Once you've decided ShipStation's native inventory is right for you, it's only a few steps to set up.
In brief, you will:
- Establish your Inventory Warehouse
- Link your Inventory Warehouse as a Source to the appropriate Ship From Location
- Input your initial stock levels
- Review your Inventory settings and enable tracking
This short video will illustrate the steps for you, and detailed written instructions follow:
Establish Your Inventory Warehouse(s)
Think of this as the physical location where you store your inventory.
- Go to Settings > Inventory Management > Inventory Warehouse. Notice that a default Inventory Warehouse is already set up for you. You may use this one, or create a new one (move on to step 2 to create a new one).
- Click Add Inventory Warehouse, name the warehouse, and click Save.
- Optional: If your warehouse is configured with aisles, bins, and shelves that indicate specific locations for items, click Manage Locations next to your new warehouse. This will allow you to add your specific warehouse layout so you can assign these locations to individual items later.
NOTE: This step is not necessary for completing your inventory setup.
For detailed steps with screenshots on setting up the Inventory warehouse and layout, see our article How do I set up an inventory warehouse?.
Link Your Inventory Warehouse as an Inventory Source
This connects the Inventory Warehouse you just created with your Ship From Location, allowing ShipStation to identify what inventory comes from where, and deduct inventory from the correct place.
- Go to Settings > Shipping > Ship From Location.
- Click Edit next to the Ship From location to which you want to link your Inventory Warehouse.
- Click on the Inventory Source drop-down menu and select the Inventory Warehouse you just created (it should be listed under the ShipStation Inventory category).
- Save your changes.
Input Your Initial Stock Levels
The best way to do this will depend on how many products you have. If you have only a few products, do the following:
- Go to your Products tab and open a Product Details window for an item to which you wish to add inventory.
- Click on the Inventory tab in the Details window.
- Click Add to Alternate Location.
- Select the Warehouse from the Warehouse drop-down menu, Location (if applicable), and stock quantity.
- Click Add Location, then click Save Changes.
If you have a large number of products, however, adding inventory manually can be very time-consuming. A more efficient way is to upload your inventory levels using a CSV import.
Follow the instructions in this article to set your initial inventory levels using a CSV import.
Review your Inventory Settings and enable Inventory Tracking
Finally, go to Settings > Inventory Management > Inventory Settings and decide how you want ShipStation to handle shipping 'no stock remaining' (i.e. unallocated) orders, and if you want to opt into other warnings.
When you're ready, toggle the Enable Inventory Tracking option and then save your changes. ShipStation will now start deducting inventory when you ship your orders!
Once you've completed the basic setup, you'll notice that your stock levels will decrease as you ship orders -- current stock levels are easy to view from your Inventory grid.
If you'd like to customize some additional Inventory Management functions, try:
- Adjusting how ShipStation allocates by defining a custom allocation strategy.
- Setting up account-wide and/or SKU-specific thresholds in order for ShipStation to alert you when it's time to reorder.
- Identifying some SKUs as "Do not track" (coupons, freebies, samples, etc.)
- Editing your user accounts to add the Inventory Management permission, or enable the 'Read-Only Inventory' restriction.