ShopSite Tip – 3 Ways To Discontinue A Product

Every once in a while someone asks why a discontinued product was still purchased by a customer.  It all comes down to how the product was removed from the store.  Here we will review the best ways to remove it and fully stop future purchases.

Option 1: Disable The Product

In ShopSite 11 sp2 the “Disabled Product” feature was added.  This is available on a product’s Edit Product Info screen:

A disabled products

A disabled product

If you enable the checkbox, on the next publish the product will not appear on any pages it’s assigned, nor can it be ordered.  It’s More Info page will still exist but if someone tries to purchase the product they will see a message which says “The selected item is no longer available “.

Option 2: Inventory Tracking

ShopSite Pro’s Inventory Tracking feature can be used to stop products from being ordered even if you don’t normally track inventory for your store.  To use this option, enable the “ShopSite Inventory Tracking” setting on the Preferences > Inventory Tracking screen and then set the following 3 fields to “0” on the product’s Edit Product Info screen:

  • Quantity on Hand
  • Low Stock threshold
  • Out of Stock limit

Be sure all three are set to “0” and that will results in a message to the customer that the product is out of stock on the shopping cart screen:

Out Of Stock

An out of stock product

TIP: If you do not currently use Inventory Tracking, we would recommend Power-Editing the 3 fields above and set them to a blank value before you start using it.  If the fields are blank (not 0, but blank) the product will not be tracked by inventory tracking.  If a product has the fields set to other values you could mark a product out of stock by accident.  By clearing them all before you use inventory tracking you’ll be sure all the other products can still be ordered correctly.

Advanced Options

If your product uses Advanced Options, the Inventory Tracking settings above will not work.  Instead, the values must be set for the specific option that you want to make out of stock.  That is set in the Ordering Options section of the Edit Product Info screen as shown in the image below.

Click to view a larger version which shows the Red option is out of stock.

The "Red" option is out of stock, with it's Qty on Hand, Low Stock, and Out of Sock values set to "0".

[Click To Enlarge]

Option 3: Delete The Product

If you are never going to carry a product again, deleting it is a fast and effective way to be sure it can not be ordered.  On your List of Products screen you can select the product and then click the “Delete Products” button to remove it from your store.  On the next publish it will be removed from all your pages, the more info page will be deleted, and the product will not be able to be ordered.

TIP: When you delete a product from ShopSite it will prompt you to delete the More Info file.  Be sure to have it delete that file, otherwise it will remain on the server and people will still find the old page.

301 Redirect: When the More Info Page is deleted a user will see your 404 page if they follow an old bookmark or search engine link which hasn’t updated.  If you have a custom 404 page that may be enough to catch the customer, especially if you don’t carry a similar product anymore, but if you want to forward the user to a replacement product or to a certain page on your site you can setup a 301 redirect.

If any other method was used to disable the product, such as unassigning it from pages, it may still be found in a search engine or it could still be left in a user’s shopping cart who did not check out yet.  Once you implement one of the methods above that will stop the product from being ordered.

If you’re a LexiConn client, please contact us if a product was still mysteriously ordered.  Let us know the order and product details and we’ll take a look at what happened for you.

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