It can be an extreme headache for any business owner when their inventory keeps running out of stock on Shopify. Not having the proper amount of goods on your e-commerce website to meet customer demand can cause a world of frustration and heartache. As a Shopify store owner, you must have a plan of attack ready and waiting in the event your shop runs out of stock. Luckily, there are several proactive steps you can take to save your business from having to shut down temporarily.
What Are Stockouts?
Stockouts, also called stock-outs or out-of-stocks (OOS), are any product or service that isn’t available for sale when a customer wants it. This could include something like a certain item running out of stock, or a certain type of service not being available. On a Shopify store specifically, a stockout means the store is running out of a certain product in the inventory. Stockouts happen for various reasons and can cause bigger issues.
How Can Stockouts Affect Your Business?
Stockouts can be a major hassle for your business. It can disrupt the customer experience and ultimately affect sales. Not having products available to customers can also be a turnoff, and lead to lost customers. Customers may become frustrated when they encounter a stockout, and they may even choose to leave your store to find the item elsewhere. Additionally, stockouts can increase the risk of lost sales in the future, as customers may remember their bad experiences and choose to purchase items from other stores. Ultimately, stockouts can have an effect on your company’s reputation, and that’s something you don’t want to happen.
How To Prevent Stockouts?
1. Keep up with Demand
It is impossible to predict exactly how much inventory you’ll need to keep up with customer demand. After all, customer purchase trends can vary greatly depending on the season, holidays, and other factors. Still, if you don’t have enough inventory to meet the demand, you can end up losing out on potential sales–which is why it’s important to keep an eye on your store’s inventory levels and add items as necessary.
2. Monitor Your Products
Whether you’re selling digital or physical products, it’s important to monitor your shop’s stock levels to anticipate any future stockouts. Setting up an automated inventory tracking system can help you easily keep track of your inventory and ensure that your store always has enough stock to meet customer demand. Additionally, monitoring how much inventory is moving through your store can help you get a better idea of how much stock you need to keep on hand.
3. Establish Safety Stock Levels
Introduce a safety stock buffer to act as a safeguard against unexpected spikes in demand or delays in the supply chain. Setting aside a reserve of products beyond your anticipated sales helps bridge the gap during unforeseen circumstances, providing a cushion to prevent stockouts and maintain consistent order fulfillment.
Subpoint 2: Monitoring Market Trends
4. Leverage Multi-Channel Selling
Selling items through multiple channels can help you increase sales and avoid stockouts. Having a presence on multiple platforms can help to spread awareness of your store and reach more potential customers. This way, you can increase your store’s overall sales while also reducing the chance of running out of stock. For example, a business can use social media to let customers know when an item is sold out and when it will be available again.
5. Keep an eye on market trends.
While good demand estimation can prevent stockouts, not paying attention to your industry as a whole can throw you for a loop. Stay attuned to market trends within your industry. Changes in consumer preferences, seasonal trends, or external factors can impact demand. Regularly monitor market trends to adjust your inventory strategy accordingly and prevent stockouts or overstocking.
What To Do When Running Out of Stock?
1. Use Preorder
Preorder is a great way of handling inventory running out of stock. A preorder is when a customer orders something that is not in stock, and the business commits to fulfilling the order when the item is back in stock. This allows customers to purchase products in advance, securing their order for when the item becomes available. Clearly communicate estimated delivery dates to set realistic expectations.
2. Create Waiting Lists
Creating a waiting list for items running out of stock is another way of handling a stock-out situation. A waiting list allows customers to sign up to be notified when the item becomes available. This way, businesses can keep customers informed and meet their expectations.
3. Track Inventory
Businesses can use digital inventory tracking to keep on top of their inventory. This helps businesses visualize their current stock levels and anticipate when they need to order more. Digital inventory tracking also helps businesses stay on top of trends and anticipate customer demand.
4. Use Notify Me!
Besides pre-ordering, it offers a waitlist feature that allows customers to subscribe and be notified once the item is available. You can add a “notify me” button and subscription form on your sold-out items to make that happen.
Managing a Shopify store is no easy task, and running out of stock can be a nightmare for any store. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent and respond to stockouts on a Shopify store. With these tips, you can improve your store’s inventory management, reduce the chances of running out of stock, and keep your customers happy. Use these strategies to stock your store and make sure you’re always on top of your inventory.