Taking Advantage of Back in Stock Alerts

Apr 08, 2014 5:28 PM  By

email-yellow-button-300Out of stock items can be a real headache for retailers. On the one hand, you don’t want to remove them for your website and miss out on potential future sales. On the other, if a shopper attempts to purchase a product only to find out that it’s out of stock, she may likely leave your website, and even worse, purchase the product on a competitor’s site.

A back in stock alerts solution, however, can not only save the sale but provide a perfect opportunity to engage with the customer and even generate additional revenue.

With a back in stock alerts solution in place, when a potential customer attempts to put an out of stock item in her cart, a popup lets her know that it’s out of stock and offers her the option to provide an email address to be automatically alerted when it comes back in stock. Now, you’ve not only turned a possible negative experience into a positive one, but you have a means to continue to reach her through your other email marketing  campaigns like welcome series, daily or weekly email blasts and shopping cart recovery.

Back in stock emails are exceptionally effective, We’ve seen open and read rates of 35% or more,  click throughs and conversions of more than 25% and clients making as much as six dollars per email sent.

Is the product she wanted not coming back in stock for a while? No problem. Take the opportunity to engage her with a nurturing campaign and present her with personalized recommended products.  Will the product not be coming back in stock?  Also not a problem.  Extend a sincere apology and suggest what she might want to consider instead.

In addition to saving the sale, helping to build your subscriber base – which benefits all of your email marketing solutions – and endearing the shopper to your brand, a Back in stock alerts solution can also be a valuable tool in helping you to manage inventory. With this solution, you have a feedback loop with customers that can be used to identify the brands and products that are most often out of stock and how many shoppers are interested in them,  and this information can be used to avoid under- and over-stocking. This is an especially crucial tool for sites that stock based on crowdsourcing.

If you’re considering implementing a back in stock alerts solution, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. When creating back in stock alerts, it’s important to make it simple for the shopper to complete her purchase. The alert should remind the shopper that she requested an alert, show an image and product details and feature a prominent call to action with a link to a shopping cart pre-loaded with the item.

In addition, be sure to create a sense of urgency and avoid potential customer frustration by stressing that supplies are limited so action should be taken quickly.

Ross Kramer is the CEO of Listrak