The beauty and wellness industry that had largely remained offline because of the nature of the products, has now jumped on the online bandwagon.
Whether it’s makeup, vitamin supplements, or lotions and shampoos, consumers are buying everything online now more than ever. Thanks to the pandemic, this industry has seen a 70%+ increase in online sales.
With such high demand, it’s natural for stores to run out of stock. But when high-intent shoppers browse your store, should you turn them away with a ‘Sold Out’ sign?
And that’s where a back in stock strategy comes in. What’s that? Those who’re new to it, might wonder.
What is a back in stock strategy?
It’s possible that products get completely sold out in stores. While you’ll see ‘Out of Stock’ or ‘Sold Out’ signs on some sites, on some others, you see ‘Notify Me When Available’.
For example, here:
What does the ‘Notify Me’ sign mean?
It means shoppers want to be informed when the product is restocked. Owing to the nature of the process, which can get tedious if done manually, most online stores use the back in stock app for this purpose.
How does back in stock work?
As soon as an item gets sold out, the app automatically replaces the ‘Buy Now’ button with ‘Notify Me’. Shoppers can click on the button and choose how they’d like to be notified – email, SMS, Facebook Messenger, or web push.
Once the item is restocked, the subscriber automatically gets a notification informing them that the item is available.
Voila! The subscriber can immediately buy the product they were awaiting.
To understand how this strategy works practically, let’s look at a small case study.
Back in stock strategy – a case study of Nykaa
To understand just how important a back in stock strategy can be for cosmetics stores, let’s study Nykaa’s back in stock notification strategy. It’s a key part of their overall sales strategy.
The brand takes this strategy seriously and lets their shoppers know, through different forums, that they can subscribe for back in stock notifications. Reason: When you let your customers know you’ll inform them about a product restock, they feel cared for; in the long-term, become your most loyal customers.
Imagine this, shoppers spend a lot of time searching for the right product. When they finally find a product they like and realise it’s not available, it might leave them frustrated and disappointed.
Nykaa handles this situation pretty well with their out of stock notification option. All their sold-out products are pushed to the end of the product page and each of these products has a notify-me option.
Now let’s dig deeper into how out of stock notification can help in many different ways.
How can beauty and wellness Shopify stores use the back in stock app?
To notify buyers as soon as the item is restocked
When it comes to beauty and wellness products, most people prefer to stick to their tried and tested brands and products. Because they don’t want to try new products on their skin, hair and body.
So, when their regular products go out of stock, they’d be willing to wait if the store’s going to restock them. But as a store, you can’t expect shoppers to repeatedly keep checking your site. It’s your responsibility to notify them.
Today’s consumers expect brands to be quick. 82% of customers expect quick responses from online stores. That’s where the back in stock app helps.
When automated, the app instantly informs customers about the restock as soon as the item is back on your site — through their preferred channel – SMS, email, Messenger or web push.
This makes the probability of sales higher and faster. How?
- Shoppers might have been waiting eagerly for the product.
- If your restock alert message has a link to the product page, chances are, they’ll buy it right away, within minutes!
Here’s how Sephora does it:
To understand your buyers better
When buyers subscribe to products, you get to know their interests, tastes, needs, and the kind of products they’re more inclined to.
“But I have my customers’ demographics information”, you might say. Sure, buyer personas are helpful, but you need more valuable behavioral data to build emotional connections with your customers.
You can use the back in stock app to develop a more data-driven picture of your buyers.
For example, if a buyer subscribes to an anti-dandruff shampoo that’s out of stock, you know they have dandruff issues and are looking for solutions.
What you could do with this information – recommend similar or complementary products from your store – say, an anti-dandruff conditioner or anti-dandruff hair oil.
When you know their interests and challenges, you can share relevant and specific marketing campaigns with them, targeted especially towards them. This makes your sales probability higher.
To know your products’ demands
There’s fierce competition in the beauty and wellness industry. Brands and products are multiplying like rabbits! As a brand, you have to develop a strategy that helps you gauge market demands and your business needs.
The back in stock app can help you there, as well.
When shoppers subscribe to back in stock alerts, you can know which products are in demand, how much the demand is, and how much you should stock up.
Another reason to use technology and depend on data is because beauty and wellness industries have a massive range of products. To know what’s in demand and what will sell isn’t easy to assess or to guess. The back in stock app makes these processes much easier for you.
Besides, the back in stock app can also help you determine the purchase intent for new or hot-selling items in your store. Let’s say you’re going to launch a new line of lipstick shades. You could run a ‘launching-soon’ campaign on your site to collect the restock alert subscribers data.
When you know which products to stock up on, you can be somewhat certain about sales, and also push subscribers toward purchasing those particular products.
With this data, you can target subscribers with personalized marketing campaigns on different channels to nudge them to revisit your site and buy the specific product.
To drive repeat sales
Consumers refrain from changing products meant for their skin or oral supplements too often. They prefer products they’ve tried and have been using. For your regular customers, you’d already have data of customers’ preference. For your new customers, you can start collecting it.
Once you have data of your customers’ interests and products for which they show high purchase intent, you can reach out to them with campaigns like ‘time to restock on your favorite body lotion’ etc. Make these campaigns periodic and regular to drive repeat sales in your store.
An example of a replenishment campaign:
To avoid overstocking or under-stocking
Usually, beauty and wellness brands launch new collections and products seasonally — say a new collection every quarter or every six months. By adding Shopify back in stock notifications, you can easily gauge how many shoppers are interested in a particular product or collection. At times, even before it is stocked in your inventory.
You can easily assess the potential sales figures of the collection/product. Based on the number of subscribers, you can roughly calculate how much to stock your inventory. You can avoid overstocking or under-stocking.
To maintain multi-location inventories
It’s common for online stores to have product stock in different locations. For example, your store delivers pan-country and you have your products stored in different cities in different stores/warehouses.
In such a case, you’ll have to maintain inventory across your stores/warehouses. With multiple locations, it can get difficult to keep a track on which product needs to be replenished at which location. That’s where the back in stock app will come handy.
You can know the demand in different locations. For example, if one location faces extreme winters, the demand for cold creams in that location may go up. Your app will give you that information. On the flip side, locations with severe winters might not need sun protection creams. So you know you shouldn’t overstock sun creams for that location.
To win customers away from your competitors
Now, we know that usually, customers prefer to stick to a particular brand and particular products only. But, at times, it’s possible that they might be willing to explore other stores — your competitors.
If you don’t have a ‘Notify me’ option, you can be 90% sure they’ll look for the product elsewhere. Just by giving them the option to get a back in stock notification, you’re holding shoppers, keeping them away from your competitors, and winning them back!
Moreover, by letting your stocked-out products be seen on your product pages, you’re increasing your chances of sales. Because, so what if the products aren’t available at the moment, they are going to be available soon. That way, your customers aren’t disheartened and know they can still get their hands on the products.
What’s your Shopify back in stock strategy?
The good thing about having a back in stock strategy for your Shopify store is that it can be used in many ways. From measuring purchase intent to bringing shoppers back to your Shopify store to boosting sales in specific locations.
All this, while you build your ‘own audience’, meaning your loyal customer base. You need not have to rely on social media channels to reach out to a vast group of people in the hope that they might come to your store to make purchases.
While largely genuinely interested shoppers will subscribe to your back in stock customer alerts, it’s important to allow shoppers the option to choose the channel they prefer to be notified on – SMS, web push, email, or Facebook Messenger.
To put it all at work, install the back in stock app on your Shopify store today.