One of the challenges when running an online and a physical store, or multiple physical stores, is managing stock availability and inventory.
You have to keep track of products customers are interested in, analyze buying behavior, predict consumer demand, and decide on stocking options. Your inventory system needs to be tightly integrated with your e-commerce platform or should be a part of it.
This isn’t a problem for WooCommerce Store owners because the platform takes care of your inventory needs. But is it optimized? Can tasks like scheduling stock be automated? What about out of stock products? Does it send back in stock notifications to interested customers?
You need a comprehensive system to take care of different scenarios.
Inventory Management is Tedious and Time-Consuming
Statistics say, 45% of SMBs don’t track their inventory or use a manual method. Since most businesses focus on increasing sales, peripheral tasks such as these often take a back seat. But this can be erroneous and lead to losses.
Inventory Management Challenges:
Although inventory management is tough, it should not be ignored. What helps, though, is an optimized system that can save you the time and effort needed to update your stock. The good part is that WooCommerce has extensions which can be used to make up for the features it lacks.
For example, if there are a lot of products that are not in stock, seeing the out of stock or product unavailable message can frustrate potential buyers. They might lose trust in your brand and switch to competitors. A solution here would be to hide out of stock products or have an option to provide interested buyers a way to be notified when the product is back in stock.
If you have multiple products in your inventory which do not get sold, you can use scheduling tactics to create a sense of demand. Instead of making the product available for purchase all the time, you can schedule product availability, that is, you can set a date and time when the product is available for purchase. Instead of making your buyers think that you have excess stock, they’d think that you have stock that’s high in demand and gets sold out easily when they see that a product is unavailable. This will make them fear missing out on limited stock products and increase product demand.
Let’s understand how this can be done in detail.
How to Manage Unavailable or Out of Stock Products on Your WooCommerce Store
One of the easiest and most popular ways to manage products that have limited stock is to schedule their availability.
By setting a time duration during which the product will be available for purchase, you can manage stock and let buyers know when the product will be unavailable. With an option to get notified of the product’s availability, you don’t have to worry about missing out on sales.
Since WooCommerce does not have the option to schedule product purchases, the extension you need for the task is WISDM Scheduler for WooCommerce.
Scheduler for WooCommerce fiercely supports your inventory management needs by letting you set product or category availability schedules for your products. With Scheduler, you can:
- Manage stock availability: Instead of having to spend hours manually updating the availability of products, Scheduler lets you set a date and time range during which a product is available for purchase. For products that are available on a timely basis (such as every Tuesday, Saturday, etc), you can do so with options in the plugin settings. This saves you the effort and time and takes care of notifying customers about your stock’s availability automatically.
- Hide unavailable products or categories: Scheduler offers an option to hide products or entire product categories until they are back in stock, saving you the effort of having to do so every time. You’re clear of any manual errors and frustrated customers thus resulting in a better shopping experience.
- Notify when a product becomes available: Optionally, Scheduler for WooCommerce has a notification option for out of stock or unavailable products. This works similar to a wishlist but better. Interested buyers can submit their email address to receive a notification when a product will be back in stock or available. You have the option to send a “back in stock” or “product available” email when the product is stocked up in your inventory or an hour/day in advance so that customers can decide on making the purchase.
WISDM Scheduler for WooCommerce works great when it comes to:
- Managing inventory for fast-selling products or new products you want to test out in the market. By making these products available for a limited time you can gauge interest and can stock up on them on a timely basis. The notification option makes sure customers stay interested and you don’t lose out on sales.
- Controlling purchases when you have an online and offline store. If you want to make sure orders placed online and offline don’t clash with each other and keep customers waiting, you can limit product availability online till you refill your stock.
- Building customer trust by letting customers know the time a product is available with a live countdown timer, a back in stock notification option, and the option to hide unavailable products to make for easy browsing.
Additional Option: Hiding Out of Stock Products
In case you want to hide out of stock products on your Shop Page, you can do so too. This makes it easy for customers to browse through your available products. To hide out of stock products from your WooCommerce Shop Page, you have an option in the settings:-
- Go to WooCommerce -> Settings and navigate to the Products tab.
- Select Inventory.
- Check the ‘Out Of Stock Visibility’ option to hide out of stock items from your catalog.
Small changes can have a big impact. A simple plugin to schedule your products can help you manage your inventory and pick your stock options smartly.
Automation and reduction of manual effort is the way forward. By doing so, you’re free to focus on important aspects of your WooCommerce store like marketing and customer support.
WISDM Scheduler for WooCommerce is a formidable solution for your product inventory problems. Add it to your WooCommerce Store to experience the difference!