Inventory management with Fulfillment By Bol.com

The Inbounds API for Fulfillment by Bol.com is used to create shipments to the bol.com warehouse and retrieve information on the status of your shipment. This ensures that your stock levels are managed, and handles the shipment of your inventory to our warehouse for the products that you want to sell through the FBB network.

A newer version of the inbound API is already in development is scheduled to be introduced in the Retailer API v5. When connecting to v4, please keep in mind that you will be required to migrate to Inbound API in v5 due to the implementation of logistical process changes. We strongly recommend that you connect to v5 when it becomes available, since the planned updates are significant. For more information on planned updates, see Planned updates to the Inbounds API.

Stock tracking

The first step of inventory management begins when you are notified that your stock needs to be replenished. This may happen through your own systems outside of bol.com; however we provide some options to notify you of the stock levels:

Retrieve inventory endpoint

Retrieve inventory endpoint: returns the current inventory levels in the warehouse.

For example, the stock parameter with value INSUFFICIENT will return all of your FBB inventory where the regular stock level is 0.

Graded stock in the warehouse has been rated by us as unsellable. For more information on managing these items, see Unsellable stock here.

Replenishing stock

The Inbounds API endpoints manage the process of replenishing your stock at the bol.com distribution centre. The process of sending new stock to the warehouse through the API is described below.

Create inbound shipments

Create inbound shipment endpoint: creates a new inbound shipment.

The information you supply in the POST parameters can be obtained with the use of other endpoints, detailed below.

To create the shipment correctly, you should supply the following details:

  • reference: a free text field which can be looked up from your own system if needed. This is also known as a 'packinglist reference'. The limitations are:

    • 15 characters

    • At least 1 digit

  • timeSlot: for more information, see [Schedule the pickup].

  • inboundTransporter: the transport method name and code to the distribution centre. For more information, see Choose a transporter.

  • labellingService: a boolean field, where Yes means you will use the bol.com labelling service. For more information, see Label your packages.

  • products: an array where you can list the products in your shipment. Each product should have a unique EAN.

Schedule the collection

Retrieve delivery windows endpoint: returns a list of available delivery windows for inbound shipments. The delivery window is the time when it can arrive at the bol.com warehouse.

Once you have received the list of available delivery windows from this call, you can schedule the shipment using the timeSlot field in Create inbound shipment.

The pickup time will normally be within a 2-hour window.

Choose a transporter

Retrieve transporters endpoint: returns a list of transporters that are available for inbound shipments.

Transporters are the method of shipment used to deliver the goods to the distribution centre. For example, this can be PostNL, UPS, or any of the other available methods. This value can be used for the inboundTransporter field in Create inbound shipments.

Label your packages

There are two types of labels used for the FBB process:

  • Shipping labels are identified per load carrier and used to arrange the shipment of goods to the warehouse. These should be printed and added prior to shipment.

  • Product labels are identified per BSKU (EAN) and used to sort and manage your goods in the warehouse. This enables bol.com to track your unique set of products.

Shipping labels

Retrieve inbound shipping labels endpoint: returns the shipping labels for the inbound shipments per load carrier in the shipment.

Labels can be applied either per item or per pallet. From the side of bol.com, this distinction is not important.

Product labels

Retrieve inbound product labels: returns the product labels for a set of inbound BSKUs. Product labels are used to scan your products in the warehouse.

There are two possible options for product labelling:

  • Let bol.com label your articles. This option costs € 0.18 per labeled item. For more information on this option, see Label your articles.

  • Use the Retrieve inbound product labels endpoint above to fetch the labels for your packages, and print them yourself. See Label your articles for some guidelines about self-labelling. It is important to label items correctly, or there is a risk of them being incorrectly scanned at the warehouse.

Packing your goods

Retrieve inbound packing list endpoint: returns the packing list for the inbound shipment.

The PDF you receive from this endpoint is used to confirm the items in your shipment.

Track inbound shipments

The following endpoints allow you to track your shipments:

The single shipment endpoint provides more detailed feedback on an item than the inbound shipments endpoint. For example, the shipping timeSlot is only provided in the single shipment.

Planned updates to the Inbounds API

The following enhancements to the Inbound API are scheduled for v5 of the Retailer API:

  • Updating the delivery after creation: Currently it is not possible to update the delivery time or date, cancel a shipment, or change the pickup time if you booked a pickup appointment.

  • Using the bol.com delivery service: The bol.com delivery service with PostNL for FBB is a value-added service where we arrange the collection of your packages to our distribution centers on your behalf. For more information on this service, including the prices, see the article above.

    Currently the delivery service pickup cannot be scheduled via the API.

  • Done status: The Done status is the final shipment state. Currently the API does not provide this status.

  • Proactive feedback about status transitions: From v5, the API will be able to notify users whenever a shipment state transitions, instead of requiring them to poll for updates.