How does WooCommerce Bulk Variations handle out of stock products?
The WooCommerce Bulk Variations plugin respects the stock settings in your wider WooCommerce store.
You can choose whether to show or hide out of stock products and variations using the 'Hide out of stock items from the catalog’ option on WooCommerce → Settings → Products → Inventory. This will affect your overall store and the variation grids.
What happens if my store is set to hide out of stock variations?
If ‘Hide out of stock items from the catalog’ is ticked in your WooCommerce settings, then any out of stock variations will appear blank in the variations grid, and no price or quantity picker will appear.
If all variations for a product are out of stock, then the variation grid won’t appear at all. This works slightly differently depending on which method you have used to create the variations grid:
- If you have enabled the grid in its default location, then the default variation dropdowns will appear. When the customer selects a variation, they will see the usual ‘Out of stock’ message which is added by WooCommerce.
- If you have added the grid to a different location using the shortcode method, then nothing will appear.
Variations not purchasable for other reasons
If a variation is not purchasable (e.g. because it is out of stock or because that combination does not exist as a variation) then the quantity box and price will be hidden, so the cell appears blank.
Sometimes, you may need to mark a variation as permanently out of stock because it has been permanently discontinued. While you can use the default 'Out of stock' status for this, there are some disadvantages:
- Customers don't know that the variation will never be available again, and may keep checking back.
- The end-of-life variations will be mixed up with other out of stock products in your stock reports, which makes inventory difficult to manage.
To avoid these problems, you can install the WooCommerce Discontinued Products plugin which is designed to work with WooCommerce Bulk Variations. It adds a 'Discontinued' stock status to your store, allowing you to manage end-of-life variations separately from other statuses. It also displays a 'Discontinued' message for these variations so that customers know that it won't be coming back in stock. You can choose whether to display discontinued products and variations in your store, or hide them completely.