Inventory is a great part of eCommerce, as it is in any retail. In this blog we are going to review the terms and options available to the users of WooCommerce, the world’s most popular shopping cart, currently powering over 25% of all sales worldwide.
Enable Stock Management
You may not wish to enable this, if you have a virtual product, a service or a downloadable product. If you have an actual product you are shipping, then you will want to enable this feature. If you decide to not enable this feature, the rest of this article is not going to be of interest to you.
Since you’ve decided to let your cart assist you with stock management, let’s review the main features.
Hold Stock in Minutes
This is the amount of time a cart will deplete the stock and “hold it” and if the cart is not checked out and paid for then the stock is returned for another person to buy. You can set this to a minute or an hour or a day.
The store owner can actually be notified by the cart when you have low stock levels or out of stock conditions and you can setup recipient’s, including your suppliers.
Low Stock Threshold and Out of Stock Threshold variables allow you to set what those numbers are, this is particularly important if you don’t stock the product and your drop shipper says don’t sell if our inventory drops below “5 units”.
Out of Stock Visibility is where you choose to show an item out of stock or simply remove the item from the catalog view.
Finally we have stock display format option, which determines when we show stock levels, if ever to the public. There are marketing reasons to do this (think Amazon and eBay “last one left”)
Finally, on a per product level, we have an option of “Enable stock management”
If you say yes then you enter the stock quantity, determine if you allow backorders or not.
When you receive new product you’ll have to reconcile your inventory, just like any retailer, or use an extension plugin if appropriate in your particular case (typically a drop shipper).
Have questions? We’ve built over 4,000 eCommerce sites and support 350 integration models between different shopping carts and different gateways (card processors).
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