WooCommerce scheduled sales in your online shop can help you sell more during holiday or daily specials, seasonal products, limited edition items sales, etc.
All of us have been guilty of impulse shopping at one point or another because the deal was just too good. And more importantly, available only for a limited amount of time.
It is so called FOMO or Fear of Missing Out. A pervasive fear that has a powerful effect on buyers.
Good example of this is Amazon’s recent Prime Day success, where sales increased by 60% compared to last year.
This is an excellent example of how selling products for a limited time can generate a significant increase in sales.
Buyers have a tendency to procrastinate the purchase since the product price remains more or less constant over a period.
Setting up products for a limited time creates a sense of urgency by giving the visitors a specific window of time to make their decision. Which in turn drives business.
A timer creates a sense of scarcity that the product might not be available if not purchased.
As a WooCommerce store owner, you must be well-acquainted with the advantages of offering discounts and coupons to boost revenue.
When it comes to scheduling products in WooCommerce, option to schedule the availability of a particular product is simple and doesn’t allow much customization.
Customers need to be made aware that such products are available only for a limited-time. And the availability of such products needs to be scheduled on your WooCommerce store.
A scheduling plugin can handle this task well. And the countdown timer that it adds, can indicate the time available to make a purchase.
One of the great plugins for scheduling sales in WooCommerce is Scheduler for WooCommerce plugin from WisdmLabs.
Other WooCommerce plugins from WisdmLabs:
How do WooCommerce Scheduled Sales Work?
Scheduling sales in WooCommerce “out of the box” is very basic. You only have sale price start and end date option.
Also, to my knowledge, scheduling sale cant be set for variable or grouped products.
To schedule sale in WooCommerce you go to Products section (need to have WooCommerce installed) and then click on one of your products.
Scroll down to the Product Data tab and under General next to the Sale Price click on the Schedule link.
Once you click the Schedule link two new fields will popup. The start date and end date.
Click on the calendar icon to open a clickable calendar and enter your dates. The sale date is based on the time you have set for your site.
You can check the time zone set for your site under Settings > General > Timezone.
For more options and more flexibility, you will need to have scheduling plugin installed.
Below I will explain and write about scheduling in WooCommerce using Scheduler for WooCommerce plugin.
WooCommerce Scheduled Sales With Scheduler for WooCommerce
Scheduler for WooCommerce lets you create fixed timelines for your products.
Capitalizing on the idea of limited editions, Scheduler can be used to set up an expiry date for every product, right from the product page.
With Scheduler for WooCommerce, you can:
1. Control product availability
The plugin helps you control how and when your products will be available in your store.
For example, you can set product availability for a week straight or you can make it available for two days a week, over the duration of a month.
It is possible to even schedule the time for which the product will be available on the given day.
2. Set up limited editions for simple and variable products
Scheduler can be used to offer limited time purchases for an entire product or for its specific variations.
In addition, you can have multiple expiry dates for the product (or its variation) for multiple prices.
This implies that you could offer a product on sale for a limited time, at the regular price for a limited time, or at a discounted price for an unlimited time.
NOTE: You can schedule simple and variable products using WooCommerce Scheduler.
3. Display a countdown timer for the product
To create sense of urgency among visitors on your site, Scheduler displays Countdown Timer at the front-end.
Dynamic countdown timer will keep ticking the time left until the scheduled period expires, as well as the next time it is scheduled to be available.
Timer can be configured to show the days, hours, minutes, and even seconds for which the product is available.
4. Intuitive interface
If you get tired of the same old, boring ‘This product is currently unavailable’ message, you can always customize it with Scheduler.
The plugin has an intuitive back-end that lets you set up product schedules and customize the unavailability messages.
A date-picking calendar and a weekly schedule planner make the process even easier.
5. Schedule products in bulk
It might get a bit tiresome to schedule every product one by one. Especially if you have a whole list of products for the upcoming sale.
