Many eCommerce brands use flash sales to sell limited stock, quickly; whether it’s a newly discounted product, a Black Friday deal, or the launch of new merchandise. The goal is to sell through all of your inventory until it’s gone but sometimes you sell too quickly and risk selling more inventory than you have. This ultimately leads to frustrated customers and mistrust in your brand. It also means the loss of a sale and could potentially strengthen your competition. About 70% of customers prefer to switch to a competitor rather than wait for their backorders.
To avoid overselling during a flash sale, Finale offers a few tools to help you.
Push Stock Min/Max/Quantity Percentage
Within your push stock store integrations, Finale provides three useful settings to determine the quantities of inventory it will push to a specific store. Each of the settings listed below consider the base quantity and any supplier quantities.
The base quantity controls how the quantity on hand, quantity reserved, and quantity on order for each product contributes to the quantity to list for the product. Base quantities can be configured in the integration settings. By default, the integrations use Remaining after Reservations (Include BOM). For a list of stock quantity definitions, click here.
Finale also allows you to include supplier quantities when pushing stock to your integration. From this setting you can select not to include stock from suppliers, from a specific supplier, all suppliers or prioritized suppliers.
This setting allows you to select the percentage of inventory that will be pushed to your store. The initial stock quantity considered is your base quantity plus any supplier quantities. If left blank, this setting will push 100% of your inventory to your integrated store.
Let’s say you would like to save 25% of your inventory for a brick and mortar store that is not yet integrated with Finale. In this setting you would enter the value of 75 into this field so that Finale knows to only push 75% of your inventory to your integration. In addition, this setting is useful if you would like a larger percentage of your inventory available on one integrated store and less on another.
This setting allows you to reserve inventory and push zero stock to your integrated store, once the minimum quantity is surpassed. After adding base quantity and supplier quantities, as well as the quantity percentage, the result is compared to any value entered in this field.
In this scenario, you’re wanting to reserve 5 units as safety stock. Entering a value of 6 in the minimum quantity field tells Finale that once you fall below 6 units, to push zero quantity back to this store.
Similar to the minimum quantity, this setting sets a max number of inventory to your integrated store. If your base quantity, supplier quantities and quantity percentage are greater than the value you have entered into the maximum quantity field, then Finale will push the maximum quantity value to your store.
For example, you want to designate 250 units to an integrated store but 1000 units in inventory in Finale. To cap what you sell through your integration, enter the value 250 in this field to tell Finale to sell no more than 250 units.
The min/max/quantity percentage settings can be configured system-wide through your integrations push stock settings. Configuring them system-wide tells Finale to apply any values in these fields to all products being sold through that particular integration.
These settings can also be configured at the product level, which will supersede the system settings for that particular product. To change these settings on the product level, visit the product details page and locate the stores section.
Delayed Update Options
Finale has another great feature that allows you to delay push stock updates to your integration while sales are being pulled in from a Flash Sale.
When the push stock action is set to run automatically, Finale will push new stock levels every 5 minutes to your integrated store. Finale will take into account any new sales that have come in from the last pull sales action for that integration, as well as any changes to stock levels or product details and push back the remaining stock available to sell. This process works seamlessly as long as sales transactions on your store occur every 5 minutes or longer.
During a Flash Sale, when there is an influx of sales of limited inventory in a short period of time, the normal update behavior described above risks not capturing all new orders before pushing stock levels to your store. When this happens, incorrect stock levels are pushed and overselling occurs.
By default, when the push stock task runs, Finale will update products if their stock changes, if any of the product's attributes/details have changed, or if the product has been queued for update. The Delayed Updates Option configuration is used to ensure that Finale only runs the push stock task when there have been no changes in the system for the selected duration of 5, 10 or 30 minutes.
An example of how this setting can be useful would be the launch of a new product or limited edition product with limited stock. Let’s say you sell limited edition sneakers through your Shopify store. You have 1,000 pairs to sell and you anticipate to sell out in the first hour after launching the product. With the Delayed Updates Option set to 10 minutes in Finale, you will be able to sell through the product on Shopify and Finale will not push stock until there has been at least 10 minutes without changes. This will allow you to capture a surge in sales while only Shopify manages your stock levels.
Please note that this setting is designed for accounts where each marketplace is unique and no products are sold on more than one marketplace. If Finale is pushing stock to multiple selling channels, incorrect stock levels will be pushed to the integrated store not using the Delayed Updates feature and overselling will occur.