A dive into the workflow behind sending (or not sending) customer notifications

Store owners occasionally contact support asking for details on what steps are involved causes a notification to be sent. This hasn’t been published previously because it’s a little more complex than you would expect.

As more stores are working with an advanced or hybrid setups, such as inventory being managed by a third party service, it can be useful to understand the checks that are performed before sending a customers notification.

The quick summary is

Customer notifications are sent when sending is enabled, a product is published and the variant inventory is greater than zero.

Let’s break down the workflow step-by-step.

Are there any notifications?

The first check is to actually see if there are any unsent customers notifications. If there the delivery task continues to the next step.

Is sending enabled?

Next, the store account is checked to make sure sending notifications is allowed. If for example, you have disabled delivery we stop here.

The app also checks if a delivery policy is enabled. This limits the number of notifications sent for a single product variant per hour or day.

If neither of these settings will prevent email being delivered we continue to the next step.

Is the product published?

It’s important that the product is published on the store. Sending the URL for a hidden product to the customer is pointless and frustrating - clicking it will only get the you as far as page not found message. If the product is hidden we stop here. If it’s published, we can continue.

Is the inventory quantity greater than zero?

Finally, we check the product is in stock by looking at the inventory quantity. If the quantity is greater than zero (1 or more) the variant is considered to be in stock.

Note that the inventory management setting is ignored. This means you can use external inventory tools to mange your catalog. As long as they updated the quantity field Back In Stock will happily consider the product variant to be in stock.

Send the email

Finally, the email is sent and customers can start placing orders.

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