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How to Deal with the Out of Stock Problem in E-Commerce


You can arrange the best management systems for your supply chain process, but sooner or later, you are going to face the problem of out of stock products. It can be due to a variety of reasons – an item may turn out to be more popular than you expected, or an item has a limited run, or the promotion campaign did a wonderful job, bringing an avalanche of orders.

In such situations, it becomes difficult to steer customer relationships towards a positive path. Let’s look at some mitigation effort.

How to Deal with the Out of Stock Problem in E-Commerce

  • A lot of CMS systems come built with the option of displaying out of stock items. It is advisable to continue showing the product on the website with a probable date of when it will be available if you are going to restock it. However, if you are not going to restock it, you should ensure that it does not negatively impact your SEO strategy. Deleting or hiding a product page may lead you to lose prospective links from websites and blogs. So, instead of doing that, you can do a 301 redirect to a parent page, and it will avoid problems related to getting traffic from other links.
  • The best possible route to take if something goes out of stock is to clearly mark the item on the website. This will eliminate the possibility of customers ordering such items. But in some cases, it would be better to send an out of stock email in which you should explain the situation, give an approximate time as to when you will get it in stocks, and then mention some similar products to think about.
  • Another thing you can do when items go out of stocks is to offer the same item in different colors, newer versions, similar products from other brands, or products of similar category matching in price and quality. You can do it by offering widgets on the site.
  • If you are very keen on not losing customers, you might let them order the product while informing them that you will ship them as soon as fresh stocks arrive. Customers who really want to buy might not mind waiting.
  • If you can afford, offer a discount on new arrivals. This might keep customers interested and they might choose waiting for a while rather can going over to some other site and paying more for the same item.

Out of stock products can get frustrating, so try your best to put customers at ease. They will appreciate the effort and search engines will have more ways of finding relevant pages.

A good ecommerce software that tracks products in real-time may be what you need if you have been facing too many out-of-stock problems in ecommerce lately.

Let us know what you think. Comments can be shared below.

How to Deal with the Out of Stock Problem in E-Commerce
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.

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