In such cases, you can simply add the products to a common category, for example ‘Holiday Deals’, and schedule the entire category in one go.
6. Hide unavailable products
WooCommerce has a native functionality to display a message when the product is unavailable. What if you want to hide it completely?
Using Scheduler plugin, you can hide a product completely if it is not in stock, even if its duration of availability is not over.
What happens to the Product after the expiry date?
If you select the option “Hide Unavailable Products” then the unavailable product will be hidden from the entire site andautomatically go into Drafts.
If the product is made available again then it will be automatically published again.
If you do not select the option “Hide Unavailable Products”, the product will still be available in your WooCommerce shop, but the “Add to Cart” option will not be present.
7. Smart selection of dates to be scheduled
In case of a conflict between the number of days scheduled and the days selected, a warning message is displayed warning the administrator about the discrepancy.
For instance, if you have scheduled the product sale from June 5 – June 8 and selected an extra day in the Day Selection field, the plugin displays a warning to inform you that the day does not fall in the specified range.
Another feature is where you can set schedules for specific days for an extended period. That is if you intend to sell a product only on Monday and Wednesday for say, a year.
All you have to do is select your complete duration (1 year) and then select the Days of availability (Monday and Wendsday).
Your product will be scheduled for the entire year with no need to renew it every week.
8. Capture every lead
If a product runs out of stock, enable the “Notify me when available” field to capture email addresses of buyers interested in unavailable products.
Keep track of buyers interested in receiving notifications when an unavailable product is back for purchase.
Or let buyers unsubscribe from back in stock or product availability notifications using the unsubscribe link.
Also you can notify interested buyers when a product is back in stock using the “Notify me” option.
9. Remind potential buyers and increase the chance of a sale
Collect email addresses of visitors that subscribe for product availability notifications.
Send a reminder email for product availability an hour, a week, or a minute before the product is back in stock to increase the chances of a sale.
Scheduler for WooCommerce Review
After installing and activating the plugin you will have a new tab in your WordPress dashboard on the left called Scheduler for WooCommerce.
Plugin settings are divided into two tabs. First, is called General and second Global.
General settings allow you to bulk schedule several products at once.
Under General Settings you can either select ‘Product’ or ‘Category.’ You can then pick multiple products or categories to bulk schedule at once.
Once you pick the products or categories, click on ‘Set Schedule’. You will be shown the same settings to schedule the products as available on a single product page.
Pick the ‘Start date’, ‘End date’ and set the ‘Days of Week’ (for per day scheduling) and click ‘Set Schedule’.
You can also enable the timer option to display timer at the front end for a product or product category.
Only one schedule will be applied to the products. Previously set schedules will be overridden.
In the Global settings tab, you set main options.
If you select the ‘Per Day‘ schedule option, you should also notice settings to schedule a product on certain days of the week in the product settings.
To display a message to a store visitor, when the product is unavailable for purchase, there are two options available.
The ‘Single Product Expiration Message‘ field can be used to set an unavailable message on the single product page.
The ‘Shop Page Expiration Message‘ field can be used to set an unavailable message on the WooCommerce shop page.
If you Enable Timer option it will display a timer about the product availability at the front end for one or multiple products.
Enable Start Timer will display the time remaining for the product to be available.
For displaying the time remaining for the product to become unavailable, you need to tick ‘Enable End Timer‘ option.
Once the plugin is activated, you will see the ‘Product Display Dates’ settings added on a product add/edit page.
Checking the ‘Hide Product When Unavailable’ you will hide the product from your entire store.
You can hide unavailable products for both simple and variable products.
Unavailable products will be automatically turned into drafts. Once their schedule is set again they can be published and will be visible on the entire site.
You can also schedule a particular variation of a variable product type.
If a variable product ‘Shirt’ has two variations ‘Green’ and ‘Black’ and the option ‘Hide Product When Unavailable’ has been selected for this product, the variations will be available or hidden based on your schedule.
