Using the Real-time Inventory Feature

You can set up real-time inventory for your store to provide shoppers with accurate inventory of items that will update in real-time when an order is submitted.

When you are using this version of the Inventory feature, the "Call Script URL" field must contain the URL of your inventory script. Such scripts must accept and return information in the formats described below (here's a sample script.) Inventory will be checked first when a new item is added to the cart and subsequently when the user confirms an order.

All requests will be sent as POST requests with item information sent in = format as described below:

.catalog=
.code=
.id=
.quantity=
.price=

Note the "." preceding each of the keys above. Also, each key-value pair will be separated by the ampersand (&) symbol. This list is followed by the item attribute list, if any.

 

When options are defined and selected for an item in the order, the key will take the name of the option (such as size or color) and the value is the option. For example:

Color=
Size=

 

The script should respond with the following header information:

Available:

where is the number of items available.

 

Use 0 (zero) to indicate non-availability. Use a negative number to indicate unknown availability.

Inventory-Message:

where is the text that a customer will see when they try to place an order for an item that isn't available.

 

To enable real-time inventory:

  1. Select the Configure Inventory link in the Order Settings column from your Store Manager.
  2. Select the Real Time Inventory option and click Modify Settings (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Store Manager -- Configure Inventory Management
  1. Enter the URL of your inventory script.
  2. Choose a display inventory column setting (see figure 2 for examples of what will appear):
    • No -- inventory column will not be displayed.
    • Yes With Quantity -- customers will see the actual number of the quantity available.
    • Yes With Availability -- customers will see either "Yes" or "No" and they will not see the actual number available.
  3. Choose a backorder option for quantity can exceed availability:
    • No -- customers cannot order more than available quantity
    • Yes -- customers can backorder items
  4. Choose a server unreachable option:
    • Reject orders -- if your script cannot be called orders will be rejected.
    • Accept orders (default) -- if your script cannot be called, your customer will see a message stating "Availability could not be confirmed," and the order will be allowed to be completed.
  5. Click Update.
  6. Click Publish Order Settings to make these changes to your site.

Note: If you require firewall restrictions on access to your web server, add the IP ranges for real-time integrations.

Validating Your Script

When you enter the URL for your script in your Store Manager, we will verify it by sending the following request:

.catalog=&
.id=_fake_yahoo_item_&.code=_fake_yahoo_code_

The script should respond with the following header information:

Available:

Figure 2: Shows the three display inventory column settings no (top), yes with quantity (middle) and yes with availability (bottom).

 

Please note, that the "Database Inventory" version of the Inventory feature does check your inventory levels in real time at the time the ordered items are placed into the Shopping Cart for your Store, so for most people, the "Database Inventory" version of the Inventory feature works fairly well. Learn more.

  • Was this article helpful?

  • Yes
  • No

Still need help?