Better e-commerce with automated stock management

On 30/04/2010

In New and updated features

I've been thinking a lot about Jedi cats since last week, and about how I'd been living with a master of the Force for all these years without my even noticing it (though, with hindsight, his name – Yoda – was a fairly obvious clue). With just a stare, he can stop anyone dead in their tracks, forcing them - against their will - to drop everything and rub his belly. Like his namesake, he is truly a Jedi master.

Disappointing to me though it may be, not everyone seems to share my passion for feline mysticism. Nicolas is one such individual, and rather than spending his time pondering the levels of midichlorians in the blood of domestic pets, he's actually been doing something useful this past week, and has preferred spending his time thinking about online store stock management.

Imagine it: your online store looks great, you've set up your killer products with unbeatable pricing to leave the competition in your wake. You've spent hours taking multiple images of each and every item against a white sheet you hung up on your living room wall, so your customers can get a good look at them from every possible angle. You've painstakingly adjusted every single aspect of your product page design to fit perfectly with your website design, and have now built the world's most amazing (dare I say, magical) online store; not only have you learnt how to make a website that rocks, but you now have an equally brillant e-commerce website.

You are an overnight e-commerce success story.

Until you run out of stock, that is.

It's a pity you used all that money you've been making from sales on your online store to go on an Alaskan cruise, because that means you're not going to be around this week to check your stock levels. Your customers keep on trying to order your really great stuff, but get a “sorry, no stock, no order!” message. Or worse still, they get no message at all, make an order, and then have to wait around for you to get back from vacation and send them a “yeah, well, thanks for the order, but we're out of stock – you'll just have to wait” e-mail.

Not a good look for you or your business, and not a great way to ensure the continued success of your e-commerce website.

But fear not, Nicolas has come through with a way to solve this problem for you. Within the e-commerce menu of your site manager, you'll now find a very imaginatively-named tab: “Manage stocks”. Accessing this tab will provide you with an overview of stock levels, so you can see - at a glance - which ones are running low. The new stock manager also allows you to configure automatic e-mail alerts, ensuring you receive an e-mail warning when stocks of a given product have fallen below a user-defined critical level.

Configuring the stock alert level appropriately ensures you'll have enough time to restock, and avoid missing potential sales. A quick phone call to your supplier and your new stock will be there waiting for you on your return from vacation, leaving you and your customers happy little campers.

So this weekend, why not head off for a relaxing break, safe in the knowledge that you'll no longer have to worry about your online store stock levels. As for me, I'll be spending this weekend trying to avoid the power of my own Jedi cat.

If only I wasn't so weak-minded ...

BTW – if anyone has any ideas for things to do in Anchorage for 3 days in late May that don't involve getting on a boat, I'm all ears.