The WooCommerce development team released the first RC for version 6.3 this week. The upcoming major release is expected on March 8, 2022, and is set to introduce an exciting, long-awaited feature: a new lookup table that will offer the ability the accurately filter products by attributes.
Shop owners who sell variable items have been frustrated for years by WooCommerce’s broken filtering of variable products. Automattic developer Néstor Soriano explained the problem when the new lookup table went into testing last year:
The problem appears when there are variable products where some variations have stock and others don’t, and the “hide out of stock products from the catalog” option is set. What happens is that when an attribute is selected for filtering, all variable products having a variation that corresponds to that attribute will be displayed, even those not having stock for that variation (as long as at least one variation has stock).
Merchants who have experienced this have become frustrated because customers end up having to search through all the items to see if their selected variation is available. Sometimes they abandon the process after the first few items don’t have the one they are looking for.
The new lookup table in WooCommerce 6.3 solves this problem in a way that should improve performance – by creating a table row for each combination of product and attribute, including individual variations and stock status. This will be immensely helpful for any store owner who sells variable products, such as clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc.
This update will require a database migration. It will also introduce a new “Advanced” section under the Product Settings tab with options for the new product attributes lookup table.
WooCommerce 6.3 has updated to the 6.9.0 version of the WooCommerce Blocks feature plugin and version 3.2.0-rc of WooCommerce Admin.
Shop owners who have variable products may want to give the update a test run during the next 12 days before the release lands. It is available for download from WordPress.org or via the WooCommerce Beta Tester plugin.