Your Allocation Strategy determines how ShipStation reserves (i.e. allocates) inventory for your Awaiting Shipment orders.
By default, ShipStation allocates inventory for your oldest orders first. But, if you've got reasons to prioritize some orders over others, then it's best to set up a custom allocation strategy with "tasks" that match those priorities.
For example, selling channels like Amazon and eBay penalize merchants that don't ship out orders quickly enough.
Check out this screen capture that shows how to define a custom allocation strategy with a task to prioritize Amazon orders:
Your allocation strategy can also have multiple tasks. For example, let's say that you offer expedited shipping across all of your selling channels. It's possible to define a task that prioritizes orders with Expedited in the buyer's requested shipping method, as shown in the image below:
When you're ready to define (or refine) your allocation strategy, follow the steps below to get to the Allocation Strategy editor:
Head to your Account Settings (the wrench icon in the upper right).
Next, select Inventory Management and then Allocation Strategy from the sidebar on the left.
Now that you're at the editor, try out the allocation tasks described above or create your own! Hover over any allocation task to reveal Edit and Remove options on the right, and drag tasks around to reorder them.
There you have it! Your allocation strategy is now customized to match your fulfillment priorities.
A few things to keep in mind about using allocation:
- All allocation is manually triggered - ShipStation won’t automatically allocate as your orders import.
- Allocation tasks will skip over orders that can only be allocated partially.
- ShipStation does not require you to allocate stock for you to be able to ship orders. Stock will be deducted as you ship, whether stock is allocated or not.