Out of Stock vs Back to Stock: A Comparison


The concepts of “out of stock vs back to stock” are pivotal in shaping customer experiences and business outcomes. Both terms revolve around the availability and unavailability of products in an online store, but they represent distinct scenarios with unique implications.

Out of Stock: The Challenges

Negative Impact On Customer Experience and Loyalty

Firstly, there is a negative impact on customer experience and loyalty. When customers encounter an out-of-stock message, frustration and disappointment can quickly occur. This can lead to a decline in customer satisfaction and sometimes even result in lost trust in the brand. In the highly competitive world of e-commerce, a dissatisfied customer can easily switch to a competitor’s store, potentially leading to long-term customer attrition.

Loss of Potential Sales and Revenue

Secondly, being out of stock means missed sales opportunities and lost revenue. Every time a customer encounters an out-of-stock product, there is a chance that they will abandon their purchase or seek an alternative elsewhere. This translates into immediate revenue loss and has a long-term impact on the bottom line. Repeat customers may be deterred from future purchases if they consistently encounter out-of-stock items, resulting in a decline in lifetime value.

Back to Stock: The Benefits

Conversely, effectively managing the “Back to Stock” process can bring numerous benefits to an e-commerce business. When a previously out-of-stock product becomes available again, it opens up new opportunities for success.

Improved Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

One of the key benefits of successfully restocking products is improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. When customers see that their desired outcomes are back in stock, it creates a positive impression and reinforces their trust in the brand. E-commerce businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and build stronger, long-lasting relationships by promptly notifying customers about restocked items.

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Opportunity to Recover Lost Sales and Revenue

Moreover, the back-to-stock process provides an opportunity to recover lost sales and revenue. By leveraging machine learning, businesses can analyze historical data, customer preferences, and demand patterns to accurately predict when a product will likely be in demand again. This proactive approach allows firms to replenish stock levels promptly, minimizing the duration of out-of-stock situations and maximizing the chances of capturing missed sales opportunities.

Key Differences between Out of Stock and Back to Stock

While out-of-stock and back-to-stock may seem like two sides of the same coin, there are key differences that businesses must understand to navigate these challenges effectively.

Out-of-stock is a reactive state, occurring when a product is no longer available for purchase. It negatively impacts the customer experience, loyalty, and revenue. On the other hand, back-to-stock is a proactive process that replenishes previously unavailable products. It presents an opportunity to delight customers, improve satisfaction, and recover lost sales.


Understanding the distinction between “out of stock” and “back to stock” is crucial for e-commerce businesses striving to provide exceptional customer experiences and optimize their operations. To navigate these challenges and maximize back-to-stock benefits, consider partnering with BackOrder – The only BigCommerce backorder application. Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about how BackOrder can revolutionize your inventory management and optimize the back-to-stock process.


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