Whether you are on NetSuite Site Builder, SuiteCommerce o SuiteCommerce Advanced, you have different options when it comes to setting up the out of stock product behavior. Always show out of stock products and allow purchasing, remove them, or show them with an out of stock message. You can even go more sophisticated and apply specific out of stock behavior rules.

Whatever path you choose just keep in mind that there is nothing more frustrating to a customer than to find the exact product they want to order only to hit the “add to cart” button and get an “out-of-stock” message. There are many customers who research to find the exact product they want before they make the move to buy it. You can lose a customer at this point, and there is data to show you that mismanagement of product pages can be increasing your lost sales percentage.

BTW – Not so long ago we published 3 Ways To Leverage Sold-Out Product Pages Into Converted Sales article which had a very good response. So, we thought we should keep expanding on this subject that can help merchants know what to do on this scenario.

What your out-of-stock set up should not do

  1. Don’t immediately redirect your customer to another product.
    — The customer who researched for their specific product probably already crossed off this one.
    — Another customer may feel like they have been scammed with something great only to be offered a cheaper, less desirable product that wouldn’t sell otherwise.
  2. The “404” page tells a customer it no longer exists. You’re telling your customer that you no longer carry this product, and you don’t care that you have wasted their time.

Put customer service into your out-of-stock action

Your e-commerce business needs to illuminate customer service as if the customer has walked into your brick-and-mortar store. How would you handle the same situation in a face-to-face situation?

  • Communicate quickly how sorry you are to have disappointed them.
  • Communicate clearly if you will have more in stock and an expected date of fulfillment.

  • Ask if they want to be notified once the item is available. Is there a way to send out a notification to any customers on a waiting list to be honored with the chance to purchase the product prior to going live to the public?

  • Ask if they would like to see other options?

  • Offer a discount to show a customer you value their business if they should select another similar item.

How to better manage your e-commerce store pages

How you handle your out-of-stock pages may reflect on your rankings and have an impact on your crawl allowance.

To know how customers will react to how you construct your out-of-stock actions will mean you have to experiment to find out what works and what does not work.

  • Why are you out of stock? Be as definitive as you can such as “seasonal, high demand or manufacturing issues.”

  • Where are you letting the customers know that a product is not available? Giving the information on a page that doesn’t make the customer drill down to the final product page would be the better situation. Don’t waste their time, because maybe they are shopping with limited time.

  • When there are multiple selections a customer must make such as size, color or style of a product that will determine what is in or out of stock, don’t make them spend time only to discover exactly what they want is not available.

  • Offer to show a customer other products if they would like to see what other customers have brought that is very similar. Your analytics should be able to give you that data.

The Tavano Team can help you better understand your e-commerce, business processes. We focus on delivering the best shopping experiences for our customers around the world with the innovative technology of the NetSuite SuiteCommerce space. Contact us to learn about this amazing technology or how you can better utilize your e-commerce store capabilities.