8 actions to manage "Out of Stock" products

November 26, 2021

In this blog post we will talk about some Out of Stock tips for eCommerce platforms. There are techniques to reduce the opportunity cost and the sales losses when a user runs into a product that's not available due to a lack of stock in the retailer. 

The principal distribution axes on eCommerce consist of those of the Digital Shelf Assortment, Pricing and Product Content, Rating & Reviews and Visibility. In the first one, Assortment, we can find a quite relevant dimension that is the Stock.

Stock management is a relevant action to take into account when planning eCommerce distribution channels.  One of the reasons why this fact is important is because it improves customer experience when buying your product and gives your brand advantage over your competitors. On the other hand, a bad management of your stock for example, running out of stock when a high demand time comes, makes your business less efficient. The clue is to take control of your stock in order to improve your business success.

Here we leave you 8 tips that your eCommerce clients and retailers could implement in order to manage your stock.

How an eretailer should manage the dreaded "Out of Stock"?

  1. Show clear and direct information about the stock through visual or textual indicators

 Show out of stock messages on category search pages or simply use colors to make the shopper visually understand what you want to transmit. Make it clear and easy for the consumer. Make sure you don’t display contradictory information about the availability of the product. 

  1. Take out products that are Out Of Stock of the results or category page

It is important not to show the Out Of Stock products on top of the results page a better way to present them is on the bottom or actually do not show them at all.

  1. Adding filters that mark by default not to show Out of Stock products

As it is mentioned above, it is advisable to exclude your Out Of Stock products from the catalog by adding filters that check by default to exclude the unavailable products.

  1. Do not redirect.

Avoid redirects to a Not Found (404) page or to the home page after a shopper clicks on an Out Of Stock product

  1. Suggest alternative options

Recommending similar products to the ones that the shopper is searching for is a good way to redirect intent when a user is looking for a product that's Out of Stock. There are recommendation systems that show the shopper other related options based on their searches or interests. These systems are usually based on complex algorithm that are not possible to influence but could offer an opportunity for brands and eCommerce managers to do upsells or even cross-sells.

  1. Clearly mark the Out Of Stock per product variant and avoid the customer using the "Add to cart" without need

Remark clearly the Sold Out Products in each variant to prevent the customer from browsing in vain through the page and adding products to the cart to later realize that these are not available.

  1.  Inform of few stock gives a transparency purpose  

A way to become a trustable brand  is to inform your clients about the stock you have in real time. 

  1. Increase the product shipping time

Increasing delivery time of your products is a strategy to have more time to re-stock the product if you know that it will be available in a short time.

To conclude, the big axes of eCommerce distributions involve assortment, the stock and its management. Being able to control it, gives your company an advantage over your competitors. These 8 little advices for a higher quality of your stock control exposed in this post are a good way to improve the client opinion of your company and helps to increase his fidelity.

"Dias Marendra (April 8,2019). The Definitions and benefits of stock taking."
"Jenny Harrisson (October 31,2018)" 10 tips to deal with Out Of Stock Product Pages"
"Dias Marendra (September 5,2019), 5 reasons why stock management important for your business"

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