Bringing visitors to your online store and making them place an order requires tireless efforts. An internet user who finds your website through the search engine or social media comes over to have something of their choice. We try hard to remove every possible flaw in the design, layout, and search engine ranking of our website, so that the users visit and smoothly exit through checkout page.
But wait! What if the checkout page itself is not available? What is the most needed product is out of stock? This is a common issue faced by numerous online stores around the globe. You may unknowingly experience a sudden surge in sales that may cause stock outs.
Getting back to our supplier or manufacturer and demanding products on an urgent basis is not possible for every business. There are limitations in getting the products manufactured, received in your premises, and updating it on your website. In the meantime, your online store remains out of stock. This is a common phenomenon. As per the Global Out of Stock Crisis report, about one-third of the online buyers have faced products sold out. And among half of them blame their respective retailers for the stock-out issue. Will you like a potential customer to blame you for the product unavailability and shop from one of your competitors? Because, the same global report, reports that around 65% of online shoppers got disappointed with the sold-out issue and did not convert. Do you want to convert them despite a stock issue? following some of the below-described strategies and make them stick to your online store.
1. Encourage Visitors to Subscribe
Landing on a product page and finding the out of stock label is surely a devastating experience for the user. But, still, he or she will consider if they can keep an eye on your store and revisit when the product is available at your store.
A potential buyer, who has already spent a few moments in reaching out to your product page will definitely sign up their email for updates as a token of their efforts. Finding a valuable website is difficult that's why users tend to include every website in a loop which they ever visit. Previously, remembering a website was done through browser bookmarks or social shares, but now they quickly share personal emails for a reminder or notification. The addition of a subscriber button is not only about capturing the email address as it tantamount to capturing a conversion. You can send them a ‘back in stock’ notification and make them purchase what they missed previously. There are numerous tools for automating such notifications within your online store. For example, Magento Out of Stock Notification extension captures email addresses of the potential customers who visit a sold-out product page and quickly informs them when that specific product inventory topped up.
This brilliant automation of grabbing consumer data and reaching out to them through preconfigured email messages ensures the customers return and purchase the products. It also allows you to monitor the success ratio of email reminders so that more personalized messages can be sent for better conversions.
2. Add a Quick Enquiry Form
A product page usually includes an ‘Add to Cart’ button where the users are not given a swift passage to contact the customer support and ask about the product. But, if the product goes out of stock, they feel the need to connect with the sales or support team to know a time estimate about topping up an inventory of that specific product.
Add a contact form right on the landing page to keep them engaged rather than leaving the website in disappointment. It will help them ask the next stock up happening and decide either they can wait or find another store.
3. Allow Users to Pre-Order
Add a pre-order button to your landing pages and let the users order in advance if a product is out of stock at the moment. You can automate the display of pre-order option so that it only appears on a landing page when the available stock ends.
The users, who are desperate to own the product, will surely go for the pre-order provided that you mention product availability date. Every online store has an expected lead time that accumulates the time it takes to order and receive goods from the manufacturer or supplier. Based upon the lead time of your inventory, you can mention product availability date and encourage users to place orders in advance.
The lead time of every business varies as some of the vendors dispatch products as soon as an order is received, whereas the manufacturers have to take a few days in producing the same. Allowing customers to pre-order shall also take into consideration any delay on the part of your provider. If they are not punctual in delivering products within an agreed period of time, you may need to delay stock top-up a day or week further.
The addition of a pre-order option is a risky decision because it bounds you to deliver the product within the stipulated time. The customers, who knowingly place an order for an out-of-stock product, will still expect a prompt delivery. So, meeting customer expectation in this strategy is a key to success.
4. Display Related Products
Most of the online stores display related products on various landing pages in order to sell more of their store items. Despite maximizing revenue, you can implement the same strategy for capturing leads on sold-out product pages.
If you have more than one variety of a product on your store, you can easily display them on either of the landing pages. For examples, jeans and t-shirts stores are often racking a huge variety. If the user selects a product but finds it out of stock, he or she can easily find a relevant item of the same color, size, or design on your store.
It is better to serve your potential buyers with anything relevant you have at the store rather than making them leave the website. In addition to converting visitors, you can pursue cross selling and up selling with the same technique. Find tools like Magento related products extension that is programmed to showcase matching products to the end users on a landing page. It brings forward more products of your store to the limelight which ultimately generates conversions and revenues.
5. Redirect Users to Product Search or Parent Category
Utilize web page redirection to your benefit. Take your potential buyers from a sold-out product page to the parent category or search box. Save your esteemed visitors, who have the potential to convert easily, by taking them to an alternate page. This page shall allow them to select from a list of products from the same category they are interested in or let them have a quick search for a relatively similar product.
Additionally, you can customize the redirection with a personalized message such as ‘Your selected product will be available in a week, in the meanwhile, please have a look at other items if it interests you.” Displaying a custom message to visitors may turn them to be admirers of your management and the way you keep them informed. They have both the options to exercise, either visit again or shop another product. Allowing them to pre-order the same product helps you quickly acquire the stock and deliver them.
A business learns about consumer demand shortly when it is launched. They can learn to balance the demand and supply of their online store, but initially, it is quite difficult to configure it. This often causes a major problem of stock outs that make the user and the merchant suffer.
Taking this problem as an opportunity, you can convert the users into followers and subscribers rather than leaving them with nothing. You can let them subscribe to the newsletter and email updates about the product, or they can inquire about expected stock availability through a simple form.
To help them find an alternate store item, you can either display relevant products in a slider box right on the landing page they visit or redirect them to a parent category. There are various ways to keep your potential buyers engaged in exploring more of the products you exhibit on your store.