Shopify Stock Visibility

This is a blog post for other Shopify Merchants

I recently wrote a blog post announcing to my customers that I now have full stock visibility on this website. Today's post however is aimed at other Shopify merchants who would like to achieve the same thing. I shall detail what my new stock module does and how it works.

I wrote this module for my own use, but realize it could be useful to other merchants as there is currently no off the shelf solution for displaying live stock features in Shopify.

What Does It Do?

In short the module displays live stock information on the product pages.

It will deal with products which contain variants and those which don't differently. If no variants exist the widget will return a single line of text detailing the current stock position. If variants exist a table will be returned showing stock status for individual variants.

If stock exists it will show the quantity in stock upto a maximum of 5, after which "5+" will be displayed. You can however easily change this number to whatever you like or simply remove the feature completely as the actual stock figure is always displayed. You can also customize the message displayed alongside the quantity. I use "5+ IN STOCK - ready for immediate dispatch".

If no stock exists the widget will display, one of the following:

  • A customization lead time which varies by brand
  • "Pre-Order"
  • "Currently Unavailable"

Which of these options is returned is customized on a variant by variant basis.

The lead time option allows you to keep selling an out of stock product while informing the customer that they can not expect it the next day. The Pre-order status is much the same but used for products that are not yet available, it is just a non specific lead time really but it allows you to take orders for products which may be in short supply once they do become available and to manage your inventory accordingly.

The "Currently Unavailable" status means the customer cannot order that variant. Perhaps you can't get hold of any size 6's at the moment but all other sizes are in stock.

How do I Install it?

The module is written in liquid and HTML and is styled by CSS.

It is not an app, and it is not a theme, it is simply an add-on to your existing theme.

Installation is easy, you just have to create a couple of new "Snippets" in your theme, copy and paste some code into them, paste a bit of code onto the bottom of your main stylesheet, then add a single line of code to the product page.

Following instructions it should take even the non-tech savvy user less than 5 mins.

How Does it Work?

The module uses the Shopify stock figures, so as long as you keep these up to date the stock showing on your website is always correct. There is no delay between fulfilling an order and the stock figure in your store changing.

If the "Allow users to purchase this item, even if it is no longer in stock" option is ticked for a variant then when this variant is out of stock a lead time will be displayed. You can setup your lead times by editing the lead times snippet. If you also set the "weight" of the variant to 999, then the "Pre-order" status will be displayed. Once the item comes into stock you would set a correct weight and either "In Stock" or a lead time will be displayed.

The "Currently Unavailable" status is selected by un-checking the "Allow users..." box, but will only be displayed if there is also no stock.

The appearance of the module can be changed by editing the CSS added to the bottom of you style sheet.

Are There Any Limitations?

The module supports upto 3 option types, the maximum allowed in Shopify, e.g. Length, Colour and Diameter. However by default it only supports upto 20 total variants. E.g. 20 shoes sizes, or 2 colours and 10 sizes, or 5 colours, 2 lengths and 2 diameters.

20 total variants should cover almost all products, but if you have products with a particularly large number of variants you can always copy and paste a chunk of code a couple of times and change a couple of number to add support for more.

I can do this sort of thing for you if necessary.

Sounds Great, how do I get it?

I'm selling the code along with complete installation instructions here: Visible Inventory Module for Shopify.

Please note the price displayed on that page includes UK VAT. If you are buying from outside the EU I will refund the VAT, bringing the price down to £100.

I am also offering half an hours free support. There shouldn't be any changes needed, but I am offering this to give you piece of mind in case you are worried that there will be customization needed that you won't be able to handle. You could always use that half hour to get me to do the CSS styling if you like.

I hope you find the module useful and please get in touch if you have any questions.



Richard Hall June 11, 2013 3 tags (show)