When it comes to stock inventory management, the notion of "in stock" versus "out of stock" are most commonly used to display the live product status to a customer; they can either buy the product or they can’t! However, there’s a third method of inventory management that allows merchants to generate and unlock demand and further boost sales: backordering.
Backordering is the ability to allow customers to place orders for inventory that may not necessarily be on hand at that point in time; perhaps the merchant is awaiting a stock delivery or the product itself needs to be manufactured. Sometimes referred to as "pre-ordering", this mechanism of purchasing is widespread in both B2C and B2B.
With support already for backordering/pre-ordering built into SparkLayer, we’re excited to announce our latest update, "custom dates" that can be set for backorder products.
"Custom dates" allow B2B merchants to set an exact date when the product is expected to be available (sometimes referred to as a "due in" date) or to be available to ship to the customer (sometimes referred to as "estimated shipping date"). It’s a great way to give the end customer better visibility of when to expect receipt of the products on order, and helps deliver an overall better customer experience.
How it works
The new "custom dates" feature enhances SparkLayer’s existing backordering functionality and can be easily set up either via the merchant’s Shopify admin, or via the SparkLayer API.
Using built-in Shopify metafields, merchants can easily add dates at a variant level
Making use of Shopify metafields, a special "restock_date" entry can be added and assigned right down to the variant level, giving granular flexibility and instant visibility to the customer. Anywhere the product is shown - such as a collection, product detail or cart - the customer can clearly see the date specified.
Dates could be used to show expected shipping date or "due in" dates
For merchants using a backend system (such as an ERP) or a third party system that manages their stock, this can also be automated via the SparkLayer API with special flags to specify the "custom date".
This elegantly simple but powerful update gives B2B merchants the ability to enhance the customer experience using SparkLayer and further automate their B2B operation. If you’d like to learn more about how this can help you or, if you’re an existing SparkLayer customer and want to activate the "custom date" feature, please contact us!