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How to Handle Discontinued Products: Substitute Products Innovation

May 7, 2019 | Oro Team

Just like redirecting website visitors from obsolete pages to recent ones, a powerful eCommerce web store allows redirecting online buyers to newer products in case some items are discontinued and no longer available for sales. The single biggest need for that in B2B is that it is typical for B2B buyers to perform repeat purchases of the same product for a long period of time. They search for an exact item by its name or SKU and if one day they don’t find it – it’s utterly frustrating. That’s why we introduced this new innovation called Substitute Products. If a product is discontinued, OroCommerce enables you to set up its substitute and forward your web store visitors directly to that new product version, batch, or product replacement.

Substitute Products OroCommerce

Importantly, this innovation also enables you to automatically apply the product-substitute replacement logic for different workflows:

  • Use product substitutes in search autocomplete and quick order queries
  • Display them in search results
  • Update discontinued items with replacement products in the shopping list  
  • Apply product substitutes for reorders, quotes, etc.

You can further customize any parts of UI to display appropriate messages that inform buyers about product substitutes and product replacement logic. You can also adjust the rules for the case when no direct substitute is available for the discontinued product and, for example, redirect a buyer to a parent category of products instead.  

Another potential benefit of this new innovation of OroCommerce is how it helps with SEO for your product pages. If a product is expired or currently out-of-stock, but you want to preserve SEO benefits of the existing product page – you can keep it while redirecting website visitors to a substitute product. With the Substitute Products feature, you can be sure that your customers will always access the right product no matter whether they try to enter a discontinued product name, search by an outdated SKU, or go through their reordering routines.

Attention: Please note the implementation of this feature may come with additional costs. To learn more, Enterprise Edition customers should make a request through the support portal or through the dedicated implementation partner. Community Edition users can reach out through using our forums –

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