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Black Friday Stock-out: What It Costs Sunglass LA and Why BackOrder is The Perfect Solution

Sunglass LA is one of the few eyewear brands that achieved success from the very beginning owing to its trendy and affordable designs. The innovative visual merchandising, store branding and product strategy enabled Sunglass LA to achieve astonishing results in the market.

Like other brands, Sunglass LA always developed thoughtful strategies to maximize its revenue during major shopping occasions. Black Friday 2019 was expected to be the best campaign. And sure, they hit their targets. But there was a whole bunch of regrets for not selling more and leaving some customers very dissatisfied.

A regrettable 2019 Black Friday

For Sunglass LA, Black Friday is the single most important time for boosting revenue, increasing brand awareness, and retaining loyal customers. On this occasion every year, they typically see:

  • 150% increase in daily organic traffic to their website from the beginning of November to the end of December.
  • At least triple the monthly revenue at the end of every year.
  • Up-selling & cross-selling rates increase by 50%.

For the above reasons, Sunglass LA had their eyes on the prize for the 2019 Black Friday campaign. They focused on selling their Cat Eye Sunglasses, which were the top trending product at the time, with discount codes and bundle products.

Their Marketing team built up a perfect plan to attract more customers: from taking professional product pictures to designing banner ads, writing ad copies to set up ad campaigns, email marketing, and chatbot conversations,…

According to their CMO, Sunglass LA spent over 30 days preparing for the holiday campaigns and poured over $1,500 a day for the ad budget with super high hopes.

And indeed, it worked. Their 2019 Black Friday campaign did reach out to nearly 450,000 customers. The online traffic to their website increased by 215%. Along with the optimization of delivery policy, the products were flying off the shelf.

Sunglass LA model case study

And that’s when the problems started.

The out-of-stock issue

“While making a sale was super tempting, the reality was that we did get caught selling out of stock inventory. As a result, we could no longer sell the winning products and even worse, our customers got disappointed.”

Viet Tran – CEO of Sunglass LA

The soaring holiday demand in 2019 had put Sunglass LA in a passive position. Their best-seller products were out of stock in only 10 days. As a result, there are tons of requests and emails asking when they would be back in stock. Customers reported their advertising campaign for sold-out products. Buyers kept complaining about not getting what they wanted and, at the same time, the customer service team faced constant headaches for the whole holiday season.

“Everything was out of control. We were all in panic.” 

It was a harsh time for the brand. Viet Tran and his team came up with some solutions in hopes of easing the storm: gathering up those unsolved orders, sending letters of apology to customers, pausing the advertising campaigns for those best-seller products, and shifting the focus to the others.

“This was just the way to mitigate some of the issues, not the most favorable when it comes to generating revenue. However, we had no other option,” said Viet Tran.

“Not preparing for selling out is a one-way ticket to your Holiday sales disaster. We did not prepare well enough, and we had to pay the price – a heavy price…”

But this 2020 Black Friday season, they learned their lesson. Sunglass LA has found an innovative inventory back-up solution – BackOrder.

The solution from BackOrder

This year, even during the pandemic, Viet Tran and his team are ready. BackOrder helps them keep selling even when there’s no sufficient stock on hand and avoids the dreaded customer dissatisfaction disaster of 2019.

Non-stop selling and communication with customers

Sunglass LA put all the best-seller products on backorder settings. This is THE way to keep selling AND keep their customers informed whenever there’s a stockout. The product will automatically be switched to BackOrder along with a message to inform customers about the expected delivery date. That way, they don’t lose revenue. And valuable customers won’t leave their store to buy from other competitors.

Get insights into the market trend

With the soaring demand and traffic to the site, the team figures this could be the time for testing and validating demand for new products. Based on the number of back-ordered products, the Sunglass LA team can learn more about consumer shopping behaviors, and therefore strengthen their overall strategy in Black Friday 2020.  Viet Tran and his team calculate the demand for specific kinds of eyewear based on sales and BackOrder data. That way, they understand customers’ preferences and reallocate resources to what really matters.

“It’s all about inventory management. We are so happy we started using BackOrder. This app is exactly what we are looking for. It’s saved us from last year’s crisis.”
Viet Tran – CEO of Sunglass LA

Key takeaway

BackOrder solution has now become one of the best choices for inventory management. It’s the life-saver for out-of-stock revenue. With its transparent view on sales and inventory status, BackOrder helps eCommerce merchants prioritize their products based on popularity and orders. Great news for e-retailers: you can set BackOrder on trial for free until November 16. Enjoy great launch offers. Sit back and watch your products automatically be put on BackOrder when out of stock.


Our products and services: Shopify automation, BigCommerce automation, Backorder management
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