In this article, I will introduce you to ‘Exclusive Products’. What is an ‘Exclusive Product’ you ask? An exclusive product would be any product which is available for purchase on the site, only for a limited time period. After this time, such products could either be completely off your site, or would be available in the catalog without an add-to-cart option. For example, such items would be, seasonal products, or ‘Today’s Special’ items, or holiday special items, etc.
Currently, in WooCommerce, there isn’t an option to schedule the availability of a particular product, for purchase. Of course you can do it manually. But then again, if you were planning to do it manually, you wouldn’t really be hunting for this article.
Moving on. Since, this feature is not a default feature of the WooCommerce plugin, you will need some customization. A Custom Extension to the WooCommerce Plugin to Control Product Availability would have to ideally provide the following features:
- Schedule Product Availability by date and time: You can select a duration (start date and end date), in course of which, the product will be available in the catalog, as an exclusive product. This would be something similar to scheduling a sale price.
- Display a timer for exclusive products: Along with the product details, a timer should be displayed to indicate the duration the product will be available. For example, an exclusive product could have a message like, ‘Product Available for 12 days, 17 hours’.
The most important feature is the scheduling part. Considering various scenarios you would have, you have several options to provide this feature.
How to Schedule Product Availability
Using Post Expirator Plugin
If the products you will feature as exclusive, will be available only for a particular duration, after which they will have to be removed, you should consider using the Post Expirator Plugin.
- The plugin basically provides an option, to automatically delete (or set to draft) a post (Product is a custom post type), after a certain time period.
- But this solution, still has its limitations. To make the product available again, you will have to manually go to the dashboard and change the status to available.
Using the WooCommerce Scheduler Plugin
An alternative is to use the WooCommerce Scheduler plugin, by WisdmLabs. This plugin provides you an option to add a date and time, to schedule product availability.
- You have the option to add a start and end date, and a start time and end time. The product will be available from on the given dates between the start and end times.
- When the product is unavailable for purchase, you can display a custom message for product unavailability.
- You can provide an option for users to receive a notification when the product is available by adding a waitlist button option using the WooCommerce Waitlist extension, or you can use an enquiry button like Product Enquiry Pro, which can allow interested users to contact you if the product is unavailable.
Using a plugin like WooCommerce Scheduler could easily suit your needs. Not only does it allow you to schedule products for a certain time, but it allows you to schedule them based on time as well. Do ask me your questions or provide your own suggestions, in the comment section below.