What is a backorder?

Point of Sale (POS) Glossary

A backorder is a merchant’s request to its supplier for a product that is not in stock. A point of sale system might allow customers to order items that are backordered, and provide them with a delivery date. A POS system might process payment immediately or wait until the merchant receives the product, depending on a store’s policy. The delivery date would need to consider arrival from the vendor, time for the merchant to process the order, and shipping time to the customer, if applicable.

Point of sale systems may sometimes order items or notify a merchant before they are out-of-stock at set trigger-points to avoid running out of inventory. Backorders can be frustrating for both merchants and customers because the delivery date relies on the supplier or a manufacturer and can sometimes be unpredictable.

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