Retailers Need Ecommerce and Dynamic Inventory Visibility
Thursday, July 19, 2018

Retailers Need Ecommerce and Dynamic Inventory Visibility

A great example of ecommerce and dynamic inventory visibility working well together came from a discussion with a partner: Episerver. As part of a solid partnership with OrderDynamics, Episerver develops an ecommerce platform as part of the full Digital Experience Cloud system. Our discussions resulted in a great business opportunity for existing and new clients.

Episerver’s Geolocation

Part of the Episerver solution is the geolocation capabilities the ecommerce platform (ECP). Simply, this can pinpoint the location of a customer. It is perfect for allocating sales credit to a particular region or store. It also provides a clear example of where ecommerce and dynamic inventory visibility system work well together.

What is Dynamics Inventory VisibilityAn advanced OMS adjusts the inventory shown for different regions, on business rules.

Firstly, let’s take a step back to define dynamics inventory visibility. It is the ability for an advanced OMS to create inventory pools. Inventory pools are a virtual concept. They are sourced from any and all inventory locations for a retail chain. This includes distributions centers, store inventory, popup stores, can include 3PLs, drop shippers, and even inbound inventory. Inbound inventory being that on a truck or a shipping container, travelling to the retailer. For our example, dynamic inventory visibility (DII) lets a retailer pool all inventory based on some particular criteria. An example might be pooling high margin products, regardless of location. This lets a retailer show all high margin inventory, for customers and prospects outside certain geographic boundaries, for example.

Beyond the simple example, DII lets you choose inventory pools with different criteria to show customers in different regions. You may need to limit supply to only certain regions, for a promotional campaign due to limited inventory. This is a good way to handle it. Important to highlight is that the advanced OMS adjusts the inventory shown for different regions, based on business rules. Hence another angle to the dynamic nature.

Ecommerce and Dynamic Inventory Visibility

So how would this all work together? Ecommerce and Dynamics Inventory Visibility, then add a dose of AI for a truly powerful blend.

A retailer on an Episerver system with an OrderDynamics OMS starts by also getting geolocation information about the web traffic. In this case, the shopper opts-in to grant permission to address any privacy concerns. Then, to prepare the retailer sets up and uses the inventory virtualization function of the OMS. Here inventory pools are setup. Elaborating on that first example, one set of inventory pools is set high, another mid and a final group is set to low margin products. For such a retailer, the two systems are ideally setup for ecommerce and dynamic inventory visibility use.

Now, the systems administrator uses easy drop-down menus to select the routing business rules. For our case, we have a west-coast fashion retailer. Nearby online shoppers on the west-coast get full inventory visibility to all items based on the business rules configured by the admin. Full access means seeing high, mid and low margin goods.

Then, the systems administrator sets up the next set of business rules. Again, all done within minutes, from drop-down menus. She sets up the next business rule such that east-coast shoppers are shown mid and high margin goods – only. These from the mid and high margin inventory pools selected. Finally, a third set of business rules are setup. These are for international customers. They will only have access to high margin inventory.


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Retailers: Why Segment This Way?

One reason is for maintaining positive margins! Customers close to the retailer’s stores and DCs are less costly to fulfill. They can drop in to pick up an item in the case of click and collect. This is practically costless to the retailer. Shipping to local customers is not too costly either when shipped from store. This due to their proximity.

But, shoppers outside certain boundaries become expensive. Shipping costs go up with distance. Shipping costs go up for international orders. For these, you want to group and only sell items with more margin to cover your costs. As a retailer, DII helps you ensure you have enough margin in each sale. Consequently, this helps you avoid losing money on every order shipped to the east coast, or out of country.

Why Else Segment?Ecommerce and dynamic inventory visibility go hand in hand, giving retailers more options

Furthermore, reasons to use ecommerce and dynamic inventory visibility can be:

  • Channel partner alignment by territories
  • Restricted Goods in different regions (weapons, fireworks, alcohol, controlled substances)
  • Unique Products by region (ie: 120v vs 240v)
  • Labelling compliance
  • Service coverage regions (ie: cellular)
  • Region-based promotions.

Helping Retailers

In essence, Ecommerce and dynamic inventory visibility go hand in hand. It gives retailers options. Retailers want to sell wherever a buying shopper wants to purchase. Ecommerce lets you do this. Combining it with dynamic inventory visibility, it lets you do so profitably and on your terms.

Want to know more? Why not Contact Us? We are here to help, even if it is just to answer a few questions.


Charles Dimov - Director Marketing OrderDynamicsCharles Dimov is the VP of Marketing at OrderDynamics. Charles has 21+ years experience in Marketing, Sales and Management across various IT and Technology businesses. Previous roles include Chief of Staff, Director Product Marketing, Director Sales and Category Management for ecommerce and channel goods. Charles has held roles in brand name firms like IBM, Ericsson, HP, ADP, and OrderDynamics.





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