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 screencap that shows how to define a custom allocation strategy with a task to prioritize Amazon orders:
Your allocation strategy can 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.
The screencap below shows how to set that up as a second task:
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 gear 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.
Keep in mind that all allocation is manually triggered- ShipStation won’t automatically allocate as your orders import. Also, allocation tasks will skip over orders that can only be allocated partially.
There you have it! Your allocation strategy is now customized to match your fulfillment priorities.