How To Optimize Your Product Stockout Pages for Conversions

Don’t lose conversions on product stockout pages.

Marketers absolutely love it when the demand for their products skyrockets. It is good news for the marketing team when a product goes out of stock. But on the flip side, what remains is a product page that is unable to fulfill further demand. This unoptimized out-of-stock product page can be lethal for the success of an eCommerce business.

An out-of-stock product page not only frustrates customers but also affects your digital presence. But when you have optimized that page, your bounce rate will reduce significantly. It helps you keep your customer base intact and even allows you to capture some sales out of it.

Now the big question — how do I do it? We are here to make things simpler for you by providing you with different tactics that you can implement to optimize the stocked-out item’s product pages. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Tips To Optimize Product Page of Out of Stock Items

Immediate Swap of Buttons

According to a report by Streetpotr, one out of every 13 products is not purchasable by the shopper because of the stockout. This report makes it quite clear that stockout is an inevitable issue, and one can’t predict when it might happen.

Now, in the eCommerce industry, you can’t afford to lose sales irrespective of the reason. And when your customers land on the page and find the product out-of-stock, they leave disappointed and never come back to you for the same product. Bottom line, your sales take a hit.

If you don’t want your customers to leave disappointed, you have to give them an indication that the product will be back soon. You can do this by swapping the ‘buy now’ with the ‘notify me’ button as soon as the product goes out of stock. This ‘notify me’ button saves some disappointment and ensures that the customers don’t close the product page to explore different options.

product stockout pages

Here’s the thing, customers won’t bother writing a mail to you about the restock update. Nor are they going to keep visiting your site to check the status. If anything, they will either forget about the product or will purchase it from a competitor. But with this instant option of getting notified, the visitor who genuinely wants to purchase will definitely sign up.

Moreover, you should also give them the flexibility to choose from various channels to get notified. With Shopify Back In Stock – Restock Alerts, you can automate this swap of buttons and allow your customers to get notified on the channel of their choice like email, Messenger, SMS, or web push.

Recommend Similar Products

At this point, your customers are already disappointed after knowing that the product they wanted is not in stock. Though the ‘notify me’ button has increased the chance of conversion, you have still not generated a sale. This is where recommending similar products takes charge.

When the customers are done signing up for the notification, you can redirect them to the related products section. When customers see similar products, more often than not, they like them. And this increases the chances of conversion. Showing similar products is also a great way to increase the average order value.

You can prioritize product recommendations on two levels. Have a look at it.

First Priority

The recommendations that convert the most are usually the same product in a different color or design. People also like to purchase similar products from the same brand, resulting in a higher rate of conversion.

Here’s how Myntra does it:

product stockout pages - product recommendations

Say you are searching for a jacket. And you come across this beautiful biker jacket by Locomotive. But unfortunately, the jacket is not in stock. In the similar product section, Myntra shows similar biker jackets by Locomotive and also the same product by different companies too. Not only this, even the price range of the recommended products is very similar.

Second Priority

Your second priority should be to direct your customers to the ‘newly launched products’ page from the same category. For customers, a newly launched product is quite attractive as it draws a sense of ‘exclusivity.’

Moreover, you can also show the products that a majority of customers have purchased and liked. It would be better if your bestseller is from the same category that the customers are browsing.

Here’s how Sephora does it. When customers land on the out-of-stock product page, they give them an option to get notified. And once the customers sign up for it, they give them an option to browse the best-selling products of their eCommerce store.

display related content on product stockouts

Engage Customers With Live Chat

Make a list of all the available support channels, and live chat will always be on the top with the highest satisfaction levels. And what else do you want to give to a disappointed customer? Satisfaction is all they need, and it is good as long as it’s coming from you instead of your competitors.

You can install a chat widget on your website and automate it to appear whenever a customer lands on an out-of-stock product page. It can welcome the visitor and inform them about the product availability. Moreover, it can ask them to enter their email to get an alert when the product is back-in-stock.

With live chat, you can also ask your customers if they need help in finding something similar to what they were browsing. You can engage more with them to keep them on the site for a longer time. It helps reduce the bounce rate.

Moreover, live chat also helps you appear as a brand that’s easily accessible, which makes it easier for your customers to trust you. Using the live chat or not is the personal decision of the visitors, but when they see it on your out-of-stock product page, they know that you’re going to give them a solution.

offer customer support on stock out products

Push Unavailable Product to the Bottom

It’s very rare for a visitor to land directly on the product page. What they rather do is follow a navigational path to find the product they are looking for. In most cases, these (potential) customers go through your site’s navigation menu and category page to reach their destination.

For example, if someone wants to buy a women’s bodycon dress, their ideal path will be to click — Clothing > Women’s Clothing > Dresses > Bodycon Dresses. And after they have finally reached the product listing page, they can filter the items by size, color, preference, etc.

Another path can be the use of the search bar of the eCommerce store. Here the customer just enters ‘women’s bodycon dress’ on the search bar, and they have all the results listed down.

Irrespective of what path customers choose, the result they see should not include out-of-stock items in the top listings. If anything, push the out-of-stock products to the bottom of the list. This is exactly what Flipkart does. All of their out-of-stock products are listed at the bottom of the search results.

flipkart product stockout

Allow Customers to Place Pre-orders

If some product is not available in your eCommerce store, you don’t necessarily have to send them in a different direction. There’s no need to abandon the transaction. If you are sure that you’ll bring the product back to the store, what you should rather do is give your customers an option to place a pre-order. Any customer who is badly interested in your product will definitely jump at the chance.

H-Street does it wonderfully. They promise a flat 10% discount to everyone who pre-orders the product. This strategy of theirs makes pre-ordering even more tempting. Even after not having the product, with this option, you can secure a sale instantly.

However, you should keep in mind that irrespective of what your out-of-stock optimization strategy is, you must ensure that the communication is on point. If you expect your customers to transfer the money to your account while the product is not in stock, you must convey the expected delivery time to them.

You can set up pre-orders on your store with the Appikon app in minutes.

Implement Exit-intent Popup

When a new visitor comes to your site, most of the time, they are looking for a very specific product. Even your current customers can come to your store looking for a particular something. And, when these two sets of customers find that the item they are looking for is not in stock, they are likely to bounce immediately and get that product from somewhere else.

With exit-intent popup, however, you can capture their details before they leave. You can offer them discounts or freebies if they purchase the same item from you when it’s back in stock. If they are not in a hurry to get the product, they’ll definitely wait for you to restock the product.

And if they can’t wait, get them to sign up for newsletters by stating its benefits. You can convince them that they’ll be one of the first customers to know about a new product launch or sale. With the help of newsletters, you can help them know your brand better, which increases the chances of conversion in the future.

Going Beyond to Keep the Sales Coming

While running an eCommerce store, as we said earlier, you can encounter stockout issues. And hiding these issues makes things worse for your eCommerce store. You should rather communicate the details clearly to your audience.

Having said that, it is quite essential for you to be transparent with the customer when you reach a specific product page because they come with intent. The crux of the above-mentioned tips is providing a better customer experience — the better it is, the more likely your customer is to purchase items that you currently don’t have.

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