Why Your Shopify Back In Stock Alerts Aren’t Working

You’ve set up back in stock notifications on your Shopify store. That’s great. But have you measured how many of your restock alerts are generating sales? 

If your Shopify back in stock alerts aren’t bringing back subscribers to your site, all your efforts are getting wasted, and resources misspent. 

And the reason you’re not able to generate sales from your Shopify back in stock alerts is because you’re going wrong somewhere. 

To understand how you can improve sales from your restock strategy, let’s look at the mistakes you should be avoiding. 

Why your Shopify back in stock alerts aren’t generating sales – 7 mistakes to avoid


1. You’re going wrong with the timing

In eCommerce, timing is paramount in everything. From the seconds it takes for a website to load to the time it takes for a payment to complete to how soon an item gets restocked – everything has an effect on customer experience. 

35% of consumers say they feel frustrated over websites that load slow. Today’s consumers have less patience than ever. And the same goes for stocked out products. Here are some reasons how timing affects your back in stock strategy:

  • Customers don’t want to wait for out of stock products because they have an option to buy the same products from other stores
  • If you repeatedly take a long time to restock products, it’s going to form a bad impression on customers and they wouldn’t want to wait
  • Another situation is that you restock the product in time but do not send out the restock alert in time

Here’s what you should do:

  • Always provide a tentative date of restock to customers so that they know how long they’d have to wait for the product
  • If the restocking is getting delayed due to some reason, send an update to the subscribers. Keep them informed
  • Always send restock notification alerts as soon as the product gets restocked
  • Automated alerts with the help of a Shopify back in stock app

2. You don’t engage restock alert subscribers enough 

What happens when you enter a brick and mortar store and all salespersons in the store are busy and there’s no one to attend to you? As a customer, you’d feel ignored and not cared about. Right? 

The same thing can happen if you don’t engage with your online shoppers, especially interested shoppers who have signed up for restock alerts to out of stock products. 

It’s possible that you’re going to take time to restock the item, but that doesn’t mean you go quiet and let the subscriber wonder what’s going on with the product. Whether or not it will get restocked, how long it would take, or if they’re ever going to be able to buy the product. 

If, in case, there’s going to be a long gap between the time shoppers subscribed for alters and your restock date, you should create an engagement strategy for your subscribers.

Here are some ideas to engage restock subscribers:

  • Send them a message informing that they’ve subscribed for a restock alert and that you’ve made a note and will be in touch soon
  • Share recommendations of related or alternative products so that they feel like you’re taking proactive interest in their shopping
  • Share details of your customer support or contact details so that they know how they could reach you
  • If the restock date is getting delayed, inform them about it. Alongside, share recommendations for alternative products. Also, apologize for the delay
  • Share useful information and content that drives their movement to purchases from your site so that you don’t lose a customer

If you don’t have an engagement strategy specially designed for your Shopify restock alert subscribers, there’s a high possibility of losing those shoppers.

3. You don’t send notifications on their preferred channel

A research study, Critical Channels of Choice, found that most eCommerce brands cater to five different generations – from the silent generation (born before 1945) to gen zers (born after 1997). All these generations prefer different communication channels – from the good old phone call to Facebook Messenger.

The question is – are you equipped to meet all your customers’ expectations through an omnichannel approach? Even if you’re equipped, do you use all your channels to cater to your different audiences?

The same study identified the top five channels customers prefer:

1. Email – 86%

2. Phone: 65%

3. Website – 53%

4. Text message – 52%

5. In person – 48%

When you fail to notify customers through their preferred channels, here’s what could happen:

  • Subscribers might miss out on your notification. For example, if a person chose email and you sent them a Messenger alert, they might never even read it
  • Subscriber could feel annoyed if you send them a notification on the wrong channel. This would give them an impression that you didn’t note down their preference

Here’s what you should do:

  • Allow shoppers to subscribe via different channels – email, SMS, Messenger, WhatsApp, phone, etc.
  • Send back in stock notifications via their chosen channel
  • Integrate all channels in your omnichannel communication strategy so that you can provide a seamless experience to your customers
  • Automate your back in stock alerts communication with the help of an app

4. You don’t follow up with restock alert subscribers

No matter how soon you send a restock alert notification or how good and impressive your restock messaging, it’s highly unlikely that all your subscribers will convert via the first alert.

