E-commerce marketing
E-commerce marketing
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 min read
November 30, 2022

How to handle out-of-stock situations during BIG sale events?

Sridhar

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The shopping frenzy is finally over...

The biggest sale event on this planet - Black Friday Cyber Monday had another successful outing this year.

An increase of 12% in BFCM sales from the previous year was witnessed this year!

Now that’s great news for everyone.

However, any major sale event like BFCM doesn’t come without its own set of challenges.

One of the most overwhelming and frustrating issues faced by both store owners and consumers during such a mega-event is out-of-stock situations.

Consumers are unhappy because they are unable to order their favorite product during the sale while sellers are unhappy because they are unable to convert a visitor into a customer.

Thankfully, there are some simple ways to handle such situations. Following them will ensure that every stakeholder is satisfied at the end of the day.

Here are 6 such ways curated just for you -

Analyze the demand

Use previous years' data to understand the most anticipated products during any major sale events. Also, find out the recent trends in your industry and the kind of products that are in great demand right now. Make a comprehensive list of all such products and stock up your inventory with those products. If possible, stock a little more than what you anticipate - It’s always better to have unsold inventory than unhappy visitors.

Pro tip: Spend some time on social media just before any major sale event just to find out what your target audiences are searching for. Stock those products in sufficient quantity to avoid out-of-stock situations.

Sign them up

A big sale event is a great period to launch new products. This is the time when shoppers are most active and willing to spend on products. Launching new products during a sale event comes with another added advantage. You can predict how many users are actually interested in purchasing that product, thereby eliminating the possibility of out-of-stock situations(for that product).

Besides creating excitement around that product before the launch, get them to show their interest by filling up an online form or liking a social media post. This will give you a fair idea about the number of potential customers for that product. Based on the value, you can stock a sufficient quantity of that product.

Keep monitoring your inventory

This might be something that you do even during regular days, but having an additional pair of eyes to monitor your inventory during big sale events is extremely useful. The chances of human errors in inventory management are quite high during a high-volume sale. This can result in an otherwise avoidable out-of-stock situation. A dedicated resource can alert you at the right time, thereby ensuring that you restock the inventory before it completely runs out.

Pro Tip: If you have an inventory management solution, set the quantity threshold limit as 20%. The system will automatically alert you when the stock of a particular product goes below 20%.

Increase the shipping time

This is a neat little trick to ensure that your customers aren’t left unsatisfied when combing through your catalog. All you need to do is increase a product’s shipping period instead of setting it as out-of-stock. This way, you not only ensure that the visitor turns into a customer, but also ensure that they are not disappointed by seeing the dreaded out-of-stock message.

A word of caution - ensure that you do this only for those products that you know can be restocked in time. The last thing you want is the non-delivery of a product, resulting in greater dissatisfaction among customers.

Note: If you are not sure about the availability of the product, add a notify me button on the product page. When the user clicks on that button, he/she will be automatically notified whenever the product is made available.

Limit the visibility of out-of-stock products

Another way to deal with out-of-stock products is by pushing them to the bottom of the search results/ listing page. This way, you are effectively reducing the visibility of such products, which will ensure that every other inbound visitor to your store doesn’t end up seeing out-of-stock products unnecessarily. Only those who are specifically looking for that exact product will know about its unavailability. You could later push the product back to the top once you have enough stock.

Suggest similar products

This is another simple way to ensure that your customers are kept from out-of-stock products. All you need to do is display similar products (say - in terms of functionality) to the visitors in place of the products that are running low in stock. There are two benefits to this. One, you will ensure that the original product doesn’t run out of stock instantly, thereby avoiding an unwanted out-of-stock situation. Two, your sales will improve as you are selling the replacement products, which would have remained unsold otherwise.

Conclusion

Here’s an alarming fact - eCommerce sites that display out-of-stock products can witness more than 58% decline in sales. The number will only rise during a major sale event. Avoid falling into this situation by following the simple tips highlighted in this post.

If you are a Vajro user, then we have some amazing news for you. Vajro offers plug & play integrations with several popular tools that can help manage out-of-stock situations with minimal effort. To learn more about these integrations, click here.

If you are not a Vajro customer yet, click here to kickstart your app-building journey now.

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