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Backorder notification – clearer customer advice #15092

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seoidau opened this Issue May 16, 2017 · 19 comments

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@seoidau

seoidau commented May 16, 2017

EXPLANATION OF THE ISSUE

Testing version 3 on a local copy of a site, I think the only thing stopping me from updating the live site is the way backorder availability is notified on product pages. As previously raised, having a product in stock with backorder possible, and advising the customer that it is 'In stock (can be backordered)', is conflicting and sounds like it has to be backordered.

I preferred the way it was; when the low stock threshold was met the backorder advice was given (one of the points for having a low stock threshold). However if we must have this advice no matter how much stock there is, may I suggest we advise customers that 'more can be backordered'. By including 'more' we clearly say that the shop has stock and the ability to backorder more is an option if need be.

STEPS TO REPRODUCE THE ISSUE

  1. Edit product.
  2. Product data box > Inventory tab > Allow backorders? option.
  3. Select drop-down list item 'Allow, but notify customer'.
  4. View product page.

SYSTEM STATUS

WordPress environment
Home URL: https://localhost/nordicware
Site URL: https://localhost/nordicware
WC version: 3.0.6
Log directory writable: ✔ C:\xampp\htdocs\nordicware/wp-content/uploads/wc-logs/
WP version: 4.7.4
WP multisite: –
WP memory limit: 256 MB
WP debug mode: –
WP cron: ✔
Language: en_AU

Server environment
Server info: Apache/2.4.17 (Win32) OpenSSL/1.0.2d PHP/5.6.27
PHP version: 5.6.27
PHP post max size: 128 MB
PHP time limit: 120
PHP max input vars: 1000
cURL version: 7.50.3, OpenSSL/1.0.2d
SUHOSIN installed: –
Max upload size: 128 MB
Default timezone is UTC: ✔
fsockopen/cURL: ✔
SoapClient: Your server does not have the SoapClient class enabled - some gateway plugins which use SOAP may not work as expected.
DOMDocument: ✔
GZip: ✔
Multibyte string: ✔
Remote post: ✔
Remote get: ✔

Database
WC database version: 3.0.6
Database prefix nordicpress_
woocommerce_sessions ✔
woocommerce_api_keys ✔
woocommerce_attribute_taxonomies ✔
woocommerce_downloadable_product_permissions ✔
woocommerce_order_items ✔
woocommerce_order_itemmeta ✔
woocommerce_tax_rates ✔
woocommerce_tax_rate_locations ✔
woocommerce_shipping_zones ✔
woocommerce_shipping_zone_locations ✔
woocommerce_shipping_zone_methods ✔
woocommerce_payment_tokens ✔
woocommerce_payment_tokenmeta ✔

Security
Secure connection (HTTPS): ✔
Hide errors from visitors ✔

Active plugins (22)
iThemes Security by iThemes – 6.2.1
Contact Form 7 by Takayuki Miyoshi – 4.7
Cooked Recipe Plugin by Boxy Studio – 2.4.1
Duplicator by Snap Creek – 1.2.6
Force Regenerate Thumbnails by Pedro Elsner – 2.0.6
Giftable for WooCommerce by Decom – 0.9.12
Jetpack by WordPress.com by Automattic – 4.9
Lightweight Grid Columns by Tom Usborne – 0.7
MailChimp for WordPress by ibericode – 4.1.2
Search By SKU - for Woocommerce by Matthew Lawson – 0.6.1
Woo Stickers by Webline by Weblineindia – 1.1.0
WooCommerce Colors by WooThemes – 1.0.6
WooCommerce Expand Tabs by Diana Burduja – 1.4
WooCommerce Stripe Gateway by WooCommerce – 3.1.8
WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration by WooCommerce – 1.4.2
WooCommerce MailChimp by Saint Systems – 2.1.0
WooCommerce Prices By User Role by Festi-Team – 3.1
WooCommerce Product Archive Customiser by jameskoster – 1.0.5
WooCommerce Stock Manager by Vladislav Musílek – 1.1.4
WooCommerce by Automattic – 3.0.6
Yoast SEO by Team Yoast – 4.7.1
WP User Avatar by flippercode – 2.0.8

Settings
API enabled: ✔
Force SSL: –
Currency AUD ($)
Currency position left
Thousand separator ,
Decimal separator .
Number of decimals 2
Taxonomies: Product types dgfw_gift (dgfw_gift), external (external), grouped (grouped), simple (simple), variable (variable)
Taxonomies: Product visibility exclude-from-catalog (exclude-from-catalog), exclude-from-search (exclude-from-search), featured (featured), outofstock (outofstock), rated-1 (rated-1), rated-2 (rated-2), rated-3 (rated-3), rated-4 (rated-4), rated-5 (rated-5)

WC pages
Shop base: Page not set
Basket: #6 - /basket/
Checkout: #7 - /checkout/
My account: #8 - /account/

Theme
Name: Storefront Child
Version: 1.0.0.1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9
Author URL:
Child theme: ✔
Parent theme name: Storefront
Parent theme version: 2.1.8
Parent theme author URL: https://woocommerce.com/
WooCommerce support: ✔

@mikejolley

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mikejolley commented May 16, 2017

This issue was to ensure the message was displayed like in 2.6 #14530

I don't know if it's a language thing or a translation issue but "can be backordered" does not sound like "has to be backordered" to me...it says "can". It's a possibility. It still states how many units are actually in stock.

FWIW it's shown because even if you had say 5 units in stock, if the user wants 10 this is more evident.

