Configure backorders

Backorders allow your store to continue selling products after the quantity reaches zero or is effectively out of stock. When a customer order is a backorder, the funds are authorized and captured immediately, the processing status of the order does not change, and the shipping remains on-hold until stock is available.

Depending on your store and sales, you may want to enable or disable backorders at the following levels:

  • Global - All products in your catalog at the site level

  • Product - Specific products overriding settings for site, source, and stock

Understand backorder settings

It is highly recommended that you configure specific thresholds and settings to best support backorders.

Out-of-Stock threshold

Use a negative value for this threshold to set the maximum quantity of products that can be backordered before the product is truly considered out of stock. This amount adds to the salable quantity. The value set at the product level overrides any value set at the global level.

The formula for the Salable Quantity is (Quantity - (Out-of-Stock Threshold)).

The following is an example:

  • Quantity: 25
  • Notify for Quantity Below: 10
  • Only X left Threshold: 5
  • Out of Stock Threshold: -50

The Salable Quantity for this product is 75 (25 - (-50)).

Example Salable Quantity before backorders enabled

Example Salable Quantity after backorders enabled

When customers purchase the available 25 products, new orders enter as backorders. As the product’s Salable Quantity reduces to 5 (70 items have been sold), the Product page displays a message Only 5 left on the storefront. When the Salable Quantity reaches 0, the product is displayed as Out of Stock in the storefront.

NOTE

When a customer places an order using backorder qty, Inventory Management automatically subtracts the quantity from the salable quantity. If an order is not shipped and is canceled, the quantity returns to the aggregated virtual salable quantity. The canceled order quantity is not assigned to any of the sources, but is returned to the total number of products available for sale (Salable Quantity column on the products grid).

Stock status

Products must be set to In Stock status when enabling backorders. You can set this value from the Product page. For multi-source merchants, you must have at least one source marked as In Stock. Access and set the status through the Product page and assigned Sources grid.

Configure backorders globally

These steps enable backorders for all products at the site level.

  1. On the Admin sidebar, go to Stores > Settings > Configuration.

  2. Set Store View to Default Config.

  3. In the left panel, expand Catalog and choose Inventory.

  4. Expand Expansion selector Product Stock Options.

  5. For Backorders, deselect the Use system value checkbox and select an option:

    Option Description
    No Backorders To not accept backorders when product is out of stock.
    Allow Qty Below 0 To accept backorders when the quantity falls below zero.
    Allow Qty Below 0 and Notify Customer To accept backorders when the quantity falls below zero and notify the customer that the order can still be placed.
  6. For Out-of-Stock Threshold, deselect the Use system value checkbox and enter a different amount.

    Value Description
    Positive amount With Backorders disabled, enter a positive value.
    Zero With Backorders enabled, entering 0 allows for infinite backorders.
    Negative amount With Backorders enabled, entering a negative value is recommended. The amount is added to the Salable Quantity. For example, enter -50 to allow orders up to this amount.
  7. Click Save Config.

Configure backorders for a product

Product level configurations override global configurations. You may want to configure backorders at the product level to override the settings at the global store or source level. For example, your store may globally support backorders. With product settings, you can disable backorders or change the Out-of-Stock threshold without affecting other products and sources.

  1. On the Admin sidebar, go to Catalog > Products.

  2. Open a product in Edit mode and scroll down the page to the Sources area.

    For products configured without Inventory Management, the tab does not appear. The Advanced Inventory button is displayed under the Quantity field.

  3. Click Advanced Inventory.

    This action displays a page of product-specific configurations. Any setting listed as global displays the current global setting for the store.

  4. For Backorders, deselect the Use Config Setting checkbox and select an option:

    Option Description
    No Backorders To not accept backorders when product is out of stock.
    Allow Qty Below 0 To accept backorders when the quantity falls below zero.
    Allow Qty Below 0 and Notify Customer To accept backorders when the quantity falls below zero and to notify the customer that the order can still be placed.
  5. For Out-of-Stock Threshold, deselect the Use Config Setting checkbox and enter an amount:

    Value Description
    Positive amount With Backorders disabled, enter a positive value.
    Zero With Backorders enabled, entering 0 allows for infinite backorders.
    Negative amount With Backorders enabled, entering a negative value is recommended. The amount is added to the Salable Quantity. For example, enter -50 to allow orders up to that amount.

    Advanced Inventory configured for Backorders

  6. Click Done, and then Save.

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