If there’s one thing that always rings true in eCommerce, it’s this: You can’t sell products you don’t have. This is why an out-of-stock event (or stockout) are among the worst-case scenario for eCommerce brands.
Out-of-stock products are frustrating for eCommerce businesses and customers alike. The business fails to make an otherwise guaranteed sale, and the shopper needs a better experience. In other words, it is a lose-lose for everyone when an item is not in stock.
Fortunately, like many other eCommerce challenges, there are many out of stock strategies to keep potential customers engaged and switch a potentially harmful situation into a positive customer experience.
Avoid Deleting Out Of Stock Product Pages
Removing out of stock products and re-adding them to your website can negatively affect your SEO. Plus, redirecting stockout pages to the homepage of your site is also a common mistake, as it hinders the ability to gather your customers’ information to send out a notification when the product is back in stock.
We recommend leaving the stockout page intact but adding an “out of stock” note underneath the product’s price. You can now easily automate this process with our BackOrder application, designed for BigCommerce store users.
Collect an Email for When the Item Is Back-In-Stock
Consider replacing the “Add-to-Cart” CTA with clear notification text. It’s a practical and simple way to improve the user experience and keep your shoppers happy.
You can determine what CTA language resonates most with your customers by conducting A/B testing. Then, if a shopper clicks on an out-of-stock item, the “Add-to-Cart” CTA will immediately change to “Notify me when available” or “BackOrder Now!”
Recommend Related Products
When a product is out of stock, sharing related products can be an effective tactic. This allows you to boost orders from shoppers less concerned with some of the details of this out-of-stock product. Related products help you save a sale when an item is out-of-stock and increase your average order value.
BigCommerce store owners now have easy access to upsell and cross-sell tactics using our OrderBooster application, designed for accessibility and productivity.
Include Bonuses on Each Order of Out-Of-Stock Items
You can include bonuses on any order of out-of-stock products. Giving something “extra” to your shoppers will increase their motivation to sign-up and wait for a back-in-stock notification. It can be a discount coupon, free shipping, or similar offers.
Use SMS and Push Alerts
SMS text is among the most effective methods to reach customers. So you can give your customers the option to input their mobile numbers rather than their email addresses to notify them that an item is back in stock.
Be Clear About the Back-In-Stock Date
You should be clear and honest with your customers about when the item will be back in stock. This will reassure your customers that they won’t have to wait for an indefinite amount of time if they make an order.
The Bottom line
Stockouts are painful events for businesses and customers, and, unfortunately, it is inevitable. Nobody likes stockouts since they disappoint the eager buyer. In the worst case, they create irate customers and hurt sales.
Stockouts will happen, but the good news is they are 100% predictable. Your out-of-stock strategies for responding to them will determine what will happen next. Contact us for a detailed consultation!