WooCommerce: Count Variation Sales (Shortcode)

We’ve already studied how to display the number of sales for a given product ID via a shortcode – however that solution won’t work for a variation ID, because WooCommerce only counts the “parent product” sales.

We need a different workaround in this case. This will require we either query the orders that contain such variation ID, and then calculate the sum – or that we install a snippet on day 0 so that we can count variation sales from that moment onwards, without having to query and calculate anything.

We will study the latter, and then display the result via a shortcode, so that you can use it anywhere, even inside the variation description.


In this simulation, with the code below I’ve been able to display the number of total sales for a single variation inside the variation description.

PHP Snippet: Shortcode to Display The Total Sales by Variation ID

 * @snippet       Variation Sales Counter
 * @how-to        Get CustomizeWoo.com FREE
 * @author        Rodolfo Melogli
 * @compatible    WooCommerce 8
 * @donate $9     https://businessbloomer.com/bloomer-armada/

// PART 1: variation sales counter
// This needs to be installed on day 0
// There is also a way to make it retroactive with a one-off operation of course

add_action( 'woocommerce_recorded_sales', 'bbloomer_maybe_update_variation_sales' );

function bbloomer_maybe_update_variation_sales( $order_id ) {
   $order = wc_get_order( $order_id );
	if ( ! $order ) return;
	if ( count( $order->get_items() ) > 0 ) {
		foreach ( $order->get_items() as $item ) {
			if ( 'product_variation' === get_post_type( $item->get_variation_id() ) ) {
            $variation_id = $item->get_variation_id();
            $total_sales = get_post_meta( $variation_id, '_total_sales', true ) ? get_post_meta( $variation_id, '_total_sales', true ) : 0;
            update_post_meta( $variation_id, '_total_sales', $total_sales + absint( $item->get_quantity() );

// PART 2: variation sales shortcode
// usage: [var_sales id="123"]

add_shortcode( 'var_sales', 'bbloomer_sales_by_variation_id' );

function bbloomer_sales_by_variation_id( $atts ) {
	return get_post_meta( $atts['id'], '_total_sales', true ) ? get_post_meta( $atts['id'], '_total_sales', true ) : 0;

Where to add custom code?

You should place PHP snippets at the bottom of your child theme functions.php file and CSS at the bottom of its style.css file. Make sure you know what you are doing when editing such files - if you need more guidance, please take a look at my guide "Should I Add Custom Code Via WP Editor, FTP or Code Snippets?" and my video tutorial "Where to Place WooCommerce Customization?"

Does this snippet (still) work?

Please let me know in the comments if everything went as expected. I would be happy to revise the snippet if you report otherwise (please provide screenshots). I have tested this code with Storefront theme, the WooCommerce version listed above and a WordPress-friendly hosting.

If you think this code saved you time & money, feel free to join 17,000+ WooCommerce Weekly subscribers for blog post updates and 250+ Business Bloomer supporters for 365 days of WooCommerce benefits. Thank you in advance!

Need Help with WooCommerce?

Check out these free video tutorials. You can learn how to customize WooCommerce without unnecessary plugins, how to properly configure the WooCommerce plugin settings and even how to master WooCommerce troubleshooting in case of a bug!

Rodolfo Melogli

Business Bloomer Founder

Author, WooCommerce expert and WordCamp speaker, Rodolfo has worked as an independent WooCommerce freelancer since 2011. His goal is to help entrepreneurs and developers overcome their WooCommerce nightmares. Rodolfo loves travelling, chasing tennis & soccer balls and, of course, wood fired oven pizza.

Questions? Feedback? Support? Leave your Comment Now!

If you are writing code, please wrap it between shortcodes: [php]code_here[/php]. Failure to complying with this (as well as going off topic, not writing in English, etc.) will result in comment deletion. You should expect a reply in about 2 weeks - this is a popular blog but I need to get paid work done first. Please consider joining BloomerArmada to get blog comment reply priority, ask me 1-to-1 WooCommerce questions and enjoy many more perks. Thank you :)

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