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  • Hide When Out Of Stock

    Hi All,

    Can anybody tell me if this is possible?

    We would like to hide items at the category level, but if a customer surfs in from a link they will not get the error message 'Product Not Available' but instead get Availability: Out of Stock' and the 'Put me on the waiting list' button. (honestly sort of like Volusion does it).

    Basically we have a ton of items and would rather only in stock items show up on the site. However using the global hide would mean customers coming to the site are greeted with an error on the first page they visit (if it's a link to an out of stock item they used to find us with).

  • #2
    I don't suggest hiding them. If google can't get to the page, your SEO will suffer. You could probably do some sort of javascript conditional on the category pages to make them not show up but I'm not sure how that would work.

    I use javascript to display an "out of stock icon" if the stock level is less than 1

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    • #3
      That's sort of the idea we want to achieve. The product pages are still easily found by Google, but they just don't show up any longer on the category pages.

      Tech support said "You will have to add a redirect link in the meta tags area. This will redirect the product link if it is cached in browsers or search engines ."

      I think I know what they mean, but if you set the site globally to hide items when out of stock the customer will always end up at '/error.asp'.

      Our main issue is we have around 40k items on the site, however most of the time around 15-20k are in stock (it rotates a lot), we don't want these items showing up on the category pages. Would suck to be a customer clicking over and over till you found something in stock.

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      • #4
        Could a smart category be configured (someday) to only populate what was in stock?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Spesh View Post
          Hi All,

          Can anybody tell me if this is possible?

          We would like to hide items at the category level, but if a customer surfs in from a link they will not get the error message 'Product Not Available' but instead get Availability: Out of Stock' and the 'Put me on the waiting list' button. (honestly sort of like Volusion does it).

          Basically we have a ton of items and would rather only in stock items show up on the site. However using the global hide would mean customers coming to the site are greeted with an error on the first page they visit (if it's a link to an out of stock item they used to find us with).
          This is definitely not a common request, but I'm sure you know your business and have your reasons to implement this.

          MY suggestion, flag those items as CATEGORY SPECIALS, you can do that via CSV. This will remove the items out of the regular section for products and will put them at the top of the category page in a different section. Then edit the category HTML template and completely remove the HTML block for the category specials.

          Jimmy

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jimmy3dcart View Post
            This is definitely not a common request, but I'm sure you know your business and have your reasons to implement this.

            MY suggestion, flag those items as CATEGORY SPECIALS, you can do that via CSV. This will remove the items out of the regular section for products and will put them at the top of the category page in a different section. Then edit the category HTML template and completely remove the HTML block for the category specials.

            Jimmy
            It could be cause we are coming from Volusion, this is just the standard way they do it.

            How should we do it (like whats the common way)? I'm open to setting it up a different way if you guys have a simple set up.
            Last edited by Spesh; 10-03-2012, 01:53 AM.

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            • #7
              I just thought of something, maybe I'm describing what we want to do wrong and that's why it sounds odd.

              If you look at Amazon they don't really have out of stock items when you go into a category, but if you are able to find the item (say from following a link from Google or you have the page bookmarked) they will have the text 'temporarily unavailable' up sort of like how 3Dcart does it with the waiting list.

              All we want is to hide out of stock items at the category level (we already have it global and by product). This way it's not clogging up our site with out of stock items and it doesn't affect seo at all.

              Did that explain it right?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jimmy3dcart View Post
                This is definitely not a common request, but I'm sure you know your business and have your reasons to implement this.

                MY suggestion, flag those items as CATEGORY SPECIALS, you can do that via CSV. This will remove the items out of the regular section for products and will put them at the top of the category page in a different section. Then edit the category HTML template and completely remove the HTML block for the category specials.

                Jimmy
                Jimmy, We're experiencing the same issue being described by Spesh, which by the way Spesh you described perfectly in your initial post.

                I know you mentioned this is not a common request so I would like to chime in and 2nd (even 3rd, or 4th) this request if it will get you to look at a solution more closely, or at least some modified version of a solution.

                Your suggestion seems unmanageable...
                Unless I'm reading this wrong the solution you're suggesting would require that we manually locate all out of stock inventory each day and update these using a CSV import, then we'd also have to determine when they are back in stock and update them again. This would become a full time job for someone and would not fully eliminate the problem because inventory could easily go out of stock at any time throughout the day.

                We've recently started stocking allot more inventory much of which is being drop shipped by our distributors. This allows us to offer a much larger selection of product to our customers but since we do not physically stock the SKUs we're finding that very often the distributor will run out of stock on popular items. This creates a really negative experience for our customers as they shop on our site, in most cases they get frustrated and leave. We tried hiding inventory site wide for out of stock items but quickly realized that was creating an even worse experience for our customers as they came in from outside advertising sources or responded to our requests for review only to receive a "product not available" message.

                Hiding the item from view for on site navigation but maintaining it's availability if spidered, visited from an outside link or for on site search would greatly improve the customer experience and almost certainly improve sales.

                I see one of our major competitors has recently provided an option on top of their category and subcategory pages that allows the customer to hide out of stock items (apparently we're not the only ones realizing this is a problem). They've provided a checkbox located next to their "sort by" drop down. I've attached a screenshot.

                If we can't quickly get something integrated directly into the cart can something like this be done using a script on the HTML templates?
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  This was the default way in Core Commerce as well. So, what you are asking for is not odd at all. Personally, from our experience, it confused the heck out of customers. It was a problem because they couldn't find the product any more and thought it had been discontinued. It created a lot of overhead in customer support asking where the product went.

                  What we do now, and I don't know if this would work for you - but on the product, under options, we check the Not for Sale, Hide and Non-Searchable. If you try and go to the product, it gives an error message:

                  Product Not Available
                  This product is not available.

                  The other thing you might be able to do is hide it like above, then change the Custom File Name to a page where it says - sorry, this product is not in stock, but keep checking -- or something. You could either do this as a rewrite or in the custom file name and then take it back out when you have it back in stock.

                  Not sure if this helps your situation or not.

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                  • #10
                    I tried to make it a suggestion for it here - Feature Requests: Top (65 ideas) but I don't think it got approved. It said waiting for a moderator then hasn't showed up yet.

                    I still think it's a good idea and it seems like almost every major retailer uses the same theme.

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                    • #11
                      non-searchable / Category Special behaviour

                      Bringing back an old post in hope of a solution.

                      Non-searchable items still show up in "by price" filtering, in "by manufacturer" pages and in "smart categories" such as "Sale Items"

                      Is there a way to stop these items from showing up other than checking the "Hide" check box?

                      We have over 3K products that are discontinued. They bring us a lot of search traffic, as we have them in our Google and Bing feeds, marked as discontinued. We use a special listing template for them that has "Discontinued" for Rich Snippet availability, and explains to the customer that the item is no longer available. This search traffic is worth a lot to us.

                      We exclude these from our Paid Search feeds. Using Godatafeed we filter for a specific Extra Field content.

                      We don't want to hide these products, but we don't want them cluttering the site either.

                      We have them marked "non-searchable", and "Category Special". We also hid the "Category Special" section on the Category Pages (jimmy3dcart suggested both these solutions in this and in another post)

                      This mostly works great, except for the pages I mentioned above. Would be nice to have "non-searchable" items not show up in these other pages, especially that they are technically search filters.

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                      • #12
                        I don't have a particularly helpful solution for you, but if you use SearchSpring as a paid replacement for the built in search, then this becomes easy to do. So if you have been on the fence about trying them, that may be one more feature in their favor.

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