In Shopify, a product is considered out of stock when its inventory level is zero or lower. By default, Shopify doesn't let customers buy an item when you run out of stock. You'll have to increase your inventory levels to allow customers to purchase the item.
Instead of putting your Shopify store’s out-of-stock products away, you can turn them into money. Once you stop neglecting the out-of-stock products, you can make a more customer-friendly Shopify store. So at the end of the day, you make the money and your customers feel better about your brand. It’s a win-win game, right?
As you must have figured out by now, in today’s episode of how to make your Shopify store a better place, we are going to talk about ways to make money from out-of-stock products.
If you already have a Shopify store, or you are about to have one, keep up with us.
1. Install a back-in-stock alert app
To manage your out-of-stock products better, and create a smoother back-in-stock alert flow for your customers, you will need a back-in-stock alerts app. There are many of them on the Shopify app store you can choose from. These apps will give you more options so that you can sell out-of-stock products more easily and creatively besides managing your inventory.
Using a Shopify back-in-stock app you can:
Bring back lost sales
Manage your inventory of restocked products better
Easily manage restocks across multiple locations
Automate your restock alerts
Build a better email list
Identify shoppers' purchase intent
So to begin with we recommend you add a back-in-stock app to your Shopify store.
2. Add a “Notify Me” button to out-of-stock product pages
If you don’t want your customers to leave, give them a reason to stay. A “Notify me” button can be that reason. Facing the sold-out badge can be a disappointing moment for your customers. However, as simple as adding a “Notify Me” button you can give the customers a second chance.
On Shopify, there is no default option for adding this button to your out-of-stock product pages, but we already learned about back-in-stock alert apps, didn’t we? So use one of those to add this small yet important button to your store.
3. Put sold-out items at the end of your collections
Even after you add a “Notify Me” button to unavailable items, the shoppers can not buy that item right after. They need to wait for some time anyway. So chances that customers buy an in-stock product are way higher than them waiting for an out-of-stock one.
This means that there is no point in displaying those unavailable products at the top of your collection page. The best thing you can do is to take them to the bottom of the collections. To do this you can use third-party Shopify apps available on the Shopify app store.
4. Indicate if a product is permanently or temporarily unavailable
In terms of out-of-stock products, they can be either the ones you do not currently have in stock or ones you have discontinued for good. There should be an indication on your collection page of which category applies to the product in question. As a result, customers will know whether they should expect the out-of-stock product to return or not.
So instead of marking all unavailable items with a “Sold-out” badge, use a “Back Order” badge. The term back order refers to items that are not currently in stock but will be in stock soon. Seeing a Backorder badge, customers realize that they can buy the unavailable item on your website, but it won’t be delivered until they are back in stock.
5. Don't unpublish products to hide them
A lot of merchants don't want to display sold-out products at all, and simply want them hidden. There are two ways to hide products in Shopify. It is possible to either draft the product or unpublish it from the Online Store channel. Both methods will lead to a non-existent page and a 404 error. Google and other search engines have a big problem with that. In addition, if you run an ad campaign on Facebook or Instagram, linking to a non-working URL could result in your account being disabled.
While allowing customers to save the product for later encourages them to return and drives sales in the future, keeping the product on the page will keep the Google SEO benefits for the page.
6. Provide alternative suggestions
A customer reaches your store to fulfill a need or want. Even when the needed/wanted product is not available, the customer’s need for fulfillment is still there. Simply put, your customer can be convinced to buy something else, just to get that feeling of fulfillment. That is when you enter by suggesting alternative related products. This is the message you communicate with your customers: “We don’t have that, but can this alternative item possibly make you feel better?”
Redirecting users back to the home page from a product page is usually not a good idea. Bounce rate increases because customers have to take extra steps to complete their transactions. The best way to keep your shoppers interested is to show them more products to browse.
7. Predict and forecast your inventory
If some of your products go out of stock regularly you can start being one step ahead of out-of-stocks by predicting your inventory level. knowing when the item will become out-of-stock will help you restock just in time. There are Shopify apps out there that you can add to your store so they will inform you when the quantity of a product is lower than a specific number.
8. Notify your customers when the product is back in stock
There has been a study conducted on the effects of out-of-stock pages on the sales of products which revealed that 58% of disappointed shoppers actually lost sales, in other words, they either bought from another seller or didn't buy it at all. So when the unavailable product becomes available again, email marketing can help you reach out to potential customers and bring them back.
An out-of-stock product should not necessarily lead to lost sales and disappointed customers. Instead of throwing away out-of-stock items from your Shopify store, you can turn them into revenue and trust. In order to improve your brand's perception and turn unavailable products into money, follow the advice given in this article. Thank us later!