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Tracking stock for products with options

Inventory tracking helps keep your stock levels accurate so that customers don’t buy more items than you currently have. It also lets you know when it’s time to replenish stock and allows you to opt into accepting pre-orders for out of stock items.

If you sell products that slightly differ from each other, for example, by color or size, you can add them to your catalog as one base product with Color and Size options. To track stock levels of these product options automatically, you have to create variations out of them (Red Small, Red Medium, Red Large; White M, White L, White XXL, etc). Every variation needs to have its own SKU and stock quantity for inventory purposes.

You can also create variations for products that have only one option with different values (e.g., shoes of the same color but with different sizes).
Plan availability: Business, Unlimited.

Enabling inventory tracking for variations

After you add products with options like size and color, you can track the stock level of every product variant if you create variations out of options. A product variation is a combination of product options, for example, Red Small or Yellow Large.

You can quickly generate all the possible product variations using Ecwid mobile app for iOS. For that, open the product with options and tap Add more product features → Product Variations → … → Generate Variations:

UPD__Tracking_stock_for_products_with_options__6_.png

Every newly created variation inherits SKU and quantity properties (as well as price, weight, image, etc.) from the product it belongs to. To track the stock level of a certain variation, you should set a unique SKU and quantity in stock for it.

When a particular variation becomes out of stock, you can either choose to display it on the storefront with a Sold Out label and a disabled “Add to Bag” button, or you can opt into accepting pre-orders for this variation. You can also set up low-stock notifications to replenish the stock on time.

To enable stock tracking for a product variation:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Products.
  2. Сhoose a product or add a new one.
  3. Go to the Options → Variations tab.
  4. Click on the default SKU next to a variation to set a unique SKU for it:

    UPD__Tracking_stock_for_products_with_options__1_.png

  5. Click Manage in the Stock column next to that variation.
  6. Set the stock quantity for this variation:

    UPD__Tracking_stock_for_products_with_options__9_.png

  7. (optional) Set the behavior when the variation becomes out of stock. To leave the variation visible on the storefront but unavailable for purchase, choose Show on storefront. To make the variation available for pre-orders, choose Show and allow pre-order.
  8. (optional) Set a quantity when a low-stock notification should be sent for this variation.
  9. Click OK, then Save.

Add unique SKU and stock quantity for other variations of the product in a similar way.

You can also use the Bulk Product Editor tool to edit SKU, stock, out of stock behavior, and at what quantity a low-stock notification should be sent for your variations in bulk.

That’s it, now your store tracks stock levels of product variations. When buyers place orders (with Awaiting Payment or Paid payment status) for a product variation, its stock gets reduced for the number of items ordered. When the variation stock reaches zero, it either gets a Sold Out label and becomes unavailable for purchase until its stock is replenished or, in case you enable pre-orders for this product variation, it gets a Pre-order label, and customers can order it in advance.

UPD__Tracking_stock_for_products_with_options__1_.gif

If you cancel or refund the order, the quantity of the variations in that order will be automatically returned to the stock of those variations in your online store.

Once you set a unique SKU and stock for a product variation, the base product stock is no longer reduced when someone buys this particular variation. It’s the individual variations’ stock that now gets reduced.

Setting up low-stock alerts for variations

You can set low-stock email notifications to be informed when this or that variation is about to run out of stock:

UPD__Tracking_stock_for_products_with_options__5_.png

When you replenish the stock of a variation (produce more of such a product variation or order and receive it from a supplier), you can click Re-stock product button in such email to visit the product editing page and update the quantity in stock number for that variation in your store.

To receive low stock notifications to your inbox, you should specify the variation’s quantity when you should be alerted.

To set low stock notifications for a variation:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Products page.
  2. Choose a product with variations.
  3. Go to the Options → Variations tab.
  4. Click Manage under the Stock column next to the variation.
  5. Enter the low stock quantity in the Send me a note when quantity in stock reaches field:

    UPD__Tracking_stock_for_products_with_options__8_.png

  6. Click OK, then Save.
To update the values in the Send me a note when quantity in stock reaches field for several product variations in bulk, you can use the Bulk Product Editor tool.

Now, when the stock of the variation reaches that low-stock quantity, you will be alerted by a special email notification.

Make sure to enable the Low stock notification in the Settings → Notifications page in your Ecwid admin. In the Admin email addresses block there, you can also change the email address that notifications should be sent to or add several email addresses (e.g., yours and an email address of a person who manages your inventory). Please note that this address is used for all your admin notifications, and not only for the “Low stock” notification.

If you do not set any low stock quantity for a variation that you track inventory for, a low-stock notification will be sent as soon as the variation stock reaches "1".

Related articles

Updating product stock levels in bulk
Viewing your inventory

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