By default, out of stock products are visible on your store even they are not purchasable. For many store, hide out of stock products is a good choice since doing so lets customers pay attention to available products only.
When a product is out of stock, you’ll see this notification on its product page:
To hide out of stock products, simply go to WooCommerce->Settings, click on Products tab then Inventory:
Nearly at the bottom of that page, you’ll see a checkbox says: “Hide out of stock items from the catalog”. Check that box and save the settings and you are done. Out of stock products are now hidden from your shop.
How to accept order on out of stock products
There are times you have hot selling item that is constantly sold out. The nice thing is you know that in a short time, it will be available again. In this case, it is unwise to hide out of stock products. Instead, we put the product in a status called “allow backorder”. That means the customers still order the product as usual and we ship it when it is available in our store.
To do so, first, undo the steps you done to hide out of stock products. We need them to be visible.
Next, go to edit the out of stock products, click on Inventory tab (under Product data) and set the options as below:
As you can see, the Manage stock checkbox is checked. Stock quantity is 0 since the product is currently out of stock. The most important option here is “Allow backorders”. You set it to “Allow, but notify customer” or simply “Allow”. Now, save the product and you are done.
Let me show you the difference between “Allow, but notify customer” and “Allow”. When you set it to “Allow, but notify customer”, on the cart page, the customer will see this:
When simply set the option to allow, the notification I pointed to in the above image is not available. Customers just see it as normal, in stock product:
As you can see, hiding out of stock products is not always the best thing to do. If you can restock quickly, it’s best to enable backorders to maximize the revenue. However, if you don’t plan to restock the products or they may not be available in a long time, hiding them is the best bet.