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
 * @community     https://businessbloomer.com/club/

// 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 custom PHP in functions.php and custom CSS in style.css of your child theme: where to place WooCommerce customization?

This code still works, unless you report otherwise. To exclude conflicts, temporarily switch to the Storefront theme, disable all plugins except WooCommerce, and test the snippet again: WooCommerce troubleshooting 101

Related content

  • WooCommerce: Calculate Sales by State
    You’re filing your tax returns and need to know how much you earned in each state… but then find out WooCommerce doesn’t give you this calculation by default within its reports! Don’t worry – today I’ll share a quick snippet so that you can calculate the amount you need in a second. Feel free to […]
  • WooCommerce: Replace Variable Price With Active Variation Price
    Surprisingly enough, variable products with a price range display two prices: at the top right you find the “parent” product price, displayed as a range; but once you select a variation, a second price appear just above the variation add to cart. Somewhat confusing. In today’s solution, we’ll see once and for all how to […]
  • WooCommerce: Dynamically Update Variable Product Attributes @ Single Product
    If you’re familiar with WooCommerce variable products, variations are generated from product attribute terms (color: yellow & size: large for example). All possible attribute terms are displayed in the “Additional Information” tab of the single product page, so that the customer has an idea of all the possible product options. However, as you can see […]
  • WooCommerce: Limit Sales Of A Product Per Day
    Yes, “manage stock” is a nice feature to make sure you don’t oversell a given product based on the stock you have in your warehouse. However, what if you also need to have a “daily sales limit” – say you can’t sell more than 3 of a given product ID in a given day? This […]
  • WooCommerce: Display Variations’ SKU @ Product Admin
    I find it quite annoying that variable products display an empty SKU cell in the WordPress > Products admin page even if their variations may have one available. Today, we go fix that. With this simple snippet, your variable products will display the SKU of each variation, and if there is none, empty brackets (so, […]

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. Follow @rmelogli

Questions? Feedback? Customization? Leave your comment now!

If you are writing code, please wrap it like so: [php]code_here[/php]. Failure to complying with this, as well as going off topic or not using the English language will result in comment disapproval. 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 the Business Bloomer Club to get quick WooCommerce support. Thank you!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *