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Thread: Option to split in-stock/ out of stock items at checkout

  1. #1
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    Default Option to split in-stock/ out of stock items at checkout

    I seem to recall sometime ago discussing about the possibility of there being the option at checkout for customers to choose whether to receive their order in one go (pay one lot of shipping, but wait until all items are in stock) or to split their order into 2 or more packages so that in-stock items are sent immediately and out of stock items sent when available. A bit like Amazon does.
    Is this still a possibility for future development?

  2. #2
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    This feature is somewhat linked to a recent discussion regarding expected delivery dates:

    http://www.bluepark.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=509

    This aspect can be considered as well. May I ask, though, what is the business logic behind this question? Is the default behaviour, at the moment, to ship what's available immediately, or to wait until all items are in stock?

    At the moment, you'll only get a Pending icon with an "N" (indicating No Stock) if ALL of the items are out of stock. If the customer wanted all of the items to be shipped together, the "N" icon should probably be shown if ANY of the items are out of stock.

    Are these the lines you were thinking along? As always, as much detail as possible helps to speed along development. The difficult part isn't the programming - it's always the logic behind it!
    Developer :: Bluepark Solutions

  3. #3
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    Technically, our policy is to ship an order when everything is in stock so it can all go in one package (this is to keep our postage expenses to a minimum - shipping lots of smaller orders when the customer has only paid one lot of shipping is normally not at all cost effective and can eat into profits on relatively low value orders very quickly).

    However, we often get an email / call saying that they need item X really soon so could we send that on ahead. These requests are getting more and more frequent and customers can get quite arsey if you say no (!) so we did wonder about setting the site up so that customers could only order in-stock items (although we'd probably lose sales this way).

    So.... what would be best, so that we don't lose sales from customers who are happy to wait if something's not in stock for a while, is if at checkout, the customer could have the choice as to whether they'd rather pay two lots of shipping and get their in-stock items sooner than waiting for everything to come into stock, or they could just pay one shipping charge and wait for the whole order. I think perhaps this would need to turn their basket at checkout into two completely separate orders - one of the in-stock items and one for the out-of-stock items. I'm guessing that this is probably a bit tricky from a technical point of view though?

    I think I posted on the discussion you've linked to above that a lot of our customers pay little attention to the stock levels when they order (someone else confirmed this so I think it's not just our customers!). A system as above would make them take note that some of their order isn't in stock and they could then decide whether they're ok to wait or would rather pay more to get some stuff quicker and hopefully reduce the number of moans we get about waiting if something's not in stock!

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    I don't think the order should be split into 2 or more, this would cause more problems than it fixes. At the moment, an order shows as "Pending (No Stock)" if all of the items are out of stock. It shows as just "Pending" if any items can be shipped.

    It could be the case that the system displays the "Pending (No Stock)" status UNLESS the customer has indicated that they want their in-stock items sooner.
    Developer :: Bluepark Solutions

  5. #5
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    Default Selling without stock!

    I think the easiest solution is not to sell what you haven't got, we only sell what is in our warehouse, it would be impossible to operate by selling goods we didn't have and I can't understand any retailer working on this basis.
    We have only put one product on pre-order due to demand and it is a nightmare for administration as we now have hundreds of orders awaiting the first shipment and emails every day asking for updates, never again!!
    My answer is, if you ain't got it, don't sell it. Put your money into stock, that's what shops do!
    John Ayres

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    I don't think the order should be split into 2 or more, this would cause more problems than it fixes. At the moment, an order shows as "Pending (No Stock)" if all of the items are out of stock. It shows as just "Pending" if any items can be shipped.

    It could be the case that the system displays the "Pending (No Stock)" status UNLESS the customer has indicated that they want their in-stock items sooner.
    Ok Rich, but would there be any scope to add additional delivery charges if they want their instock items sooner. (e.g one delivery charge if everything goes together or two if the order will need to be split?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    I think the easiest solution is not to sell what you haven't got, we only sell what is in our warehouse, it would be impossible to operate by selling goods we didn't have and I can't understand any retailer working on this basis.
    We have only put one product on pre-order due to demand and it is a nightmare for administration as we now have hundreds of orders awaiting the first shipment and emails every day asking for updates, never again!!
    My answer is, if you ain't got it, don't sell it. Put your money into stock, that's what shops do!
    The problem we have is that as we sell a lot to schools etc., they often have a list of "approved" titles to buy and a budget to use up. Usually they're happy to wait if something is out of stock because as long as they can get the order in before the budget deadline, they are fine. If we were unable to accept the order if it was out of stock, they'd end up going somewhere else. Sometimes stock takes longer to come in than normal as we import lots from abroad.

  8. #8
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    I don't necessarily agree with charging customers for more than one delivery, but if you have to, how about simply adding an additional delivery option?

    Standard delivery ... (Receive a single delivery when all stock available)
    Multiple shipments (more) (Receive in stock items immediately, rest when available)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    I don't necessarily agree with charging customers for more than one delivery
    I agree with you in principle however a lot of the items we sell are low value and heavy-ish (books). So to split the shipment while only charging one lot of P&P would leave us with diddly squat in profit.

    Your idea sounds like a possible solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by little-linguist View Post
    Sometimes stock takes longer to come in than normal as we import lots from abroad.
    Most of our stock has a 90 day lead time, which is why we aim to hold 180 days stock, we don't take account orders from schools, they pay on order like everyone else, the admin for handling invoices, statements and cheques is far too expensive. Amazing how they find a card when they want the goods!
    John Ayres

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