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Dealing with Inventory Shortages on E-Commerce Websites

While you may try to avoid it, sometimes your e-commerce business will run out of a particular item. How you deal with out of stock inventory can be significant to your online brand and customer satisfaction. In this post, we will provide insight on why it is important to have a strategy to deal with out of stock inventory. We will also provide some tips on how to avoid permanently losing customers over a temporary situation.

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Negative Impact of Inventory Shortages

According to GT Nexus, 65% of disappointed online shoppers turned into a lost sale. In addition, search engines like Google are also taking note when traffic to a company's site is consistently bouncing away and going to other sites instead. As such, mishandling out of stock inventory scenarios can put a serious dent into successful traffic to a business site. Rather than having disappointed visitors, focus on ways to turn that 65% into repeat business and increasing the time spent on your website (further benefiting your SEO).

Handling Inventory Shortages through Communication

It's interesting how often communication, even online communication, is almost always a key factor in providing customer satisfaction. If a small business prioritizes effective communication strategies with their customers, even disappointing situations such as out of stock inventory can be mitigated. Below are some ideas to increase communication on your e-commerce website.

  • Posting notices of low inventory levels
  • Offering to notify a customer when an item is back in stock
  • Listing alternative ways to purchase items. (e.g. physical store)
  • Clearly posting an estimated availability date
  • Clearly defining which colors, sizes, etc. are still available and which ones are not

These communication tactics can mean the difference between temporarily disappointing a customer or permanently frustrating them.

Next Steps

Communication can mean the difference between enjoying a repeat e-commerce customer or losing them forever. If you would like to learn more about creating a positive online strategy for your e-commerce website, contact us to speak with one of our web and SEO experts.

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