How your website manages low or out of stock inventory is an important part of the customer experience. The inventory tab at the store level, and the inventory tab at the product level are how you adjust settings to create the best customer experience possible.
The most important setting that affects how your customers are affected by inventory fluctuations is deciding, at the store level, when a product is removed from available inventory.
If you select When Added to Basket, an item in inventory will be removed from available inventory as soon as a customer adds it to their shopping basket. This is important because customers may see an item as “Out of Stock” just because it’s in someone’s shopping basket.
That item will remain as “Out of Stock” until the shopper with it in their basket completes their purchase, or until the basket expires (the default is 60 minutes) and it is deleted (the default is every 24 hours).
Additional information about basket expiration can be found here. Additional information about deleting expired baskets can be found here.
If you select At Checkout, when a customer adds an item to their cart, that item is not removed from inventory until they actually check out and purchase the item. This is helpful to customers shopping for low inventory items or one of a kind items because it allows multiple customers to add an item to their cart without affecting inventory counts.
Miva will still check to make sure a product is in inventory before a customer is allowed to purchase the item at checkout. This check happens when the customer submits their customer information (Bill To/Ship To). If there isn’t enough items to fulfill the order, it will display an error message and redirect a customer to a specified page. More information about that setting can be found here.