Major Inventory Management Issue with Shopify

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Tourist
13 0 2

Shopify is completely ignoring their clients' needs on this issue as far as I am concerned. I have done a bit of digging online, on the community and spoken with a few developers as well as Shopify's own staff and it boils down to this: Shopify lacks the ability to allow the client to change inventory from 0 to 1 or more and have it show up as if it were a "new" item. Back in stock items essentially can become buried on your site if you have thousands of SKU's in various collections like I do. I cannot waste the MASSIVE amount of time it would take to tagging each of these back in stock items so they show on a special collection and then remove them later so other newly re-added items can show up as back in stock.

 

It boils down to a really very simple problem in how Shopify gauges the age of an item entry. Rather than looking at the publication date for an item, something we supposedly have control over, it looks at the creation date of the entry. So basically if I made an item in January, left it unavailable, had to wait for 8 months for production and THEN made it go live, it would already be buried under 8 months of other products that I created after it even though the product is only now just being released. More importantly, when I sell out of a product I want to be able to showcase when it comes back in stock without micro managing it. If Shopify would simply change it so that the automatic "newly added items" classification worked off the publication date and NOT the creation date, the problem would be solved by clients simply updating the publication date.

 

This problem has numerous posts over several years, and Shopify needs to address this. It's stupid that this cannot be worked around either, short of duplicating and then deleting a previous entry which will screw up the entire functionality of the "back in stock" app which requires customers to sign up for SPECIFIC product alerts, and doesn't solve the problem of not having items listed more prominently.

 

The staff member submitted this issue as a feature request, I e-mailed Shopify to inform them about it as well, and I would ask you all PLEASE bring it to their attention as well, so that hopefully we can have this resolved after all these years. I know that I am likely losing business because we handle thousands of SKU's and out customers are most interested in what is newly being added to the on hand counts, and as long as they are actually new entries it's fine, but all back in stock stuff goes ignored because it gets buried.

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Shopify Partner
248 9 50

While I can understand what you want and why you want it, this is quite a specific thing. 

What we do on our site is tag new items with a 'New' tag, and then these can be filtered or shown in a collection etc. But of course that does require manual maintenance over time.

In order to be able to determine that an item 'just came back into stock', you're actually talking about having TWO inventory numbers, the PREVIOUS number and the NEW number. And then you'd be able to compare old vs new. But I don't think shopify is about to implement an 'inventory history' or tracking of what the number was prior to the recent change. Would be nice, but, that's extra fields and database storage and so on, somewhat complicated.

You could write some kind of automation or excel macro or something to download the inventory each day, then you can keep track offline of what the numbers were yesterday. Then if the number goes from 0 to >0, you can output some list of products that are becoming new, add a tag, then import that product file. But that also is a somewhat manual process.

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Shopify Partner
248 9 50

An alternative way would be that when something is known to go OUT of stock, TAG the item. Then when it comes back into stock, you can find those items and display them somewhere because they are tagged.

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Tourist
13 0 2
I completely understand that detecting the state of inventory level is much more complicated, which is why I suggest that what they need to do is allow the system to define "new" based on the publication date and not the creation date which it's based on now. The publication date can be changed and the "newest" filter based on it, whereas the creation date is locked and unflexible.
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Shopify Partner
248 9 50

That's true, but in general 'newness' isn't usually anything to do with inventory levels. It's to do with products that have never been on the site before at all. Stuff going 'out' of new and into old and back to new again is not a common way of doing things.

Thought I do see it would be helpful to mix in the 'back in stock' items with the 'newness' of items.

Overall though something isn't really new just because it came back into stock. If it goes in and out of stock on and off over time it's going to be constantly fluctuating between new and not new, and could've been on the site for 5 years and still be considered 'new'. And probably in fact 'newer' than something that was added last week.

If its an item that has never been available before it should probably not be added to the site until it is actually available, or close to.

 

If it was available and has now been backordered for months at a time and is coming back and you want to 'feature it' more, it's going to have to be a more custom solution. It's not technically new, it's just 'revived'.

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Tourist
7 0 3

My store has over 1,500 variants.  When we come out with something new, we highlight it with a new collection.  I don't feel like this is a bad workaround.

 

In the case where you create a product but don't offer it for 8 months...

Could you duplicate your product so it has a new creation date?  Then just delete the old product?

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Tourist
13 0 2
Well now you are just arguing existentially. "What does 'new' really mean", lol.

Ultimately shopify has no solution for streamlining management of inventory to highlight back in stock merch short of manually adding tags to a new or back in stock collection and then having to manually go back and manage it all again which is absurdly time consuming. Ultimately I want to be able to rotate the product so new items and back and stock are always rising to the top and I can't do that without a crap load of unnecessary work they could make an automated solution for, or without tricking the system with a ridiculous work around.

Do you see how stupidly inefficient it is to have 450 products going back into stock and manually having to add "new" or "back-in-stock" tags to each of them and then figure out some arbitrary date to go back and remove that tag so the next batch of 320 items coming back in two weeks later so they dont in turn get buried because all items for both groups are shuffled together based on their original creation date? I dont think you are realizing how bad basing newness entirely on creation date is. Publication date would be a simple fix wouldn't it? Set up "new" based on publication date, then for those where it doesnt matter they can just keep the publication date as the creation date (which it does when you make the item and publish it at the same time doesnt it?). Or add a book option to filter by publication date or creation date depending on client preference.

Essentially either way I would still need to edit each item, add inventory and either add a tag or change the publication date to 5 minutes from now, but with my solution I would not have to go back in say 30 days later and remove a tag, it would simply roll down the list of back in stock items as more items continue to come back in stock.
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Tourist
13 0 2
Robbie you are misunderstanding. I'm talking about replenished stock not new items. The 8 month example was just an extreme example showing how stupid it is to base "newness" on the item entry creation date vs basing it on the publication date entered which is my suggested work around.

All of my new items go to the top of my newly added items collection, that's not the issue, the issue is when items come back in stock there is no way to feature them short of manually managing tags twice over time, which is horribly inefficient
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Tourist
7 0 3

I use Bulk Tag editor and it works great.  

 

Essentially, I've found that Shopify is great in general things.  When you start wanting to do anything specific, you've got to purchase a 3rd party app.

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