The Smart Match feature provides the final link in inventory control between what you have in stock and what is displayed on your storefront. With just a few initial clicks, you'll be able to set up products that have options so that only the options that result in product combinations that are currently in stock are displayed.
For example, let’s say you carry a dress that comes in red, blue and white and sizes S, M and L. However, the blue dress in size medium is out of stock. Smart Match sees that one of these options is out of stock and keeps customers from selecting that combination of size and color.
Setting Up Smart Match
To confirm that the Smart Match feature is enabled, go to Inventory > Products, click the three-dot actions menu icon, select All Products Settings, and makes sure the Enable Smart Match check box is selected.
Option Category Setup
Create the Smart Match options you'll be applying to the product. When creating the option category, use Dropdown Smartmatch as the Display Type. Smart Match works best when you have multiple Option Categories. For instance, you can have Size and Color listed for a t-shirt. For a custom box, you could have Height, Width and Length.
To setup your Option Categories for Smart Match, access Inventory > Options on your Admin Dashboard.
From the Product Options page, choose Option Categories from the dropdown menu.
To add a new Option Category, click the blue ADD button at the top right of the page.
Set up your Option Category as you normally would. For Display Type, choose Dropdown Smartmatch from the dropdown menu. It is also a VERY good idea to make the Option Category required by checking the Required checkbox.
Click Save at the top right to save your changes.
⚠️ Good to know: Even if you select Hide Category Description for an option category, customers will still see the Option Category Description in the option drop-down menus on the product page.
Option and Product Setup
Next, create the options for your product by going to Inventory > Options from your Admin Dashboard. Make sure to assign the options to the Dropdown Smart Match Option Categories you created. For more information on creating Options, please refer to THIS ARTICLE.
Create your product and apply your options to it. Once your options are applied, click the Enable Options Inventory Control Grid checkbox to create your Child Products for Smart Match. Click the blue Save button at the top right of the Product Page to save your changes.
On your product, under Advanced Info > Stock, select Do Not Allow Backorders. This ensures that customers can't select an option combination that is out of stock. If you leave this option deselected, out-of-stock product options will be available for backorder and will still display to customers for purchase.
Child Product Stock Setup
In the Stock Status column of the inventory control grid table, enter the current stock count for each child product. If a particular option combination has zero stock, enter "0". Do not leave the field blank.
Click the blue Save button at the top right of the Product Page.
Now click View Live to make sure your product and options display correctly. The first drop-down menu will say First, Select [Option Category Name], and any others will say Then, Select [Option Category Name].
This tells the customer that their input is needed before they can add the the item to their cart, and that they must choose options in the order indicated. If a customer attempts to select an option out of order, the options for that drop-down will not display.
To test that Smart Match is working, go back to the Inventory Control Grid in the product editing page and set a specific child product's stock to zero. Click View Live and try to select the out-of-stock option combination; you should see that it no longer displays.
If you ever want to disable Smart Match, edit the option categories applied to that product and change the Display Type to Dropdown.
Multi Child Add To Cart
You can also use Smart Match with the Multi-Child Add To Cart feature. Enable this option in the Product's Advanced Info > Product Display tab by selecting Enable Multi Child Add To Cart. Out of stock products will still display, but they will be marked as Out of Stock and cannot be selected.
By enabling Smart Match, you’re setting up your store to do the thinking for you and prevent shoppers from ordering products that aren’t in stock. This means you’ll never disappoint a customer who wants to order something you don’t have.