Inventory sync between HotWax Commerce and Shopify

HotWax Commerce manages the retailer’s inventory and takes care of the inventory reservations and allocations, but the orders are still placed in Shopify and therefore Shopify needs accurate inventory at all times.

HotWax Commerce by a combination of functionalities sync inventory to Shopify. This post will give you a descriptive analysis of how HotWax Commerce syncs inventory with Shopify.

When HotWax Commerce is setup, it receives the initial inventory from Shopify or through a CSV provided by the retailer. Thereafter, HotWax Commerce sends regular inventory updates into Shopify using batch jobs. It is a configurable job and can be run through the Job Manager.

Most asked questions:

  1. What is consolidated inventory and why does HotWax Commerce sends consolidated inventory into Shopify?

Answer: When HotWax Commerce is the inventory master, all the facilities are managed in HotWax and only a virtual location or a default location is setup in Shopify. HotWax Commerce consolidates the inventory of all the stores and sends it to one location in Shopify.

It simplifies the order capturing on Shopify as it does not have to manage inventory for all the stores. Thereafter, when an order is imported into HotWax through a batch job or a web hook, HotWax Commerce manages the inventory reservations amongst the stores.

This way Shopify only manages one location and deducts inventory from that location whenever an order is received. HotWax takes care of the rest of the operations on the order side.

  1. How does store lookup work if all inventory is store at one stock location in Shopify?

Answer: HotWax Commerce provides a store lookup API which enables the customer to see store pickup options with available inventory on the Shopify PDP. Whenever a customer goes on a product detail page and clicks on pickup today, an API call is made to HotWax Commerce which fetches inventory availability at the retail stores and displays it on the PDP.

This API call is not made to Shopify and therefore Shopify can manage just one location and the retailer uses the HotWax Commerce Store lookup API to provide real time inventory availability amongst the stores for BOPIS orders.

  1. Is the inventory sync between HotWax and Shopify real-time?

Answer: HotWax Commerce sends inventory updates through a configurable batch job that can be run through the Job Manager.

  1. If the sync is not real-time, how is Shopify’s inventory accurate?

Answer: When HotWax Commerce sends inventory updates into Shopify, Shopify reads the delta and updates inventory. Thereafter, when an order is received, Shopify reduces inventory from the default location.

As the inventory sync job is configurable, it can be set as per the retailer’s business requirement and if inventory is very often changed, the frequency of the service can be set accordingly. However, when Shopify itself reduces the inventory when an order is placed, it ensure that the product is not oversold.

  1. How does the inventory remain accurate if someone places a store pickup order?

Answer: When the retailer uses HotWax Commerce for the store pickup orders, Shopify is not able to read the line item which assigns the pickup store. In this case, Shopify reduces inventory from the default location and not the assigned store.

Process of how inventory is maintained throughout HotWax Commerce and Shopify:

  1. As soon as the order is placed, Shopify reduces inventory from the default location.
  2. HotWax Commerce imports the order with the assigned location and routes the order to the particular store.
  3. HotWax Commerce then reduces inventory from the assigned store in HotWax Commerce OMS.
  4. An adjustment is then sent to Shopify through a configurable batch job which prompts Shopify to make an inventory adjustment.
  5. Shopify then increases inventory of the default location and reduces inventory from the assigned store to maintain accurate in-store inventory.

This way HotWax Commerce ensures accuracy of inventory across Shopify.