue/large, etc.

For more complete information on using Advanced Options, please click here and here. For the purposes of this article, we'll just discuss how to set your advanced option stock numbers.

  1. Go to Products ->Product List
  2. Locate the product that you'd like to make changes to* and click on its ID, Name,
    or look to the far right of it and click on its "Action ->Edit" button

*Tip
Need help locating your product? At the top of the Product List there's a search bar that will help you find items if you have a really large store. There's also an "Advanced" button next to the search that will let you filter product searches by category, distributor or manufacturer!

  1. Once you're in the product's Information Tab, look towards the top of the page and click on the product's "Options" tab
  2. While viewing the product's options, look towards the top right of the page and click on the "Actions" button
  3. Select "Advanced Options"
  4. Check the Enable checkbox next to each product.
    Note: Even if you do not sell a particular option combination, you must still enable it and enter '0' for the stock number so customers cannot purchase it.
  5. Type in the Code, GTIN, Stock number, Weight, and Cost of each product.
  6. Click Save at the top right to commit your changes.

The store will now track inventory for the item as normal, but it will now take into account the individual option quantities when tracking.


Import/Export Product Inventory Information
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You also have the ability to update stock for multiple via CSV export/Import.

Export:
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  1. Go to Products ->Product List
  2. Look to the top right of the page and click on the "Export/Import" button
  3. On the left hand side of the page, click on the +Icon next to Products Inventory
  4. Click on "Export Data"
  5. Once the export is completed, click on the "Download" button.

This will create a CSV file of your current products and inventory. The file itself will contain the following column headers:

  • ID
    This field is required. It is the unique product id (SKU or Part Number) of the product.
  • Name
    This is the name of the product.
  • Stock
    This is the stock (Quantity On Hand) of the product.

You can edit this file and import it back to your store to update product inventory as needed.

Note
Do not remove, add, or edit any columns to this file. If you do not have a need for a column please leave it blank. This is the exact format the file needs to be to import your Inventory information properly.

If you do not need to update a particular product's inventory, just remove its row so that the import file only contains the products that you'd like to update.

In the next section, we'll go over the importing of the file.


Import
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  1. Go to Products ->Product List
  2. Look to the top right of the page and click on the "Export/Import" button
  3. On the right hand side of the page, click on the +Icon next to Inventory
  4. Browse to your edited file
  5. Click on "Import Data"

This will take the edited file and upload its data to your store, thereby updating your store's inventory for the products.



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