What do you do then?

Follow up!

Seasoned marketers cannot stress enough the importance of follow ups. Let’s face the fact – your customers are busy people. They are also other brands’ customers, which means other brands are also trying to advertise and promote their products to them.

Moreover, in today’s busy lifestyles, it’s possible for people to ignore and miss out on reading promotional messages from brands. And so, you can never be sure whether or not your Shopify back in stock alerts would be read by the subscriber or not.

There’s another situation – even if subscribers read your restock alerts, they might not take the desired action. They might think they’ll make the purchase later and forget about it.

Here’s what your restock alert follow up strategy should entail:

  1. Send the first restock alert
  2. If the customer doesn’t open the notification, send another alert within a couple of days
  3. If the customer opens the notification but does not take any action, send them another notification, but add an incentive this time (discount, free shipping, etc.)
  4. If the customer doesn’t take any action, reach out to them via personal chat or a phone call to ask if they need any assistance
  5. If subscriber click on the product link but still abandons the page/cart, try product recommendation, FOMO, or incentives tactics to drive them to make a purchase

5. You don’t send recommendations

Product recommendations work wonders in eCommerce marketing. It’s true. A study by Salesforce revealed 24% of orders and 26% of revenue can be generated through product recommendations. 

Product recommendations should be a part of back in stock strategy too, but many eCommerce stores don’t make use of it. Here’s how it can help:

Many scenarios are possible after a shoppers subscribes to a restock alert:

  • The subscriber forgets about it
  • Loses interest in buying the product
  • Buys an alternative from your site
  • Buys the product from another site
  • Is not sure about the product

These scenarios can be tackled with one tactic – product recommendations. It has multiple benefits:

  • You can show shoppers more products on your site
  • Shoppers discover new products/collections on your site
  • You can keep subscribers engaged 
  • It improves customer experience  

6. You don’t plan your back in stock strategy based on data

The biggest benefit of having an online store is that you can collect data, which can provide valuable insights to plan your marketing strategies. But if you created your back in stock strategy without proper insights, and simply based it on assumptions, you put together a recipe for disaster.

Data-driven back in stock strategy can help:

  • Make decisions based on facts and figures
  • Avoid guesswork and assumptions
  • Collect, distill and analyze data
  • Predict customer behavior trends
  • Adapt to customer expectations
  • Provide personalized shopping experience
  • Increase ROI

Here’s what you should do:

  • Get a sense of the number of subscribers
  • Assess their purchase intent
  • Manage your inventory based on the number of subscribers
  • Look at the individual customers past behavior 
  • Target subscribers based on segmentation

7. You don’t leverage remarketing and retargeting

Another aspect where you might be going wrong is – your efforts are limited. Now, if you only sent subscribers one or two notifications and reminders and gave up if they didn’t respond, you can’t blame them.

The key to marketing excellence is persistence

Here’s what you should do:

  • If subscribers don’t take the desired actions even after follow up notifications, target them through other channels
  • Retarget and remarket through other channels such as social media, web search, etc. 
  • Show advertisements to subscribers on social media channels
  • Entice subscribers by offering discounts and announcing it via social media
  • Create strategies to bring back subscribers before your competitors target them and snatch them away from you

Have you got your Shopify back in stock strategy right?

As you can see clearly, simply setting up restock alerts on your site and sending out one or two alerts is not going to guarantee success. To be honest, there’s no formula to guarantee success, as a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. 

What works is one marketing strategy – keep monitoring, measuring, adapting, and changing your restock strategy based on your customers’ expectations and how far they’ve reached in the sales funnel. 

And to set up an effective back in stock strategy, you’ll need a tool like Appikon Back in Stock.

Explore Appikon Back in Stock App for your Shopify site today!

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