Normally merchants would like to receive as many orders as possible, and the stock control features are there to prevent overselling.
However, with Scheduled Ordering, some businesses may have bottlenecks with delivery capacity or kitchen capacity and need to remove certain pickup/delivery times if capacity is reached.
Rocketspark’s store preferences now have options for setting limits on how many pickup or delivery orders can be placed in any half-hour period. The purpose of this is to help spread out the orders that are placed so that delivery and pickup staff can meet demand.
The controls allow you to set a maximum number of orders that can be placed in a half-hour period. There is a separate control for pickup and delivery you can set in your Rocketspark dashboard -> Store Settings -> Scheduled Ordering section.
Rocketspark will use these preferences when displaying the date and time selectors to the customer in the checkout. The customer can choose their delivery or pickup time in 5-minute intervals. For each time option, Rocketspark counts the existing orders that are scheduled for 15 minutes on either side of the timeslot. If this number matches the dashboard limit settings, then that timeslot is removed from the dropdown list and the customer will have to choose another time from the list.
This is a rolling count, so if there are several orders placed for the same timeslot this will likely make several timeslots unavailable.
If you have 2 delivery drivers and the average delivery takes 15 minutes, then your capacity is around 8 deliveries per hour (4 deliveries per half hour). You would set the delivery order limit in the Rocketspark store preferences to “max 4 orders per half hour”.
Pickups may be easier to fulfil but perhaps there is a 6 pm dinner rush, so you might set the pickup order limit to “max 8 orders per half-hour” so that staff don’t get overloaded at this time.
When generating the list of available times, each time option gets cross-checked against existing orders, looking at 15 mins before and after the timeslot.
So when deciding whether to offer the customer a 6 pm delivery slot, Rockstspark checks the existing orders with a delivery time between 5:45 pm and 6:15 pm.
If there are more than 4 delivery orders scheduled in this timeframe then the 6 pm time would not be available for the customer to select. They may be able to choose 6:05 pm or 6:10 pm so long as there are not 4 orders scheduled for delivery within 15 mins either side of those time slots.
Note: In the above screenshots, the 11:40, 11:45, 11:50 timeslots are missing from the dropdown. This is because there are existing orders scheduled for then, so these have been automatically removed to prevent new orders from being placed for them.
How does this work with date-based order scheduling?
The order capacity limit settings are only available for stores that use date-and-time mode for scheduled orders.
What happens if all timeslots for a given day are unavailable due to due to the set order capacity limit?
The customer will no longer be able to place an order for that date. They will see “tomorrow” as the first available option in the checkout (or whenever the store is next open, according to the weekly ordering schedule settings in your dashboard).