Out of Stock Management: How to Manage Stockouts on Your Shopify Store

Stockouts are a common issue for many Shopify stores. These stockouts lead to fewer sales opportunities for the merchant, losing out on acquiring new customers interested in the unavailable products. But, managing and reducing stockouts isn’t as easy as it sounds. With fluctuating product demands and changing interests, out of stock management is a time-consuming priority for merchants. By setting up a process to identify potential stockouts and manage out of stocks better, you can cater to your shoppers better and recover sales that would be lost due to stockouts. In this guide, we’ll help you set up out-of-stock management tactics, the ways you can lower stockouts, and alternative solutions you can set up to lower the sales loss you face during stockouts.

The Problem with Stockouts

As an online store, you can’t afford to lose interested shoppers due to stockouts. Shoppers will browse your store, find the product they are looking for, only to find it out of stock. When this happens, they end up abandoning your Shopify store altogether and shop from your competitors instead.With stockouts, you aren’t just losing a sale. You lose out on ever capturing that potential customer again. Stockouts increase negative experiences, with interested customers choosing to shop from your competitors instead. In fact, in 2011, it was found that stockouts cost a $25 billion loss in sales. This number has only increased in the past years, with newer stores cropping up online and with more brands for shoppers to choose from.But, why do stockouts arise in the first place? One way to reduce stockouts on your Shopify store is understanding why you face out of stock products and managing them better.

What Causes Stockouts?

1. Lack of inventory planning

Many merchants don’t do data-driven and thorough inventory planning. Due to this, they find themselves facing stockouts This is also an issue during sales when products are highly visible on the storefront or are marketed for the sale. Product demand for specific products also increases during festivities and celebrations. You can plan your inventory based on traffic surges, sales, and marketing campaigns to ensure that your products don’t run out during these pivotal moments.

2. Underestimating product demand

Oftentimes, merchants underestimate the demand for a product. This is commonly seen with newly launched or featured products.By monitoring this demand, understanding traffic levels on your store, and predicting demand during sale periods or festivities, you can lower and manage stockouts.

3. Late supplier delivery

One reason for stockouts is the late delivery of the warehouse stock. When you’re manufacturing or getting your supply to your warehouse, you may find these deliveries delayed, Due to this, you would have to wait to update your stock on your Shopify store. If a product has been sold out prior to the supplier delivery, you will be left with an out of stock product until the delivery is complete.

4. Quality issues or defects

You may have to return a stock that comes in for a specific product due to defects or quality issues. Reordering a new stock for the product will take a longer time and if you’ve run out of your existing stock, you will be left stocked out for that specific product until the new stock arrives.While stockouts are a huge issue, when it comes to quality problems, it’s best to wait for a new stock to come in than sell the low quality/defective products on your Shopify store.

3 Out of Stock Management Tactics for Your Shopify Store

1. Recapture interested shoppers with Back in Stock Alerts

Before you start optimizing your inventory and understanding how your products sell, you need an alternative during stockouts. This is where back in stock alerts help. The back in stock automation adds a subscription form on your Shopify store’s product page so that shoppers interested in the unavailable product can subscribe to be notified about the product via email, SMS, Facebook Messenger, or web push. Once you’ve stocked up the item, the shopper receives a message automatically, letting them know they can purchase the item. The shopper will then successfully come back to the store and get the item.By setting up back in stock alerts, you can give shoppers an opportunity to receive an update about the product’s stock. This easy and positive experience will ensure that you don’t lose your shoppers to stockouts on your Shopify store and lower any negative experience they may have had.Further Reading: High-Converting Back-in-Stock Email Examples And Why They WorkYou can set up the back in stock automation on your Shopify store with the Back in Stock - Restock Alerts app. The app integrates with top marketing apps to connect your preferred communication channels and works with apps like Wiser to display personalized recommendations.

Install Back in Stock - Restock Alerts app now to recover sales lost to stockouts!

3. Use your analytics to understand product demand

Your store’s data can tell you a lot about how your products are selling and the trend in sales on your Shopify store. Shopify analytics apps like RevTap are perfect for this. The app identifies product segments like ‘Top-Selling Products’ and ‘Low on Stock Products’. You can monitor these segments on a weekly basis to identify products that need to be stocked up immediately and order new stocks accordingly. With such a data-driven process in place, you’ll be able to minimize stockouts.

3. Plan your sales and marketing campaigns and stock up early on

When planning your marketing campaigns or store sales, you also need to add inventory checks to your tasklist. So, when planning your monthly marketing schedule, you can add reminders to check the stock for the product being promoted a few days prior to the promotion. For storewide sales, you can check stocks a week prior to launch and order new stocks accordingly. This system is also helpful during festivities. For instance, nearer to the holiday, you’re sure to put together a ‘Christmas Collection’. When doing so, you can also stock up more inventory than usual. This way, you will be able to cater to the surge in Christmas shoppers

Reduce loss of sales due to stockouts using Back in Stock Alerts

We hope this guide to out of stock management helped you understand ways you might face stockouts on your Shopify store and ways you can reduce stockouts.While you can minimize stock-outs, there will always be times when certain products sell out faster. While you can’t avoid such cases, you can set up alternatives to reduce the loss of sales due to stockouts. The Back in Stock app helps you capture interested shoppers during stockouts and bring them back to purchase when the item is back in stock.With such seamless automation in place, you can recapture sales and ensure fewer losses despite the stockout. Top eCommerce brands like Tesla and Amazon have also set up successful out of stock management tactics like back in stock automations that send alerts about the product’s stock update to their shoppers.

