Any businessman worth his salt knows the importance of presenting featured products in their store from time to time.
This stands doubly true for e-store owners, like those on WooCommerce, as the need to create offers that invite and retain customer interest is greater here.
We have previously discussed how creating limited edition products in WooCommerce is one of the ways to peak visitor interest and consequently, increase sales.
Let us now take a look at how you can set up product availability and product expiration dates on WooCommerce.
Setting Up Product Availability in WooCommerce
WooCommerce is configured to track product availability intuitively, depending on the number of items present in the store’s inventory. It also has an option to enable hiding the product, when it runs out of stock.
However, while setting up products with limited shelf-life or season specials, you might want to schedule the product availability so that the product is displayed as available for purchase only for a given time and unavailable for the rest (although it might yet be in stock).
You might even want to limit the product availability such that it is taken off air, once a particular number of sales for the day are reached.
WooCommerce does not have a built-in functionality to this end, which is why a scheduling plugin is invaluable here.
The process for setting up product availability is simplified to,
- Set up the Product and the Product Type as usual,
- Add the Start and End Display dates and/or timings with the scheduling plugin,
- Select the days of the week when you want the product to be displayed (if needed)
You can set up the product to be displayed for a limited time every day, from the start date to the end date, for certain days and times during that duration, or for the entire time, in the specified period.
The choice is yours!
This works for every product on your store and these can be hidden when unavailable or optionally, a message can be displayed informing your customers about their unavailability.
Setting Up Product Expiration for WooCommerce
Setting up the product availability is the first half of creating a limited edition product, setting up the product expiration date is the second.
Adding a scheduling plugin lets you set a product expiry date which spurs your customers to purchase the product before it becomes unavailable.
Much like setting up the product availability, the plugin let you set an Expiry Date for you product in three simple steps,
- Set up the Product and the Product Type
- Set a Product Expiration Date until which the product will be visible for sale on your site
- Set a Product Expiration message for a single product or for the entire Shop Page, or remove the product from the shop once it expires
Once you publish this Product, it is displayed as available until the given expiry date.
A scheduling plugin, like WooCommerce Scheduler, introduces these functionalities into your WooCommerce store.
Using a WooCommerce Product Scheduling Plugin
The WooCommerce Scheduler is a robust plugin that helps you set up Product Availability and Expiry dates. It’s pretty simple in its operation and lets you specify the time, day and a date range for product purchase availability.
Some other plugin features include:
- Bulk scheduling of Products according to Category or distinct product selection
- Variations of variable products can be selectively hidden, just as in the case of simple products
- Hidden products’ Product Page status is changed to ‘Draft’ to suspend visibility
- Intuitive selection of latest added schedule, overriding any previously defined schedules
- User friendly Date Picker, with a Calendar display format
WooCommerce Scheduler is fairly simple to setup and use and an easy yet efficient way of adding the product scheduling functionality to your website.
The Final Take
Creating limited edition products on your WooCommerce store generates a sense of urgency amongst your customers, provided your products are interesting enough to capture and hold their attention. This idea can even be extended to selling custom products only during a given season, instead of all through the year.
A scheduling plugin is of great help here, in setting up individual product availability and expiry dates to create that sense of anticipation in your shoppers. When appropriately marketed, this simple, but useful functionality can be an asset to your site, paying rich dividends.
Know of any other way which can be used to limit product availability? Comment to let us know!