Add Custom Cart Item Data in WooCommerce

One of the greatest things about WooCommerce is the flexibility it gives you as a store owner. I’m currently working on a side project where I needed to add some custom data to a product when adding it to the cart. Using hooks means I can achieve this quite easily.

In the following tutorial I will guide you through the process of adding a field to your product, showing that data in your cart, saving it to the order, and then displaying it to the customer and admin users.

This is an advanced tutorial. You’re best off building this functionality into a custom plugin, but I’ll leave that decision up to you.

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Add a Custom Field to Your Product

Firstly, we’ll want to add a custom field to our product. Let’s consider this scenario as our example; you run a store which makes custom engraved wooden signs. You want your customer to be able to enter the text for their engraving into an input field on your product, which is then saved with the order for the production team to start building the sign.

I have set up a simple product 1 to act as the base of our customisable product.

Before the add to cart button, let’s add a simple input field called “Engraving”.

We want our custom field to be within the add to cart form, otherwise the data will not be posted along with the form when the customer adds it to their cart. Within the /single-product/add-to-cart/simple.php template, there are a number of hooks we could use. It makes sense to add our field before the add to cart button, so we’ll use the woocommerce_before_add_to_cart_button hook.

There’s a few things going on here:

  • Firstly, I’m checking that this is our product with a hardcoded ID. Ideally we’d have a meta field in the edit product page where we can toggle the engraving field from showing. But for the sake of clarity and speed, I’ve done it like this.
  • Next, we’re breaking out of PHP and outputting our field HTML.
  • I’ve dropped in a maxlength on the input field.
  • Finally, I add the action to output that field before the add to cart button.

Add Engraving Data to the Cart Item

Our customer can now enter their engraving text before they add the product to the cart. Currently, when they do add the product to the cart, nothing will happen. We need to grab that data when it’s posted, and add it to our product before it’s added to the cart.

WooCommerce is quite clever in the way it adds multiple items to the cart. For example, if we add the sign to the cart twice with the same text, we’d want that to show as a single item in the cart with a quantity of 2. However, if we add the product to the cart with 2 different engravings, we’d want that to show as 2 separate items in the cart.

WooCommerce has this covered. It uses any item meta we add to the cart item (among other things) to generate the cart ID. This means if our item meta is unique, it will be shown as a unique product in the cart.

To catch this engraving data when the product is added to the cart, we want to use the woocommerce_add_cart_item_data filter.

This filter accepts 3 parameters:

  • $cart_item_data
    An array containing any other cart item data for this product. As with any filter in WordPress, this is also what we want the function to return.
  • $product_id
    The ID of the product we’re adding to the cart.
  • $variation_id
    If we’re adding a variation, this is the variation ID.

Firstly, we’re using filter_input() to sanitise our posted data. If $engraving_text is empty (i.e. no value was entered or the data was not even posted), then we go right ahead and return the $cart_item_data.

If it does have a value, we assign it to the $cart_item_data array with a key of iconic-engraving. Then we return $cart_item_data.

Our custom engraving data is now associated to the item in the cart. However, it won’t actually save with the order or show up anywhere yet.

Display Engraving Data in the Cart

Now that we’ve associated our engraving data with the cart item, we can access it and display it in the cart. By default, WooCommerce shows variation data in the cart after the product title, so it makes sense for us to add it there. We can use the woocommerce_get_item_data filter to add our engraving data to the cart item.

As you can see, woocommerce_get_item_data accepts 2 parameters:

  • $item_data
    This is an array containing additional data for our cart item.
  • $cart_item
    This is an array of our cart item and its associated data.

Because we assigned our engraving data to the cart item, it is now accessible in the $cart_item array. Firstly we check that it exists. If not, we return the item data as normal. Otherwise, we add our data to the $item_data array, assigning it a key and a value. The key will be used as the data item title.

You’ll notice there is also a display array item. If this is populated it will be used on the frontend instead of the value array item. This allows you to have a different value to what is displayed on the frontend. In this case, I left it empty so the value field is used instead. You can also leave it out of the array entirely, if you wish.

Save Engraving Data to the Order

The next step is to save the data to the order when it is processed. This is actually very straightforward when we use the new CRUD methods in WooCommerce. All we need to do is hook into the woocommerce_checkout_create_order_line_item hook and add our order item meta. WooCommerce will then handle displaying that data in the order receipt, account area, and admin area.

The woocommerce_checkout_create_order_line_item action accepts 4 parameters:

  • $item
    This is the order line item object.
  • $cart_item_key
    This is the string containing our cart item key.
  • $values
    This is an array containing all the data for our cart item, including our custom data.
  • $order
    This is a WC_Order instance containing the new order object.

