Centralize Your Inventory

Getting your inventory organized is one of the best things you can do for your business. As you'll see by using Stitch, inventory is at the heart of everything and gaining control of your inventory means gaining control over your business as a whole.

Let's walk through how you'll manage your inventory in Stitch.

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The Basics: Variants, Products & Listings

Variants

Variants refer to the individual products you sell. All your inventory tracks off of these items and they change when they get ordered and closed in Stitch. We’ll explain more about that process a little later on.

Products

A variant, is quite literally a variation of a product. A product is the overarching type and all variants are found within a product. Stitch’s inventory stock quantities are built off of the changes at the variant level. 

Let's walk through an example:

You sell Baseball Caps. They come in two colors – GreenBlue

YOUR PRODUCT IS:

Baseball Cap

YOUR VARIANTS ARE:

Baseball Cap (Green
Baseball Cap (Blue)

Because these are physical products, your stock quantities can be different for each variant.

THE VARIANT STOCK QUANTITIES ARE:

Baseball Cap (Green) – 51 units
Baseball Cap (Blue) – 33 units

 

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Pro Tip:

Each product has a variant - even if it is just one. So if you just sell one style cowboy hat, you will have a product name of Cowboy Hat and a variant called Cowboy Hat.

Listings

In Stitch, variants are your physical goods and the listings are what you call each variant on each of the commerce platforms on which you are selling (Shopify, Amazon, eBay, etc.). We call these integrated sales channels. Because you might sell on multiple sales channels, you could have several listings attached to just one variant - we call this linking.

Linking listings is very important because it connects what is being sold on your sales channels to the stock quantity available in Stitch. Tying all of these channel listings to a single variant ensures you have an accurate stock count regardless of where your sales are happening.

Pro Tip:

SKUs are a best practice way to keep consistency across your variants and listings. You can use the same SKU across Sales Channels even if you use different titles or descriptions.

To continue our example:

You sell these Green Baseball Caps on your branded Shopify site (a shopping cart) a marketplace, Amazon and in your retail location with a Square POS.

Therefore you will link the 3 listings to your variant Baseball Cap (Green).

Shopify: Multi-color Baseball Cap – Green
Square: Tri-Color Baseball Cap – Green
Amazon: Baseball Cap – Green

Note: Your listings may be named differently on your sales channels even though the physical good itself is identical. This has no effect as long as they are all correctly linked to the corresponding variant in Stitch.

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Bringing It All Together

Managing Inventory

Now that you have connected your Variants to your listings, you can start to manage your inventory as orders for those items are placed.

Having a complete view into your inventory as it moves across all your sales channels is priceless for running your business.

We'll cover how stock decreases and increases in Stitch.

Stitch has four stages for inventory

1. Stock or On-hand Stock: The quantity of the variant you have in your possession.

2. Committed: The quantity you are due to send to your customer.

3. Available: The difference between your stock and committed. This is the quantity Stitch updates to your integrated channel when we sync.

4. Awaiting: The quantity you are expecting from outstanding Purchase Orders to you suppliers.

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Changes in Stock – Decreasing Stock

The available quantity changes immediately once an order is received by Stitch. This captures a more accurate picture of what you actually have available for sale.

Stock will go down when you close an order in Stitch. Since stock refers to the physical item, it will only go down when the order is closed.

 

To continue our example...

1. An order for one Multi-color baseball cap (Green) is placed on Shopify. This order information syncs to Stitch every 10 minutes triggering the following events (starter plans sync every 60 minutes):

Stock for Baseball Cap (Green) stays the same
Available decreases by 1
Committed increases by 1.

2. Order is closed in Stitch:

Stock decreases by 1
Available stays the same
Committed decreases by 1.

Closing orders in Stitch

Closing orders is critical to having an accurate inventory count. You can close orders in several ways:

1. Individually or in bulk from the Orders page
2. Within an order
3. Auto-close from an integrated sales channel (see Pro Tip)

Pro Tip:

Integrated sale channels are set to auto-close  so that when they're marked as paid and shipped on that channel they are automatically closed in Stitch. That way you can continue with your current workflow and not have to take an extra step to come into Stitch to close orders.

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Note: Stitch inventory changes based on orders that are synced from your integrated channels or created manually in Stitch.

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Changes in Stock – Increasing Stock

Inventory goes up when you replenish your stock of items. You can update the stock counts in four ways: 

1. Directly on the Inventory Tab with inline editing

2. Receiving inventory from a Supplier using Stitch’s Purchase Orders

3. Exporting, Updating & Importing a CSV of all Variant stock quantities

4. After processing a return

keeping it all in sync

Master of Stock

Just as you’ll want to know what’s happening on your sales channels to keep your inventory up to date, your sales channels can also benefit from knowing your inventory count.

Setting Stitch as the Master of Stock will push the available inventory numbers back to each of your sales channels so you don’t oversell -- or undersell! That way when something sells on Shopify, Stitch will also update Amazon and Square with the right product availability.

Example

When you sell one Baseball Cap (Green) on Shopify and your available inventory in Stitch goes down to 44 units, Stitch then pushes 44 as the inventory quantity back to Shopify, Amazon and Square. This ensures that the count is always the same and accurate across each channel.

 

Pro Tip:

Wait to turn on Master of Stock until after you reconcile & confirm your Stitch inventory counts are accurate. That way you push all the correct information across all your channels.

Bonus tip! You can set the Master of Stock settings to a maximum quantity available. This is helpful for managing eBay value maximum or for creating scarcity.

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Getting Started

Setting Up Your Account

Adding Products & Variants to Stitch

You can automatically build products from an integrated sales channel with the Auto-Build functionality. This will save you from manually creating and linking the products. You can always create additional products, either manually or from an individual listing on a different channel. 

Example

Because the majority of your products are sold on Shopify, you choose Shopify as the initial Auto-Build channel, effectively building your entire catalogue just by integrating that sales channel.

Pro Tip:

Even if you are a multichannel seller you will typically only auto-build from one channel (the one with the most products) so that you don’t create duplicate products.

Every sales channel is unique, so read the detailed instructions on how to integrate each channel.

Adding Additional Channels & Listings

If you have additional integrated sales channels, you will want to integrate those to create the listings in Stitch. Follow the detailed instructions for each additional channel you integrate.

Important: Patience is a Virtue. Linking listings often has to be done manually. While this step can be time consuming if you have a lot of products, you will only need to do this once and then everything will automatically sync between your sales channels and Stitch. 

If you use SKUs, you can use the auto-link setting to automate the process of linking listings to their corresponding product. 

 

Example

By integrating Square & Amazon - the listings for 

Square: Tri-Color Baseball Cap – Green
Amazon: Baseball Cap – Green

will automatically be created. By selecting click to link, searching on Baseball Cap (Green) the listing will be connected to the variant.

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Setting Master of Stock

As mentioned above, Master of Stock allows Stitch to push inventory quantities from Stitch back into your sales channels. This is great for creating a closed loop system such that whenever your inventory is decreased or increased the current count is accurately reflected across all your sales channels. You can pick and choose which channels (or even listings) you want Stitch to be the Master of Stock.

 

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Pro Tip:

When setting up Stitch, sometimes it is easier to have Master of Stock turned off until you get your inventory counts in order. So, take a stocktake, update your inventory and then turn on your Master of Stock within the Integration Settings. That way, you aren’t syncing inaccurate data while you are getting your inventory squared away.

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 Stitch Labs has saved me so much time running my online and brick & mortar business. We haven't had any issues with oversells since using Stitch Labs. Now that everything automatically gets done, I'm saving hours every week. 

– Tara Gross, Country Drawers

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