Among the many reasons that eCommerce stores are unable to convert visitors, one of the most common (and even silly) reasons is simply that the product ran out of stock. Studies show the out of stock rate is 8% – which makes it a fairly common problem for eCommerce businesses.
One out of 13 products is not purchasable by shoppers because it has stocked out.
But this doesn’t mean you’ve lost these buyers forever. You can bring them back to your store by letting them know you’ll be restocking their favourites and asking them to subscribe for an alert.
Although, how do you do this?
As a consumer, how do you get notified when a product is restocked?
As a business, how do you ensure these buyers are subscribed to these restock alerts?
Let us answer this for you.
Things to get in place to notify shoppers of restocked products
1. Enable them to subscribe for restock alerts on multiple channels
In a typical scenario, what happens when customers encounter a stock-out? They feel disappointed, close the page or start browsing other products. Unless, they see the ‘Notify Me’ button.
Your customers aren’t going to write to you asking when the product would be restocked. Nor are they going to keep coming back to that page to check if the product is available. They might forget about it or purchase an alternative product.
You’ve lost that sale. Matter of fact, retailers lose more than $400 billion per year due to stock outs.
But if you provide an instant option for them to get notified when the product is restocked, those really interested in buying, will sign up. You can engage them through various kinds of communication. And that’s why you need to swap the ‘Buy Now’ button with ‘Notify Me’ on products that run out of stock.
And allow shoppers to choose how they want to be notified.
Having an app like Shopify Back in Stock – Restock Alerts does this for you automatically when your inventory runs out. It allows customers to subscribe via the channel they prefer – email, Messenger, SMS, or web push.
2. Set up retargeting pixel on your Shopify store
The benefits of getting visitors to subscribe through a ‘Notify Me’ button don’t end at collecting their contact info to send restock notifications; it can also help you set up retargeting pixels.
What’s that? Retargeting and remarketing pixel is a code that can be inserted into the backend of eCommerce sites. It follows visitors wherever they go on the internet, learning their preferences and behaviour.
You can use the contact details collected to make retargeting a part of your marketing strategy that converts higher, using a custom audience.
3. Set up remarketing pixels on the site
Remarketing can be the other part of your marketing strategy. Wondering how remarketing is different from retargeting? While the first is usually based on email, the later is about serving ads to potential customers by targeting web traffic.
An example of retargeting would be the ads that pop up when users browse other sites on the internet.
This tactic is like a backup for times when the buyer may land on an out of stock product page, and walk away without subscribing to the alerts. The tactic helps you re-engage them as they browse the internet, reminding them or alerting them of the product’s restock.
How to notify customers of a restocked product?
1. Send restock emails
First things first, send your email notification subscriber list a restock alert on email. Send them a simple message saying, “Hey, the product you’ve been waiting for has been restocked!”
Conversely, you could combine the restock email messaging with other marketing campaign messages. You could use these tactics if the subscriber doesn’t take any action to your first email. Use these different types of tactics:
- FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out): Include FOMO to nudge them in the direction of making a purchase. 60% of millennials make purchases as a reaction to FOMO, often within 24 hours of experiencing it.
- Product recommendation: Based on the product that the customer is interested to buy, share product recommendations in emails. You could make a set of ‘Similar Products’, ‘Related Products’ or ‘Customers Also Bought’. A study conducted by SalesForce found that customers that clicked on recommendations are 4.5 times more likely to complete the purchase.
- Deals and discounts: Offer discounts and deals. As a marketing tactic, it’s a definitive way to drive sales. And it’s proven by psychology. As most deals are time-sensitive, they create a sense of urgency. Another reason, humans tend to respond promptly and strongly to loss aversion. Hence, if discounts can save them money, why not go for it.
2. Send restock alert via SMS
There might be many shoppers who do not wish to receive emails from you. How about you give them the option of text message notification? For customers, it’s shorter, easier, and a quicker way to know what you want to communicate to them. Moreover, once they receive the restock alert, they can easily chat with your team via SMS.
There are ways to make SMS restock alerts more exciting.
Combine restock messages with discounts. Your subscribers might have lost some bit of interest in the product that they subscribed for. But what if they were able to buy the product at a discount? It could make their desire for the product come alive.
Unlike other channels, SMS is quicker as most people always tend to have their mobile devices on them. You can make use of this factor by making your restock alert message time sensitive. For eg., add words such as, ‘Limited Stock’, or ‘Only 5 left’ or ‘Available until midnight.’
3. Send a restock message on Facebook Messenger
Some shoppers, especially social media buffs, prefer to subscribe to Facebook Messenger to receive restock alerts. Infact, more than 20 billion messages are exchanged between brands and Facebook users monthly on Messenger.
Apart from usual marketing messages, deals, product recommendation messages, you can use Facebook Messenger to send restock notifications to your customers. It’s a more direct and personal channel as the user receives messages into their direct messages.
Moreover, with a good call-to-action, you can lead the shopper to make a purchase on your website.
4. Send a web push notification
Not all shoppers might be comfortable sharing their email addresses or phone numbers. So, how do you reach out to them when the product is back in stock? They could sign up for web push notifications.
Here, the message is shown to subscribers on their screens. It’s a highly aggressive and visible channel that customers can’t miss. For that reason, it’s also perfect for time-sensitive restocks and deals.
The click-through rate of web push is 4x to 8x higher than other channels such as email. Which means the chances of conversion through this channel are also higher.
Web push notifications function just like other forms of restock alerts such as email, Messenger or SMS. You can combine your restock alert messaging with other engagement tactics such as deals and discounts.
5. Run retargeting campaigns on social media
Another extremely effective way to notify shoppers is to run retargeting campaigns on social media. Since 54% of social media users say social media ads influence them, you already have a receptive audience.
Retarget shoppers via social media ads. Let them know through the ads, that their awaited product is back in stock. Further, you can make it more exciting by offering a discount as well. If, after a few days, they don’t convert, follow the social media restock ad by showing them ads of similar or complementing products. The idea is to convert them.
6. Run remarketing campaigns on search engines
Your customers also shop from other stores. It’s possible that they might forget about you. Hence, it’s important to be in front of your customers’ eyes. An easy way to do so is remarketing. It’s a cookie based technology that follows your shoppers where they go and shows them your ads. The result: it can bring back 96% of shoppers!
For eg., You are a customer and subscribed to restock alert for a mobile phone on an electronics eCommerce brand. A few days later, while reading a news website on the internet, you see an ad of the same brand. You’re tempted to buy it. That’s what remarketing does. It tries to lead visitors back to your product pages and website.
7. Make a restock post on social media
While the above methods work wonders, there’s yet another high-potential way to reach customers. Shoppers that subscribed to restock alerts are most likely to follow you on social media because they like your brand.
Social media is another channel through which you could reach your customers. Create a post on all your social media platforms to announce the restock.
Engagement is key to social media. You can make your posts engaging, not just with content, but also by offering deals and discounts. You can include time-sensitive deals and create FOMO.
87% of shoppers believe social media helps them make a purchase decision. Social media can specifically work brilliantly well for ecommerce stores as it can lead to instant sales.
Should you set up Shopify out-of-stock product restock notifications?
The answer is a definitive yes.
By setting up restock notifications, you can ensure you don’t lose customers to stock outs as well as give your customers a good experience of your brand. Setting up restock alerts is easy with the help of back in stock apps. Once you do, all you have to do is monitor and reap its many benefits.
Ready to turn your stock-outs into more sales?
Install the Back in Stock app today!