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Using Out-of-Stock Products to Boost Sales

by Hermes Fang 2 months ago in business
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You'll probably disappoint a few customers once they can't find their desired product. However, there are various ways you could still make sales off of a particular out-of-stock product.

Using Out-of-Stock Products to Boost Sales
Photo by Sandie Clarke on Unsplash

As an active eCommerce store owner, running out of stock for some products is inevitable. Sometimes, you may lose track of the product inventory. However, you shouldn't allow this deficit to affect your sales. 43% of shoppers claim to be affected by unavailable products when shopping online, especially with "hot" products.

You'll probably disappoint a few customers once they can't find their desired product. However, there are various ways you could still make sales off of a particular out-of-stock product.

It sounds pretty unbelievable that you could make profits off a product you don't have, right? Well, if you follow the tips below, you'll find that statement to be more accurate than it seems.

1. Find Out When the Product Will Be Back

Your first line of action will be to find out when you’ll have the product back in stock. If you use a dropshipping model, you could inquire from your manufacturers when they’ll have the product back in stock.

Find out the reasons behind the deficit too. Did they have a glitch with manufacturing? Is the product seasonal? This will help you determine the best steps to take and how to break the news to your shoppers.

2. Offer Alternatives

Leaving the page of an out-of-stock product should be forbidden in your store. Depending on the situation of the out-of-stock product, you could offer various alternatives. For example, if you're out of a particular color or size for a product, you could offer alternatives to shoppers. They might be just fine with getting another color/size.

Also, you could try to sell them a similar product. For example, if they're looking to get a particular phone case brand, you could offer another brand with the same design.

For ease of accessibility, make sure you have these suggestions on the same page as the out-of-stock product. Taking your customers to another page before displaying the product could discourage them completely.

By Cova Software on Unsplash

3. Always Keep Shoppers Informed

Clarity is critical in online shopping. Don’t try to trick your customers into purchasing another product. Tell them you don’t have the product currently and when it will be available. You can also add an option for them to get notified by email when the product is back. This could be a way to get their contact information and upsell them on other products. However, do not spam them with unnecessary emails. You could end up in the spam folder that way.

4. Offer Preorder Deals

You don’t have to sell your customers another product to make sales of an unavailable product. You could offer them discounts if they make a preorder for when the product will be back. If they want it badly enough, they’ll jump at the deal. However, to offer this deal, you must be sure of the return date of the product. You do not want to collect your customer’s cash and postpone the return date. Make sure you give a timeline for delivery and stick to it.

5. Move Out-of-Stock Products to the Bottom of Product Pages

This tactic is only practicable for those who sell many products on their eCommerce product page. If you do, move the out-of-stock products to the last pages of your online store. Most people are not patient enough to get to the last page of a 30-page product catalog. However, this tactic could cause a high bounce rate, so it should only be used as a final resort.


Using out-of-stock products to boost sales is not impossible. Hope these five methods help you create more values to your cutsomers.

Prevent the problem with inventory management is another way to avoid this awkward situation in the first place. If you work with proper inventory management tools, you’ll rarely have problems with products running out of stock. Even if you can’t stop it, you’ll be notified well ahead of the low quantity available. This way, you can plan for the problem.

(Contributed by Oluwafemi Adedeji & Hermes Fang)


About the author

Hermes Fang

Eyes open wide, feel your heart and it’s glowing.

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