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How to Add Lead Times to Your WooCommerce Products

No one likes waiting around for their products to show up after ordering them. However, WooCommerce doesn't include native functionality for providing lead times to your shoppers who purchase custom or out-of-stock items. Fortunately, WooCommerce Lead Time can help. This plugin enables you to easily and quickly display information on your product pages regarding how long customers can expect to wait for certain items.

In e-commerce, there are many situations in which products might require lead time. Items may be out of stock or could require customizations that postpone shipping. Regardless of the reason, you may find yourself fielding large volumes of emails from customers who want to know where their purchases are.

With WooCommerce Lead Time, you can minimize this issue for your online store. The plugin enables you to easily add custom lead times to your WooCommerce products, individually or globally. That way, customers can see and assess how long a product will take to arrive before making a purchase.

In this post, we’ll look at a few situations in which you may want to add lead times to your WooCommerce products. Then we’ll explain how to use WooCommerce Lead Time to do so in just three steps. Here we go!

Why You May Want to Add Lead Times to Your WooCommerce Products

E-commerce has opened the door to retailing for many people who might not otherwise sell their products. Crafters and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) makers, for instance, can find a wider audience for their creations online than they might locally:

Custom portraits with two to five day lead times.

Since they require more time to make than items assembled with automation, providing lead times for these types of products is helpful. The same goes for custom furniture and other made-to-order pieces:

A made to order product with a two to six week lead time.

That said, your merchandise doesn’t have to be handmade or personalized to benefit from lead times. Letting customers know how long they’ll have to wait for out-of-stock or back-ordered items is helpful, too.

Customers who’ve handed over money for your products want assurance that it will arrive in a timely fashion. If they have to wait longer than they expect for their purchases to show up at their doors, they may start to feel concerned and fill your inbox with order status inquiries.

Similarly, buyers who need their items before certain dates may end up canceling orders that require significant lead times they weren’t aware of when they made their purchases. This could lead to unsatisfied buyers and even bad reviews.

Informing shoppers ahead of time how long they’ll have to wait for certain items helps keep them happier. Satisfied customers are more likely to come back to your store and to talk you up to friends and family, so lead times could even improve your bottom line.

How to Add Lead Times to Your WooCommerce Products (In 3 Steps)

While you could just add lead times in the descriptions of each of your product pages, this isn’t the most efficient or effective route to take. With the WooCommerce Lead Time plugin, you can add customized and accurate lead times to your site with minimal effort. Here’s how.

Step 1: Install and Activate WooCommerce Lead Time

The first thing you’ll need to do is purchase WooCommerce Lead Time:

WooCommerce Lead Time Plugin by Barn2

Licenses start at $49 per year for a single site. After you complete your purchase, you’ll receive the plugin’s .zip file and a license key. Head over to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin:

The plugin upload page.

Select the WooCommerce Lead Time .zip file, then click on Install Now:

Installing the WooCommerce Lead Time plugin.

When the installation is finished, click on the Activate Plugin button. Then, navigate to the WooCommerce Lead Time Settings page and enter your license key:

Adding the license key for WooCommerce Lead Time.

You’re now ready to start adding lead times to your products.

Step 2: Select Which Products Should Display Lead Times

While you’re in the plugin’s settings, navigate to the Products tab:

Configuring settings for the WooCommerce Lead Time plugin.

Here, you can select whether to display lead times for products based on their status:

  • In stock product: Useful for displaying lead times for custom or handmade products.
  • Out of stock product: Only shows the designated lead time if the item is out of stock.
  • Product on backorder: Shows the lead time you’ve specified only when the item is on backorder.

You can also set a global lead time for all the products on your site:

Setting the global lead time in WooCommerce Lead Time.

This lead time will be displayed for all products with the status(es) you’ve selected in the previous settings. For instance, if you check only the out of stock product box above and set the Global lead time to two weeks, then all products listed as out of stock will display a two-week lead time.

Step 3: Create Individual Product Lead Times

If each of your products has different lead times, never fear. You can specify them individually in the editor for each of your product pages. You’ll find this setting under Product data > Inventory:

Setting an individual lead time in the product editor.

If you’ve set a global lead time, the one specified here will override it. So, for instance, say all your products take six weeks to make except for one, which takes ten weeks.

You can set your global lead time to six weeks, then add an individual lead time of ten weeks to the single item that takes longer to create. However, keep in mind that individual lead times will still apply only to products with order statuses you’ve selected in the plugin’s settings.

Conclusion

Without lead times, your buyers are more likely to feel frustrated or confused if their items take longer than expected to arrive. This simple change can increase customer satisfaction to benefit your business as a whole.

Fortunately, implementing lead times takes just three simple steps:

  1. Install and activate WooCommerce Lead Time.
  2. Select which products should display lead times.
  3. Create individual product lead times.

WooCommerce Lead Time

Keep your customers informed with WooCommerce product lead times.

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Do you have any questions about setting up lead times for your WooCommerce products? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Will Morris
Will Morris
Will Morris is a staff writer at WordCandy. When he's not writing about WordPress, he likes to gig his stand-up comedy routine on the local circuit.

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3 Responses

    1. Hi Ekin, given that any WooCommerce store is there to make money, a small investment like this one should be a no-brainer. Not everything can be free.

  1. But it’s quite limited in many respects. Barn2 provides a couple of lines of PHP code but no examples of how these can be used to put lead times on a page merely telling you to employ a developer. It would be more useful if this article were to show us how to do that. Going through the steps of downloading and installing a plugin, well everyone reading this probably knows how to do that. It would be far more useful to show how the code snippets can be used.

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