Firstly, we check whether the iconic-engraving value is set. If not, we return and do nothing else. If it is, we use the add_meta_data() method on the $item to add the engraving data to our order item.

The add_meta_data() method accepts 3 parameters:

  • $meta_key
    This is the meta key. This is also what is displayed alongside the order item to the customer, so I have entered it as the label “Engraving”.
  • $meta_value
    This is the value of our meta data, the engraving text in this instance.
  • $unique ( bool – optional )
    Setting this to true makes sure this meta key is unique. It is false by default.

One interesting thing to note; if you want to add meta data to order item that only the admin can see, prefix the $meta_key with an underscore: $item->add_meta_data( '_private_meta', 'Some Value' ). This will then show in the admin area only.

As mentioned, this meta data is now saved to the order item, and is displayed throughout:


So there you have it; that’s how you add custom cart item data and then save it to your final order. There’s many scenarios for this, so I hope this tutorial gets you off to a good start. Let me know what you do with it in the comments below.

Want to download the code from this tutorial as an example plugin?

Simply enter your name and email to receive the complete and formatted version of this code as a feature plugin for FREE. I've also added a little bonus to the code!

You will receive occasional emails from Iconic, but you're more than welcome to unsubscribe at any time. I won't spam or share your details with anyone, ever.


  1. Image courtesy of The Rustic Dish

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83 Comments on "Add Custom Cart Item Data in WooCommerce"

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the data i am typing in text box at single product page is not being displayed on my cart page.
where should i write this filter add_filter( ‘woocommerce_add_cart_item_data’, ‘iconic_add_engraving_text_to_cart_item’, 10, 3 );
i am writing it on same simple product page but nothing is happening

Hassan Arzouni

I have used this code to add several custom input fields, but i do not want the information to be printed on the cart page so i did not use that snippet, however i do want the information to be shown in the order page in my dashboard, anyway to work around that?

Andreas Wilthil

Hi. Good post. Do you have any clues on what to do if the order-meta should add an extra cost to the product?


That’s one I would love to see too.

Patrick Oliveira

Hi. I ‘m trying to show my fields at single-product page, but it’s not working. I tested my code and saw that the function is not passing by the ‘if’ condition, when I remove the ‘if’ the field show itself! My code is exatly equals yours…

Matt Frisch

Thanks for the great post. I suggest one minor change. To display the item in the cart, it’s better to use the hook ‘woocommerce_get_item_data’ (instead of ‘woocommerce_cart_item_name’ as you have done). With this, the field will automatically display as meta data below the product name. Here is an example:

function iconic_get_engraving_item_data( $other_data, $cart_item ) {

if ( $cart_item[‘iconic-engraving’] ) {

$other_data[] = array(
‘key’ => __( ‘Engraving’, ‘iconic’ ),
‘value’ => $cart_item[‘iconic-engraving’],
‘display’ => ”,

return $other_data;
add_filter( ‘woocommerce_get_item_data’, ‘iconic_get_engraving_item_data’, 10, 2 );

Nermin Phelopis

Hi, I want to apply this option to a lot of product id and i have added the following code, but it didn’t work, please advice
function iconic_output_engraving_field() {

global $product;
global $woocommerce;

if ( $product->id !== 411 || $product->id !== 412 ){


Carlos Isaias Ruiz

I think this could work for several fields

Brian Hwang

Hi, how does it different from woocommerce product add on plugin?


Thanks for post!

Miltos Tarasiadis

At which line of simple.php file I have to add all this code?

Noam Ahituv

nice (!)

Bjornen Nilsson


How to I make this field only visible on one or more chosen categories?
Example; I have three categories for T-shirt and would be using this as a plugin to let buyers chose what name to get printed on the shirt. But, I don’t want to show the field on all product categories – just those I choose.

Please advise on how to do this and thanks for a great script!

Judy Tsai
Hi, I am trying to use this for my site but I am running an issue. If you add only this product to the cart, it works. But if there is already other product in the cart, the meta information (The engraving) will be added to all items within the cart. Or if you add another product that DOES NOT have meta information (the engraving) after adding this product (with engraving) to the cart, then it will erase all the meta information so the engraving text for this product is gone. Is there anyway I can fix this so the… Read more »
Dino Lonzano

Hi great post I used already used this for my website though I am not a PHP developer. But I want to know how to make the input field “required” and if the cart was submitted how to display a W error notice . I appreciate if you can help

David R

Is there a way to limit the total number of custom engravings to 3, regardless of whether it is 3 separate products or 3 of the same product?