Install Back in Stock - Restock Alerts app now to recover sales lost to stockouts!

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Kina & Tam

Australia

"I just started using the app and so far I am loving it. It helped me launch my pre-orders and allows me to collect orders on items that have sold out for the time being. A plus for my revenue stream. The support staff is very helpful and patient. Absolutely recommend this product."

Life Light Healing Services

United States

"I've had the app for about 2 weeks now and it has helped me get a few extra orders. I wasnt sure if it would really help but it’s increased sales by about 20% so far and clients generally dont mind waiting because its very clear that they are placing a back order."

Legion Health

Australia

"Increased sales by 20%. We always have pre orders waiting when our stock arrives. Recommended to anyone who wants to maximise bottom line."

SpaceTek

Australia

"Helps me inititiate pre orders for my customers so I can manage sales! Helps me better understand the demand I have coming in for an item."

Chérie Lane

United States

"A very useful tool, simple and with a good customer support service. It has helped us to sell products that we do not have in stock yet."

Andromeda Moto

Spain

"I love this app because it gives our customers the option of pre-ordering their product before it's released. Plus it helps us to continue having revenue whilst we wait for our supply. I am very happy with the customer service too. Highly recommend this app!"

Percy’s Powder

Australia

"This app has made me soooo much extra money and helps with knowing exactly what inventory and sizes to restock! It’s easy to install and customize, not to mention the super fast and friendly customer service! I literally could not be any happier with this app. It is a game changer!"

MBM Swim

United States

"If you don't have this app your losing sales. No question about it. We are making so much more money on our new release items and out of stock products."

Seek Jesus

Australia

"The app increased my sales by at least 20%. Also their customer service is great. Fast response times and very helpful. I'd definitely recommend this app."

Lakes Rivers Streams

United States

"This apps brought me $900 on the free plan, I've upgraded now as I'm sure it'll do even better for my sales. The customer service is amazing, helped me with using the app super quick responses and solved my question with ease. Thanks!"

Zani Collective

Australia

"This APP has helped my brand grow in sales and customer service. The support is top-notch. I also find the APP immensely valuable in forecasting demand and what customers are willing to buy. I would recommend this APP if you are looking to grow and convert customers."

NOTIQ

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"Great product, I think after the 2nd day of using it we had already gotten $188 in sales from the reminders. It's nice because sometimes people return an out of stock item that we wouldn't normally announce a restock for. I also had a question about something and they responded very quickly in the chat."

Geode Swimwear

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"This app has been amazing for our company! We are able to have people sign up for an item that we are in the process of making, or an item that is out of stock. Once the item arrives, we generate a lot of sales from this app!”

Godiva's Secret Wigs

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"Great app!! I needed a way to quickly and efficiently alert my customers when items were back in stock and this app does the trick!! One of my favorite features is the "Text" option, so my customers get an almost immediate notification! This app has definitely increased sales!

Live Love Posh

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"This app is great for scaling businesses that are struggling to stay in stock. Before integrating this app I had trouble keeping track of customers who wanted to buy my products that were sold out, now as soon as I'm back in stock the sales come in by themselves.”

Xstream Audio Systems

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"This app is so valuable to our store. We like to alert customers of up coming new releases, so people sign up to be "notified". Helps us limit over ordering, and customers are happy as they get notified instantly when stock is in stock. Helps with sales and moving stock quickly. Fantastic App"

OzToyStore

United States

"This app has made me soooo much extra money and helps with knowing exactly what inventory and sizes to restock! It’s easy to install and customize, not to mention the super fast and friendly customer service! I literally could not be any happier with this app. It is a game changer!"

MBM Swim

United States

"If you don't have this app your losing sales. No question about it. We are making so much more money on our new release items and out of stock products."

Seek Jesus

Australia

"The app increased my sales by at least 20%. Also their customer service is great. Fast response times and very helpful. I'd definitely recommend this app."

Lakes Rivers Streams

United States

"This apps brought me $900 on the free plan, I've upgraded now as I'm sure it'll do even better for my sales. The customer service is amazing, helped me with using the app super quick responses and solved my question with ease. Thanks!"

Zani Collective

Australia

"This APP has helped my brand grow in sales and customer service. The support is top-notch. I also find the APP immensely valuable in forecasting demand and what customers are willing to buy. I would recommend this APP if you are looking to grow and convert customers."

NOTIQ

United States

"Great product, I think after the 2nd day of using it we had already gotten $188 in sales from the reminders. It's nice because sometimes people return an out of stock item that we wouldn't normally announce a restock for. I also had a question about something and they responded very quickly in the chat."

Geode Swimwear

United States

"This app has been amazing for our company! We are able to have people sign up for an item that we are in the process of making, or an item that is out of stock. Once the item arrives, we generate a lot of sales from this app!”

Godiva's Secret Wigs

United States

"Great app!! I needed a way to quickly and efficiently alert my customers when items were back in stock and this app does the trick!! One of my favorite features is the "Text" option, so my customers get an almost immediate notification! This app has definitely increased sales!

Live Love Posh

United States

"This app is great for scaling businesses that are struggling to stay in stock. Before integrating this app I had trouble keeping track of customers who wanted to buy my products that were sold out, now as soon as I'm back in stock the sales come in by themselves.”

Xstream Audio Systems

United States

"This app is so valuable to our store. We like to alert customers of up coming new releases, so people sign up to be "notified". Helps us limit over ordering, and customers are happy as they get notified instantly when stock is in stock. Helps with sales and moving stock quickly. Fantastic App"

OzToyStore

United States