10 Ways To Bring Back Customers Lost To Stock Outs

Product stock outs are common. Especially when products are trending or during the time of sales. And you can bring back customers who missed out on those products. However, you have to prepare for two situations:

  1. You’re going to restock the product
  2. You’re not going to restock the product

In this blog, we’ll tell you how to bring back customers through a back in stock strategy that covers both these scenarios.

Shopify out of stock strategies to bring back customers to your store


Scenario 1 – When you’re going to restock the product 


1. Tell them when you’ll restock the item

When customers experience stockouts, it might leave them disappointed. And as a brand, you don’t want to add to their disappointment. You don’t want to leave them guessing. That is why it’s important to tell these shoppers when the item will be restocked.

Send them an update via the channel that they’ve subscribed for the restock alerts – SMS, email, web push notification, or Messenger. 

Here’s how it helps when you give them a specific date for the product restock:

  • That way they know when they can expect the item back on your site
  • They know how long they’d have to wait and assess the urgency for the item based on their requirement. If they need it before that date, they’d rather buy from another store or buy an alternative from your site
  • If the item is not urgent and can wait, they’d happily wait knowing that they’re going to eventually get the product and that you’d inform them when it’s back

2. Send an alert when restocked

As soon as the product is restocked on your site, you should send subscribers an alert. Send it to them via the channel that they’ve subscribed for – SMS, web push notification, email, Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.

Different people have different preferences for the way brands communicate with them. The communication channel is a part of customer experience. And 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.

So, as an online brand, it’s important that you include all or most of the common communication channels in your Shopify back in stock strategy. Simply because you don’t want to miss out on sales just because you don’t use a certain channel to communicate. 

Here are some things to keep in mind when you send them a restock alert:

  • Send the back in stock alert as soon as the product is restocked
  • Automate restock alert notifications, so subscribers get to the products before other customers. You can use Appikon Back in Stock app to automate tasks for your Shopify out of stock strategy
  • Send the alert via the channel that they chose
  • Keep the first alert simple and to the point with a CTA that takes them to the product page

Shopify out of stock


3. Run retargeting and remarketing ads 

It’s possible that by the time you restock the item, a considerable amount of time has passed. In the meantime, the customer either forgot about the product, lost interest in it, found an alternative, or simply doesn’t need it anymore.

In this case, the subscriber won’t bother clicking on your back in stock alert. But that doesn’t mean you should lose hope in this shopper.

Another way to bring such shoppers back to your Shopify store is by way of retargeting and remarketing ads. 3 out of 5 customers consider ads showing products they viewed on another channel or page. And such ads have 10X higher click through rates.

Here’s how  you should run remarketing and retargeting ads for your back in stock products:

  • Run ads of the restocked products and target them on different channels
  • Find where these customers are and appear in front of them
  • Run deals and discounts in these remarketing and retargeting ads
  • Offer incentives and make the product irresistible
  • Use social media, web search, etc. to bring customers back to your site

4. Call the subscribers

Customers are busy. Moreover, they encounter hundreds of messages from different brands on a daily basis. And it’s possible that they miss your back in stock alert notification.

This is where you can bring in a call. Talking directly to your shoppers has many advantages:

  • It adds a human touch to the interaction. Customers are no longer chatting with bots or receiving messages sent by apps
  • It makes conversations easier and faster. Customers can ask questions about the product over the call
  • You can use persuasive tactics much easily when you speak to shoppers and hence, increase Shopify sales

However, using calling as a channel requires investment – of time, effort, finance and people. You may not want to make calls for back in stock products of low values. But you can use calling for products of higher value. Also, calling can be useful for products that have a niche market, because there will be lesser shoppers for such products.

5. Send product recommendations 

You send out restock alert notifications to subscribers when the products get restocked. That’s good. But you can do more.

Think about the times when you went shopping in brick-and-mortar stores and when salespersons in the store went out of their way to help you choose a product. When shoppers have salespersons helping them shop, they feel good about their shopping experience.

