Backorder vs. Out of Stock: What it Means for Your Business in 2023

Backorder vs. Out of Stock: What it Means for Your Business in 2023

In today’s competitive business landscape, ensuring product availability is crucial for maintaining customer satisfaction and driving business success. When managing inventory, two terms often come into play “backorder” vs “out of stock.” Understanding the differences between these terms and how to manage them effectively can significantly impact your business’s reputation and bottom line. 

Definition and differentiation between backorder and out of stock

Backorder and out-of-stock are two distinct situations businesses may encounter regarding product availability. Backorder refers to a situation where a customer orders an item that is currently unavailable but will be restocked. Essentially, the customer’s order is accepted, and the product will be delivered once it becomes available again.

On the other hand, out-of-stock means that a product is completely unavailable at the present moment and cannot be fulfilled immediately. When a customer attempts to purchase an out-of-stock item, they are usually informed that the product is unavailable and cannot proceed with the purchase.

Understanding the differences between backorder and out-of-stock is essential for managing customer expectations and ensuring effective inventory management.

Managing Backorders and Out of Stock Situations

Strategies to prevent and handle backorders and out-of-stock occurrences

Backorder vs. Out of Stock: What it Means for Your Business in 2023

Preventing backorders and out-of-stock situations should be a priority for any business. By implementing proactive inventory management strategies, you can reduce the likelihood of these occurrences and better serve your customers. Here are some effective strategies to consider:

Forecasting and planning: Use historical data, market trends, and demand forecasting techniques to predict product demand accurately. Help you ensure you have sufficient inventory to meet customer needs.

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Supplier relationships: Establish strong relationships with your suppliers and communicate regularly to maintain a steady supply chain. Help prevent delays in receiving new stock and minimize the risk of running out of inventory.

Safety stock: Maintain a safety stock level to act as a buffer in case of unexpected demand spikes or delays in the supply chain. Ensures you have inventory available to fulfill customer orders during periods of high demand or unforeseen circumstances.

Effective communication with customers and proactive inventory management

When backorders or out-of-stock situations occur, transparent and timely communication with customers is critical. Here are some best practices to follow:

Transparent communication: Inform customers upfront about any potential delays or unavailability of products. Communicate the estimated time for restocking or when the product is expected to become available again. This helps manage customer expectations and builds trust.

Alternative options: Offer alternative products or suggest similar items currently in stock. It allows customers to consider alternative options and prevents them from looking elsewhere for their desired outcome.

Backorder vs. Out of Stock: What it Means for Your Business in 2023

Efficient order fulfillment: Once the product is back in stock, prioritize fulfilling backorders promptly. Keep customers informed about the progress of their orders and provide regular updates until their items are dispatched.

As the exclusive BigCommerce backorder application, BackOrder offers a comprehensive set of features and functionalities designed to streamline the backorder process and enhance the overall shopping experience for customers.


Understanding the difference between product availability situations such as “out of stock” and effectively managing them is crucial for businesses. If you need further assistance or guidance on managing these situations, please feel free to reach out to us

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