WooCommerce Inventory Management: A Comprehensive Guide

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Effective inventory management is the backbone of any successful WooCommerce store. Whether you’re a seasoned e-commerce entrepreneur or just starting out, understanding how to manage your stock efficiently is essential. In this detailed guide, we’ll delve into every aspect of WooCommerce inventory management, providing actionable tips and best practices.

How WooCommerce Inventory Management Works

WooCommerce comes with the ability to track your inventory and stock built-in. These tools are not the most powerful or suited for niche situations, but they can be easily expanded with free and paid plugins, and what’s there is enough for most average shops.

Inventory is tracked at the product level. Stock will go down automatically when customers make orders, and similarly, WooCommerce has helpful tools for tracking customer orders and shipping status.

The tracking of your stocks, orders, and shipping are all integrated into detailed stock reports and statistics. Thanks to this, you can avoid over-ordering, know when you need to purchase extra stock, and find out which products are doing the best.

Overall, WooCommerce’s tools are a building block to be expanded upon with plugins. For example, you can get plugins to integrate with your favorite inventory management software to update stocks automatically or handle raw material tracking. WooCommerce itself has the basics everyone needs to start with.

Why Inventory Management Matters

  1. Customer Satisfaction and Retention : When customers find products in stock and receive timely deliveries, they’re more likely to return.
  1. Cost Control : Proper inventory management prevents overstocking (which ties up capital) and stockouts (which lead to lost sales).
  1. Accurate Forecasting : Knowing your stock levels helps you plan for seasonal demand, promotions, and restocking.
  1. Profitability : Well-managed inventory directly impacts your bottom line.

Pros & Cons of WooCommerce Inventory Management

Before we take an in-depth look at what WooCommerce can do, let’s brush over the pros and cons of its inventory management system.

Free and available a low-cost platformCannot track raw materials
Accessible to small businesses but powerful enough for large onesCan only track inventory as a whole, not location- or supplier-based
Decent, if simple, inventory management toolsThere is no stock tracking automation built-in (you need to manually edit products every time your stock goes up)
Manage inventory globally or on a per-product basisNeeds to be expanded with plugins/extensions. This can lead to hidden startup fees in the form of paid plugins

WooCommerce itself is a pretty simple tool, and its built-in inventory management tools aren’t suitable for large businesses. However, its real power comes in the range of add-ons available to add any functionality you can imagine.

Managing Inventory in WooCommerce

1. Basic Inventory Settings

  • Product Data Section : When creating or editing a product, navigate to the Product Data section.
  • Inventory Tab : Here, you’ll find the Manage stock? checkbox. Enable it to track stock levels.
  • Stock Quantity : Enter the current quantity on hand.

2. Stock Status and Low Stock Thresholds

Stock Status : WooCommerce offers three stock statuses:

  • In Stock : The product is available for purchase.
  • Out of Stock : The product is temporarily unavailable.
  • On Backorder : Customers can order even if the product is out of stock.
  • Low Stock Thresholds : Set a threshold for low stock. When the quantity falls below this level, you’ll receive notifications.

3. Product Variations and Attributes

  • Variable Products : If you sell variations (e.g., different sizes or colours), manage stock for each variation.
  • Attributes : Use attributes (e.g., size, colour) to organise your inventory.

4. WooCommerce Inventory Plugins

While WooCommerce provides basic features, consider these plugins for advanced inventory management:

  1. Veeqo : Centralised stock control, order management, and reporting.
  1. WooPOS : A comprehensive point-of-sale system with robust inventory features.
  1. WooCommerce Out of Stock! Manager : Helps manage out-of-stock products effectively.
  1. ATUM Inventory Management for WooCommerce : Tracks changes, provides detailed reports, and optimises stock levels.
  1. Smart Manager for WooCommerce : Efficiently manages inventory and other store data.

How to Keep Inventory Updated

WooCommerce will automatically deduct inventory from your products when you sell them by enabling the correct settings.

You can do this by turning on Enable stock management in WooCommerce > Settings > Product > Inventory. Then for each product, you can turn on Enable stock management at the product level in the products’ Edit pages and set the stock level.

WooCommerce will deduct from this number whenever you make a sale, and it also will automatically set your products to low or out of stock as appropriate.

Unfortunately, you’ll need to go through and manually update the numbers whenever you get a shipment in. WooCommerce can only increment stocks down, not up.

This can be easily fixed with add-ons, but the base tool doesn’t have such functionality.

Best Practices for Inventory Management

  1. Regular Audits : Conduct periodic stock checks to reconcile physical inventory with your records.
  1. ABC Analysis : Categorize products based on their importance (A, B, or C) to prioritise restocking efforts.
  1. Safety Stock : Maintain safety stock to handle unexpected demand spikes or supplier delays.
  1. Supplier Relationships : Communicate with suppliers to ensure timely restocking.
  1. Automate Reordering : Set up automatic reorder points based on historical sales data.


In summary, effective WooCommerce inventory management involves a combination of smart tools, best practices, and continuous monitoring. Remember that your inventory directly impacts customer satisfaction, profitability, and overall business success. Whether you’re a developer or a non-technical store owner, consider using the Advanced WooCommerce Reporting plugin from InfoCaptor to streamline your processes.


1. Does WooCommerce handle inventory management?

Yes, WooCommerce provides basic inventory tools, but plugins enhance functionality.

2. How do I manage stock in WooCommerce?

Set stock levels for each product using the Inventory section in the product settings.

3. How can I create an inventory management system in WordPress?

Use WooCommerce’s built-in features or install third-party inventory plugins.

4. How do I edit inventory in WooCommerce?

Edit stock quantities directly in the product settings.

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