Best practices for managing backordered items

Building an eCommerce store is never an easy task because you have to put a lot into it – advertising, building a community and retaining customers. It is fortunate if your store gets numerous orders coming in. however, do you have the capacity to handle these orders? What do you do when the demand surpasses the supply for your eCommerce business? How can you manage the expectation of customers when your supply doesn’t meet their needs?

If you ever faced a backorder situation, you will understand that it is not something pleasant. Besides losing valuable time to ship the items, you stand to lose your customers to other businesses. In this write-up, you will recognize the best practices for handling backordered items.

Pay only when orders are filled

Once you observe your distributor or supplier cannot fulfill the order you place or an unexpected delay beyond the norm, ensure you don’t process any payment pending when the order can be filled. In this situation, you need to consult your credit card company not to accept payment until you fill the order.

Provide partial shipment option for backordered items

At times, some customers might prefer getting all orders shipped at the same time. However, they would want to ship the available product while they wait for the complete shipment for others. You must decide if to add additional shipping costs or you take the cost.

On the other hand, using partial shipment will help you convert customers better.

Perform a regular update of the website

Peradventure you have a popular product that isn’t available, you can place a message indicating when it will be available. At times, using a simple message such as “backordered” or a specific date can encourage customers to order the item. Product availability and related information should be clear on product pages, in the cart, at check out, and in backorder email.

Customers appreciate it when you tell them why a particular product isn’t available and when it will be made available. To make it easier, you can share the information on your social media platforms to create confidence in your brand.

Consider providing a consolation offer

It is a hectic process to convert a lead to a loyal customer. However, the real job lies in sustaining and retaining that customer to continue the process. However, once you can’t provide customers with the product they want, they might want to go somewhere else to get it.
To handle this situation, you can provide a consolation offer while they wait for their product.

Offering free shipping, discount, or free gift can serve as an incentive to keep your customer waiting on a currently unavailable product.

Perform frequent inventory update

If you experience backorder taking place frequently, you can take time to monitor your inventory. Looking through your historical data can help you know when you need to restock your products. Furthermore, you can leverage eCommerce software informing you when you are going low on stock and perform scheduled reordering.

Evaluate timeframe for the backordered items

Another important practice to handle backorder items is to evaluate the timeframe a wholesaler or distributor can send the item once you run out of it. In this situation, you don’t need to tell your customers you have a backorder since you already know when the goods will be available.


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