The Solution

Using WooCommerce inventory controls is an important part of managing physical goods and ensures you do not oversell a product. It also aids you greatly in scheduling purchase orders from wholesalers, filling backorders and creating metrics that visualize how well your business is going and in which areas sales do best.

Bulk Stock Management

For large stores it’s useful to bulk-manage stock all from one page, this is where the Bulk Stock Management Extension by YITH for WooCommerce is useful.

Get the Bulk Stock Management extension here.

Global Inventory Settings

Global settings allow you to configure how Inventory and stock is managed in your WordPress install, and also a number of thresholds that can apply to all products in your shop.

  1. Go to WooCommerce Settings
  2. Click the Products tab, then the little Inventory linkinventory
  3. Check the Manage Stock option to enable stock on all  products. If you have a mix of virtual and physical products, you can skip this option here and enable stock on individual product posts (explained in the next section)
  4. Hold Stock (minutes) – This option determines how long WooCommerce will hold inventory for unpaid orders. This means that if a person has a pending order, WooCommerce will remove the item from the global inventory amount until this time limit is up. 1-4 hours  is generally a good ballpark – beware of making it too short – the time should be equal to the average amount of time someone might spend shopping on your site before checking out.
  5. Check the Notifications option to receive an email notifications for low or out of stock items
    • Enter the email to send notifications to in the Notification Recipient field
    • Enter a Low Stock threshold  – when stock reaches this number, a low stock notification will be sent (should be at least 1)
    • Enter an Out of Stock Threshold – The number in this field will determine the point in which an item is out of inventory (typically 0)
  6. Check Out of Stock Visibility if you want to hide out-of-stock items within the WooCommerce catalog
  7. Select a Stock Display Format for how stock should be displayed within the WooCommerce product page.

Per-Product Inventory Options

The following steps will walk you through setting inventory via the Product options panel in the Product post. Mouse over the little (?) icons next to each option for detailed information.

  1. From the WordPress Admin sidebar, go to Products and edit or create a new Product
    • For detailed steps on creating products, see your Theme Documentation’s Products article
  2. Scroll down below the post editor to find the Product Options panel and click the Inventory tab.
  3. Check Manage Inventory if you need to set the option on this individual product
  4. Enter a Stock Qty for how many products you have on hand.
    • The stock quantity entered here will be copied to all variations. If you have a different number of blue sweaters compared to red sweaters, for example, click the Variation tab and enter the stock quantities separately in each variation.
  5. Set the Stock Status – basically if the Stock Qty is zero, then the Stock Status is out of stock and vice versa.
  6. Choose whether to Allow Backorders or not.
    • Enabling backorders allows customers to purchase out-of-stock items, so be sure you are equipped with a quick turnaround to avoid customer service meltdowns or charge-backs.
  7. As noted, enable Sold Individually to only allow one of this item to be bought in a single order. This is useful if you sell one-of-a-kind items, limited editions or collectables.