Backorders are due a refactor anyhow: #11259

For now you can tweak the text via translation files, a plugin (loco translate/say what), or the gettext filter in WordPress if you want to try a tweak in wording. I don't think we should change core without more feedback, so this can wait for #11259

@mikejolley mikejolley closed this May 16, 2017

@olarionov

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olarionov commented May 23, 2017

Hi,
Thank you for your reply and all hard work you do to make WC better.
As per description of the issue in my ticket, I'd like to add this. To show the stock quantity on the product page is optional and configurable (which is excellent). Many stores are configured do not show stock QTY on the product page. So If I have only 1 or 2 items in stock and allow backorder, the stock message in WC 3.0.7 says "In stock (can be backordered)". As a customer, I can read it as this product "in stock as backordered" and need to wait longer for delivery (1 or more months), so I would not buy and move somewhere else. The customer must not see word "backorder" on a product page with items in stock. You will never find any online store that would do that, why you introduce this problem in WC3?. Try to find any online store based on Magento or other platform that will display word "backorder" in any variation of a sentence on a product page where a product is actualy in stock, this doesn't exist in the World. The only place we want to show that product of such QTY is on backorder during check-out if the customer ordered more that in stock. I have to hire PHP developer at $50/HR to wok on this issue and to revert it back as in WC2.6 in order to upgrade. Please don't introduce new feature like this if you never had a request from business that this is useful , at least make it optional or configurable. Make a simple checkbox for this new feature wording, so users can decide if they need it to use. PLEASE revert it back as it was in WC 2.6 to show only "In stock" phrase. Or make it configurable.

Thanks again!

@olarionov

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olarionov commented May 23, 2017

Could you please give me a hint where do I change it? Where do I update the translation?
Thank you so much!

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mikejolley commented May 23, 2017

You can use a gettext filter or a plugin like "say what"/"loco translate"

@olarionov

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olarionov commented May 23, 2017

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mikejolley commented May 23, 2017

Brackets can be translated too...

@olarionov

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olarionov commented May 23, 2017

@seoidau

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seoidau commented May 24, 2017

As I wrote initially, the new text added to backorder-possible products is conflicting – in-stock and on backorder..? As a customer this is confusing and would put me off.

Yes it may sound like it 'can' be backordered, but it doesn't have to be. Woo doesn't state how many units are actually in stock until the product reaches the low stock threshold, which is when this backorder notification is necessary. You can have a million units in stock and it will still say it 'can' be backordered.

I installed Loco Translate to edit this text and it worked. However using a plugin to add five characters once feels like overkill. I was hoping that adding a small bit of code in functions.php would have been possible.

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@olarionov

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olarionov commented May 24, 2017

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mikejolley commented May 24, 2017

The brackets really should not mater here; why not var_dump the string and see what is being passed through?

@olarionov

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olarionov commented May 24, 2017

Where do I plug this code for var-dump?

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mikejolley commented May 24, 2017

The string you should be translating is just:

(can be backordered)

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olarionov commented May 24, 2017

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mikejolley commented May 24, 2017

Or a different string.

@catrymer

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catrymer commented May 25, 2017

I wanted to weigh in on this as we've seen quite a few reports about this exact issue as well. I believe the problem is that "Allow, but notify customer" can be interpreted two ways and how you want it to work on your own shop depends on what kind of store you are running.

This can mean that you want to always communicate, no matter the current stock levels, when an item is available for back order. This makes a lot of sense in the example you gave, Mike ,where someone is running a shop that makes it common for folks to bulk order products and you want them to know that even though there are only a few left they can still order however many they need of that particular item. This especially makes sense if you have a shop where customers typically bulk order products, and not everything is available for backorder so you need to clearly communicate what is and is not.

However, this setting can also mean, as it does for many of the shop owners weighing in on this thread, that you only want to notify people about the ability to backorder something when it actually is on backorder. For shops that sell items you typically buy only one of at a time, especially large and expensive things, this interpretation makes more sense. If you are trying to buy a new sofa and you have the choice between one that's available now and one that's on backorder, you will factor that into your decision. For shops like this, you can end up losing business if your customers believe an item is on backorder when it isn't. For them, not having the ability to only display this message when an item is actually out of stock can interfere with their ability to run their shop successfully.

Can we revisit the way "Allow, but notify customer" works? Ideally shop owners should be allowed to decide if they want the backorder message to always display versus if they want it to only display when an item is out of stock.

@seoidau

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seoidau commented May 25, 2017

I agree with @catrymer, shop owners should be allowed to decide if they want the backorder message to display. In my instances it is when the product reaches the low stock threshold, like it was.

Oh, and actually advising customers of how many are backorders on the basket page would be better, too. Woo has always just said 'Available on backorder' despite, say, 2 in stock and I want to buy 4. If a customer adds products to their cart without visiting the product page, they're never notified.

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mikejolley commented May 26, 2017

Revisiting the setting will require a refactor, so it should really be done with #11259 since it's not a quick change.

@LeighBelles

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LeighBelles commented Aug 27, 2017

Hi, Ive only had a website for a short while so I am not very experienced but I have been researching endlessly and cant find any one else experiencing quite the same problem as me so im really hoping one of you may have the answer.
I sell lots of items that are not in stock so I need to allow back orders but in doing so my customers are not able to use a product filter to easily find items that are in stock. This would be useful as sometimes my customers need items quickly and are only interested in stock that can be delivered within 1-3 days. If all items need to be listed as in stock to enable back orders then Is there any code that would enable product filters only to show stock with a quantity equal to or greater than 1? I would really appreciate any guidance. thank you

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