Alternate Stocking Units are a way to configure products that you want to sell with different "amount" options that draw from your inventory in different numbers. This article will discuss what alternate stocking units are, and how the Modern Retail integrator handles products with alternate stocking units.
What are Alternate Stocking Units?
Alternate Stocking Units have a variety of use cases, but for an easy example, let's look at canned beverages.
Let's say you sell soda. You might want to sell cans of soda individually, in six-packs, and in cases of 24. If you set a "soda" product up with alternate stocking units, you could sell soda on your site with an option of 1, 6, or 24, and when a customer orders that product the appropriate amount would be deducted from your inventory. That means when someone buys a six-pack, your "soda" inventory would go down by six, and so on.
This is the main way Alternate Stocking Units differ from gridded products. Gridded products do not allow for deducting different amounts from your inventory based on the product option chosen.
Alternate Stocking Units with Modern Retail's Integrator
Currently, the Modern Retail integrator has a few limitations in place with alternate stocking units, and they're recorded slightly differently from other products.
The first limitation is that alternate stocking units only work with "simple" products, not gridded products. This is because when sending a product with alternate stocking units is sent to your ecommerce platform, the different stock options use the "options" customization that we would typically use for gridded products.
The second limitation is that alternate stocking units are currently only supported when importing web orders into CounterPoint as POS tickets. Modern Retail is currently working on surpassing this limitation, and a solution is expected some time in the second quarter of 2021.
Displaying Alternate Stocking Units
Alternate Stocking Units are displayed in a specific way with our integration. Let's use the soda example from earlier to get a basic idea.
Let's say the soda product exists as "SODA" in CounterPoint, and has a "preferred unit" of "SIX". It would also have alternate stocking units of "ONE" and "TWENTYFOUR" (these could also be labelled as "SOLO" and "CASE"; anything that makes the amount clear).
An Alternate Stocking Unit parent product SKU would be created as SODA-ASU; the "ASU" identifies it as an alternate stocking unit product, and the "-" separated the item number from the identifying "ASU". The alternate stocking options (ONE and TWENTYFOUR) would then be created as "SODA~ONE" and "SODA~TWENTYFOUR". The CounterPoint item number comes first, and then the Alternate Stocking Unit number comes second, after a tilde (~).
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us with a support request.