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Back in Stock Notifications

Activating Back-in-stock-notification inserts a button beside availability/stock level on product pages when the stock level is reduced below 1.

If the customer is already logged in, clicking this button brings up a window asking the customer to confirm their address.

If they are not logged it asks them to provide a name and email address.

When the item comes back in stock (via a Sync), an email is sent to all the customers that have requested to be notified.

When this option is enabled, stores will receive a daily email update. This email will contain a list of the products that customers have asked to be informed about when they come back in stock. If there are no outstanding back-in-stock notifications to be issued, the email will say so.

Enabling the option
The option is enabled in WebStore Manager by selecting Configuration->WebStore from the left hand menu. Select ‘Enable back in stock notifications’ from Managing Stock Availability. Tick the box and select the field you use to inform your webstore of current stock levels. The default is ‘product_stock’. See the cautionary note below for possible unexpected behaviour.

To customize the email that is sent out to your customer, go to Make changes-> Edit WebStore layout in the left hand menu of WebStore Manager. Select the email called ‘Back in Stock notification Email’ from the drop down menu on the top right hand side of the template window.

Here you can personalize the default email to suit your store.

Caution
When using a non-default product_stock field it is possible, in certain situations, to end up with product back in stock and the back in stock notification emails unsent. If you change the field the webstore looks at for product stock, we recommend that you empty the sync cache and re-sync your store.

This happens because the trigger for sending the ‘back in stock notification’ is a product being updated in such as way that its stock level rises above 0. If the field mapping the ‘Back in stock notification’ is using has not got the current stock level and an product level rises above 0, then the trigger won’t happen and you’ll end up with a product in stock without the notification never having been emailed.

I’m just a little curious what relevance the shopping cart has with this functionality as the notification email loops through basket items?

cheers.
Andy.

Do items ever stop being reported on the daily email of outstanding back-in-stock requests?

If we know an item will never come back into stock because it is discontinued, will it just continue to be listed or is there a way to remove it from the list?

Thank you,
Miranda

We’ve had this switched on since go-live last Autumn, and it’s incredibly handy!

A couple of gaps have become apparent though, which obviously weren’t considered when the function was being scoped out:

  • Because it relies on the “items” table for product names, any which have been inactivated simply show up as “Missing product” in the summary email.
  • There appears to be no way for removing requests in the back end, and requests for “Missing” products simply accumulate in the summary email.

Perhaps the script could be amended to save a product title along with ID as column in the table where requests are stored? This would enable it to be properly named in the summary email, but still flagged as ‘missing’, making it easier to identify what action to take if / when we want to contact customers which inquired about them.

The second issue is trickier, as we don’t want to simply abandon customers who anticipated a notification (by automatically deleting the requests when a product goes “missing”), and creating too much new UI in the backend could be awkward to debug, but perhaps an extra automatic email could be created?

“we are sorry, but the product you expressed interest in will not be coming back in to stock and has been removed from our website. Please reply to this message if you want advise on a suitable alternative”.

This could fire off when the summary is being generated, and the the requests get automatically deleted after the summary & sorry emails have been sent.