If both the variations are unavailable then the variable product will be automatically saved as a ‘Draft’.
Scheduler for WooCommerce Price
Scheduler for WooCommerce is a premium plugin and can be purchased from WisdmLabs website.
There are multiple pricing plans for you to choose from, starting at $24/site.
For two sites price is $34. Be noted that you need to renew the license every year as support and updates are for one year only.
If you wish to get lifetime updates, support and usage, WisdmLabs recently offers Lifetime plan. In case of this plugin, it costs $99.
The Lifetime license requires you to pay only once and the plugin is yours forever (for one site). No subscription fees, no renewals.
A Regular license has to be updated every year for continued updates and support.
On downloading the plugin, all you have to do is upload and install it in WordPress and you are good to go.
Some WooCommerce Scheduler features include:
- Date- and time-based product availability setup
- Multiple product availability setup according to the category of the products
- Intuitive date picker for all availability schedules
- Selective display of unavailable products
- Customizable unavailability display message
- Compatibility with simple and variable products
- Custom product variation scheduling supported
- Optional product display before the duration during which it becomes available
- Compatible with every theme built for WooCommerce
- Bulk product scheduling enabled
While you can set almost anything regarding scheduling dates, I noticed that you cant set price of product to change according to dates.
For example, let’s say you have a product that is priced $50. After the first 20 sales you want the price to go up by $10.
After 10 days you want the price to go up by 35%. Then, after a total of 100 are sold, or a certain date and time are reached, you want the product to become unavailable for purchase.
WooCommerce Scheduled Sales Plugin Alternatives
If you don’t think Scheduler for WooCommerce plugin is the right choice for you and want to use another plugin, then here are worthy alternatives.
With WooCommerce Availability Scheduler plugin you can manage the availability of all your products.
You have the flexibility to choose for every day of the week one time range when your products will be available to your visitors, automatically hiding/showing the “add to cart button”on shop and product pages, showing a custom message and a countdown timer.
You can set an expiring date time for every product. After set date time the product will be automatically hidden and unavailable for purchasing.
Optionally the product can be still set as visible (but it will be unpurchasable).
Product daily availability can also be limited by total sale per each day. WooCommerce Availability Scheduler gives the option to restrict products purchase using users roles.
WooCommerce Availability Scheduler plugin also gives you the option to display countdown timers.
You can also display a countdown timer and messages before and after the expiration date.
The shop admin can also display a nice progress bar which displays the current sales progress per day. Bar colors can be customized in the options menu.
Using WooCommerce Availability Scheduler plugin you can set availability for both simple and variable products. It, however, doesn’t support specific variations.
2. WP Content Scheduler With Range FREE
Though plugin has not been updated in quite some time, WP Content Scheduler With Range is a WordPress plugin created by CedCommerce to schedule your posts or pages between a range of specific dates.
This plugin is also compatible with WooCommerce. It means you can schedule your WooCommerce’s products to be shown at front-end between specific dates.
You can also choose to move the post to trash after it exceeds its dates. That setting is called Move To Trash.
If that is checked then all the scheduled post will be moved to trash after exceeding its date.
This plugin also provides a feature of adding Occasional Content at front-end between a range of dates.
WooCommerce Scheduled Sales Final Words
WooCommerce Scheduler plugin allows you to add and sell products on your online store for a limited duration.
The plugin can be used to add sale-time limits to existing, as well as new products, by simply choosing the dates while editing the product.
Once the dates and timings are set, a countdown timer is displayed near the product which generates a perceived sense of scarcity in the minds of your customers.
Not only does this play on the consumer’s psyche but it also nudges buyers on the fence towards making a purchase, as they are convinced that these products will no longer be available after a given amount of time.
In the customer’s mind scarcity equals attractiveness, which is a tried and tested method of marketing.
What’s your take on scheduling sales with WooCommerce? Which plugin do you use? Let me know in comments below.