Why not mimic this experience for your Shopify back in stock strategy? 

You can do so by sharing product recommendations. When you send restock alerts, send product recommendations along with it. 

Here are a few examples of product recommendations in back-in-stock alerts.

Shopify out of stock

Here are some tips to earn high returns from product recommendations:

  • Personalize the product recommendations based on the shopper
  • Make the recommendations relevant to the shopper
  • Include recommendations of similar products
  • Make recommended products irresistible through offers and discounts

6. Enable preorders

Some products have a tendency to sell out faster than the others. For example, products that are trending, products that always have low supply and high demand, items that are on high discount, etc.

Most probably you’ll restock these products on your site. And this is where you can bring in your pre-order strategy. 

If you’re going to restock, allow shoppers to pre-order. Adding the pre-order button on the product pages can help you:

  1. a) Retain shoppers who would have otherwise left without buying anything
  2. b) Assess the demand through the number of pre-orders that you receive
  3. c) Increase Shopify sales

A key aspect of customer satisfaction is how well your store is able to fulfill orders. The pre-order strategy can help you boost customer satisfaction, too. 

Here’s how: 

  • Be clear about when you’ll be delivering the product. You can use the Appikon Pre-order Today app for this
  • Assess the demand and number of pre orders and accordingly restock your inventory This way you can make sure that you always have inventory, which is enough to fulfill demands 

Scenario 2 – When you’re not going to restock the product


1. Inform shoppers you won’t be restocking

When shoppers encounter out-of-stock products, they might either buy the product from another site or might assume you’d be restocking it and wait for it. This is especially the case if the products concerned are related to health, medical, food, etc.

Customers tend to stick to certain brands and sites that they trust and feel comfortable with. That is why, it’s important that you inform your customers if you’re not going to restock that product.

Customers prefer transparency and clarity rather than ambiguity. By informing customers, you’re letting them know that you care about them. It will help you enhance their experience of buying from you.

Chances are, this feel-good experience will make them come back to your site because they trust your brand. Other sites might not be providing them this experience. It’s an easy way to stay ahead of your competitors. Isn’t it? 

Moreover, this can also mean you find an opportunity to recommend other similar items to them. If they like your brand, they’ll most likely like your recommendation, too. The result: an increase in Shopify sales.

2. Send product recommendations

When you know you’re not going to restock a product, you can turn to product recommendations. Share recommendations of other similar and better products with your customers. 

Here are a few things you can do:

  • You can let customers know that you’re not going to restock the item but your site has other similar or better items to offer
  • Add an incentive to your product recommendation. For example, a discount, free shipping, etc.
  • You can send product recommendations to them via different channels – email, SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc. 
  • Your decision to not restock a procut can easily be turned to promoting other products on your site. It’s an opportunity for you to sell other items and for shoppers to explore more on your site, which they might not have done otherwise

Shopify out of stock


3. Notify them if you plan to restock an item

It’s possible that for some reason you would be restocking the product. Even if you had informed shoppers that you won’t be restocking it, you can still alert them about the restock.

You might have encountered something like this yourself. A lot of times brands announce they’ve brought back an item owing to popular demand. 

By notifying shoppers about the extract or tentative date it will be back in stock, they’ll know when to expect the product. This will reignite their interest in the product.

To make the restock more exciting for them, you can offer discounts and incentives.

4. Send shoppers a ‘thank you’ message

It’s possible that customers like a product but it’s out of stock. And you’re not going to bring it back on your site. Moreover, you also don’t have any other similar or alternative products to offer to them.

In such a scenario, send your shoppers a thank you message thanking them for their interest. It’s a way to show them that you care and that you value their time. 

By sending thoughtful messages like ‘thank you’, you can create warmth in your relationship with your shoppers. When they feel good about your brand, they will most likely come back, as well as recommend it to others.


Your Shopify out of stock strategy has to be designed based on what you sell, who you sell to, and how you plan to manage your inventory. 

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