Allocation is the process of reserving inventory units for your orders in the "Awaiting Shipment" status.
This process is a core component of our native Inventory Management solution because it clarifies the difference between the stock you have on hand ("Stock"), the stock you need to ship your open orders ("Allocated"), and remaining stock you have available to sell ("Available").
If you ship only your allocated orders, you can be certain you have the stock you need to get those orders out the door!
To allocate one or more orders, make sure you have Inventory Tracking Enabled, then use the Allocation menu option in the “Awaiting Shipment” status of the Orders tab.
If you’re looking at the Order Details pop-up for a single order, there’s an Allocate option in the top right as well.
When an order is successfully allocated, its line items will show lock icons in both the Order Detail screen...
... and the Order Sidebar.
An order is either fully allocated or it's not-- you can't partially allocate an order. The idea is that you should only ship orders that are allocated, because it's ShipStation's way of saying "You've got enough stock to ship this!"
Note that every successful allocation affects the stock-related values on the Inventory grid (found by clicking the Products tab, and then Inventory in the left sidebar). Values in the "Allocated" column should have increased, while the "Available" values should have decreased. The "Stock" values won’t decrease until you create a shipping label.
If you’ve oversold, ShipStation won’t have enough "Available" units to allocate all of your orders. In cases like these, ShipStation can allocate your priority orders first by using a customizable Allocation Strategy.
Use allocation as a tool to let you know which orders are ready to be shipped, adding another layer of confidence to your shipping process. Start allocating your orders today!