Ben Tongue

Thank you!! This post has saved me sooo much time! I do have a question and I hope you can help me. One of my ‘customs fields’ is actually hidden and is the product price (which was created via an API). How do override the product price with this field?

Maurizio Spicuglia

Great post!! .. You save my life….. thanks.


Great Post! Have you an idea on how to sort cart_items fields after adding customs ones? thnks

Andy Little

Great article. Excellent level of detail. Adding the underscore in the order meta key was perfect for what I needed. Thanks


Awesome. Thank you!


WAOOO amazing!!! It was not easy to me, but with your help, I did it. Thank you so much

Boris Demrovski

Man, you are a lifesaver, literally! I am doing this test job for a mob company, stuck at this part, and previous three test subjects have disappeared after failing on this step. Hoping to get through.


It is not clear where the code has to be posted. It will not work. Cause the only file you named is the simple.php. If you paste everything there, nothing works.


Great read !

Do You think Its possible to add item meta directly in cart view ?


This is a great article! Quick question, how do now display this custom cart data in a new column on the orders admin page?


Great tutorial!

How would you display the cart item data in a custom orders column?

// new column
function iconic_new_order_column( $columns ) {
$columns[‘iconic_engraving’] = ‘Engraving’;
return $columns;
add_filter( ‘manage_edit_shop_order_columns’, ‘iconic_new_order_column’);

// populate new column
function iconic_populate_new_order_column( $columns ) {
if( $column_name == ‘iconic_engraving’ ){
echo (‘What needs to go here to display cart item data?’);
add_action( ‘manage_posts_custom_column’, ‘iconic_populate_new_order_column’ );


Can we enable this to particular products only, not for all?


Thanks for this excellent tutorial .

But I want one thing more : how can i do the same thing in the admin?

On woocommerce admin, i would like to add other products to the order(edit order). But when i do this, the new line item is the default from woocommerce.on the pop up box for searching product, there is only the search title field.

It could be great if we can have the same custom field before adding it to the existing order.

Can you please write the code for adding a new field in the admin?

Help me please


I never normally write a comment but this post just helped me do what would have taken me days to figure out about 1/2 a day. Thank you SO much! What a brilliant well-written helpful post!!


i want to upload image product. i try many plugins but not working, i need your help, same as your code.


Thank you very much for this great tutorial. It is one great piece of information and also is working as i am writing.

Thank you for this! What I REALLY am trying to work out is how to take the name and email via an add-to-cart button. For example, I am offering a book for free. There’s a button that, when clicked adds the book to the cart but takes the buyer immediately to an upsell, etc. BUT! people have a habit of abandoning. So what I want to accomplish is have a form with Name and Email and a button that functions as above but also sends the name and email to the cart/checkout prepopulating the purchased AND, as a bonus, if… Read more »

Really useful article as always James.

If I’ve got an item in the cart and I’ve added a custom meta value as the item has been added to the cart, what would you say is the easiest way to then update that value at a later date? I’m hoping to update it via Ajax. The Ajax part isn’t the issue but knowing how to update the value is. I know certain key bits of data such as the cart item key and of course the name I gave to the new meta value.


Thanks a lot <3

Kim Ruddock

Great tutorial James. I’m trying to do something somewhat different based on a client request. They want to add a field to the cart page rather than the product page. So the cart item meta data would be assigned to the product after the product has been already added to the cart. I’ve been looking for ways to update the cart item meta outside of the add to cart action but coming up with nothing so far. Is something like this even possible?

Himanshu Rauthan

Hey James, Great information Glad to find your article. Will love to follow you from now. Thanks

Moses Barok

i installed plugin, where i have to go to enable this function in admin area? i can’t see this field in woocommerce setting page?

Moses Barok

found it 🙂


This is wonderful, thanks for the clear instruction. I have a question- what if the user removes the item from the cart, how do we ‘null and void’ their custom entry. I’m testing the script on a site right now, and after I remove the item, if I return to the Product page the previously entered custom text appears. So somewhere its getting stuck in Woocommerce’s session / cookie. Is there a way to systematically unset meta_data on cart empty?

Thanks so much!


How tricky is it do do the same, but:
– Two option radio Button
– Must be compulsory / Required
– Only show on Cart Page. ie the User click on the relevant radio button below the product listed in the cart.

If you can help, please.
Thank you

Jacqueline Cromity

How do I add email address field on cart page when the first items is added