Managing Stock Levels

Introduction

If your using your store to sell physical products chances are you will need to keep a track of the stock levels. This ensures that your not selling stock you don’t have.

Lucky wp-e-commerce 3.8 makes this very easy.

How it works

The first step is to apply quantities to your products (see below on how to do this). As your buyers put products into their cart the stock level for this product will decrease, once checkout is successful and all products are paid for these stock levels will be deducted permanently. If a payment is unsuccessful or the buyer leaves your store (closes the browser) with products in their cart these quantities will be reset after an hour.

How will my buyers know that my product is out of stock?

If your product has no stock and a buyer trys to purchase the item will not be added to the cart and a message will be displayed on the cart widget. There are also stock icons displayed with your product so your users will know right away if a variation or the entire product is out of stock.

How will the store owner know if the products are out of stock?

As well as having the option of the store admin being emailed when the stock runs out, wp-e-commerce 3.8 has also included some nice little warnings next to your products so at a glance you can tell if something is wrong. Note: These warnings are also used to indicate other product behavior that needs attention – not just stock.

The image below is from the main product list in the admin dashboard you can see the warning sign and that the stock is set to ~0 (or 0) this mean that your product (or one of the variations) have run out of stock.

Variations also show up with the warning, see the screen shot below, this was taken from the variations within the edit product view.

Setting up stock levels for you products

Stock control for products without variations

There are two ways to enter stock control for products without variations. The first way is to create a new product (or edit an existing one). Select the checkbox “I have limited number of stock for this item”, you can now enter in the stock levels for that product.

It is a good idea to also select the box “email the site owner when product runs out of stock” this will email the store owner

The other way is to simply use the quick edit function on the product page in the Dashboard – this is great if you have already created your product and only want to add stock levels. To use this method simply find the product you want to enter stock levels for and click in the area under the stock column and enter in the stock amount. One thing to note when using this method – the option “send email to admin when stock runs out” is not selected, if you want this option you will need to use the other method to add your stock. This doesn’t apply if you are just updating the stock levels and you have previously selected the option.

Stock control for products with variations

Stock control with variations is just as simple to use! First up you need to create your product and add variations to it. If your unsure how to add variations check this out.

You will also need to select the option “I have limited number of this product in stock” you can enter in a stock quality here – this amount will be applied to all the variations you add, however you can update them one by one if they stock levels are not all the same.

Once you have your variations added to your product and you stock control box checked, simply enter in the stock amount for each variation (this is the same method as the quick edit method above).