Fix WooCommerce Variation Out of Stock Issue

Running an e-commerce store using WooCommerce brings numerous advantages, including the ability to offer product variations to customers. However, one common issue that merchants often face is dealing with out-of-stock variations. When a variation becomes unavailable, it can affect the user experience, sales, and overall customer satisfaction.

In this blog post, I will go through the WooCommerce variant out-of-stock issue in detail and present useful solutions to help you deal with it efficiently. Understanding how to manage out-of-stock variants, whether you’re a WooCommerce store owner or a developer, helps enhance your store’s performance and create a flawless shopping experience for your consumers.

Number of variations on your site (the default is 30)

The Causes of Variation Out of Stock Issue

The occurrence of the WooCommerce variation out-of-stock issue can be attributed to several underlying factors. Understanding these causes is crucial for store owners and developers to effectively address the problem and implement appropriate solutions. Let’s delve into each cause in detail:

  1. Improper Inventory Management: One of the primary causes of the out-of-stock variation issue is inadequate inventory management practices. This includes inaccurate tracking of stock levels, insufficient stock replenishment strategies, and failure to forecast demand accurately. When inventory is not managed effectively, variations can easily become unavailable, leading to a negative customer experience.

  2. Inadequate Stock Tracking: Proper stock tracking is essential to avoid out-of-stock variations. If inventory levels are not continuously monitored and updated in real-time, there is a higher chance of customers encountering variations that are no longer in stock.

    This issue can arise when stock is not immediately deducted from the inventory upon purchase or when manual tracking processes are prone to human errors.

  3. Delayed Updates: Another common cause of the out-of-stock variation issue is delayed updates of stock availability. This occurs when inventory information is not promptly synced across all relevant systems and platforms.

    For example, if a product variation is sold out on one channel but the update is not reflected on WooCommerce, customers may still see and attempt to purchase the unavailable variation.

  4. Integration Problems with External Systems: WooCommerce often integrates with various third-party systems, such as inventory management software, supplier systems, or marketplace platforms. Integration problems between these systems can lead to discrepancies in stock availability.


Plugins and Extensions for Inventory Control

These plugins and extensions offer a wide range of features and functionalities that can streamline inventory management processes, improve stock tracking, and provide real-time stock synchronization.

  • Inventory Management Plugins: Inventory management plugins are designed specifically to enhance inventory control within WooCommerce. They offer features such as bulk stock management, automated stock updates, low stock notifications, and stock status visibility on product pages.

Popular inventory management plugins include:

When selecting an inventory management plugin, consider factors such as ease of use, compatibility with your WooCommerce version, the ability to handle large product catalogs efficiently, and the availability of key features that align with your inventory management needs.

  • Stock Notification Plugins: Stock notification plugins allow customers to subscribe to email notifications when out-of-stock variations become available again. These plugins can help maintain customer engagement, reduce bounce rates, and potentially increase sales. Notable stock notification plugins for WooCommerce include:

Custom Coding Solution

For advanced users and developers familiar with coding, custom solutions can be developed to address the out-of-stock variation issue in WooCommerce. Custom coding allows for precise control and customization of inventory management processes.

By leveraging custom coding solutions, advanced users and developers can fine-tune inventory management processes in WooCommerce, ensuring accurate stock tracking, real-time availability updates, and seamless integration with external systems. Custom coding offers unparalleled flexibility and control.

  • Custom Function:

Fortunately, you can override the number by adding the below code in your themes functions.php file. Remember, if your theme gets an update, it may over-write the file and you will need to re-add it back in again.

					function custom_wc_ajax_variation_threshold( $qty, $product ) {
	return 200;

add_filter( 'woocommerce_ajax_variation_threshold', 'custom_wc_ajax_variation_threshold', 10, 2 );

It’s important to note that custom coding solutions require technical expertise and should be implemented carefully to avoid potential errors or conflicts with other functionalities in WooCommerce. It’s recommended to thoroughly test custom code in a development environment before deploying it to a live store.

Additionally, maintaining custom code over time may require ongoing updates and compatibility checks as WooCommerce evolves with updates and new releases.

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