How to Create Inventory History

How to Create Inventory History

A popular request among Shopify merchants, many of you have asked us about the best way to keep a historical record of your inventory over time for tracking purposes. 

This has all sorts of useful applications, from being able to monitor stock levels at a given point in time to creating an audit trail you can refer back to whenever needed.
The problem is that you can't track what you haven't started tracking! Shopify itself doesn't keep a record of inventory by default, and even then, only 90-days worth of history can be stored in your account.

With Report Toaster however, you can track inventory history from the moment you set it up all the way to the present day. In other words, if you'd set up inventory history back in November 2021, you'd have almost 6 months to reference (at the time of this article's publication, April 2022). So much like planting a tree - if you want to see the fruits of your efforts later, there's no time like the present to begin. 

So how do we go about setting this up?  

Creating Inventory History 

To do this, we're going to take advantage of Report Toaster's Scheduled Report feature. You can learn more about this feature via that previous link or with this video tutorial located here.

Note - You must be on a paid plan of Report Toaster to have access to this feature. You can check out our app listing for more information on our various plans.

Using this feature, Report Toaster will essentially be taking a snapshot of the Inventory Value report on a regular basis. The Inventory Value report tells you exactly what your stock levels are at the time of running (meaning it is always a 'live report' - aka, what do I have in stock right now).

One of the most important things to decide on early is how often you're going to want a snapshot of your data. Do you want a report to run daily, weekly, monthly, or even quarterly? There's nothing worse than setting up an end-of-quarter snapshot of your inventory, only to decide later that you wish you had a snapshot at the end of every week. So we recommend setting up a report to run on a fairly regular basis (e.g. every Sunday) and that way you have a detailed record to review at your leisure. 

Scheduling the Report

This is a fairly quick process to setup, so let's go through it step by step: 

1.) Click the 3-dot icon, and then click Schedule. 

2.) Next, you'll be presented with a range of options. From here you can
  1. Give the report a name (e.g. Inventory History)
  2. Choose how often you want the report to run (essentially, how often do you want to take a 'snapshot' of your inventory). This is set to 1 week by default.
  3. Choose a start date (when you want to start tracking, e.g. today, Sunday, whenever) and end date (when you'd like the reports to stop running). If you omit the end date, it will continue to run in perpetuity.
  4. Choose any recipients you'd like to send the data to (and in what format - CSV, PDF or JSON). We recommend CSV both for ease of use and flexibility in terms of exporting the data.
Note - The recipient is strictly optional, as you can always access any of your reports via the History section (covered below).

Note - For more information about these different options, check out our main guide on Scheduled Reports here

3.) Click Save, and you should be good to go! You can always check on the status of your Scheduled Report at any time by going to the Scheduled Reports section in the left hand menu: 

Checking the Data

Once the report has been setup, you can go back to Scheduled Reports and then go to History (at the top) to see every snapshot that you've created. Now in this case, I've just set up this report to start immediately, so my first snapshot is already ready.

Downloading this report will therefore show me my inventory levels as of 8.05pm on 4/4/22.  And of course in a few weeks time, I'll have several reports here to check at my convenience. 

So that's really all there is to it! 

If you need any further help with creating a Scheduled Report or tracking Inventory History, feel free to reach out to us at any time. 
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