Saving Sales For Out-Of-Stock Items

While best practice is to show stock availability on a product page and disable the add to cart button when a product is sold out, there are instances when a customer will find the items in his or her cart unavailable. For example, if someone is retrieving a saved cart, or during high volume periods where multiple people are trying to check out with the same item at once (hey, it happens).

Staples ameliorates the problem by showing product recommendations on the shopping cart page, appropriately labeled “Try these similar products:”

The product recommendations are presented in a carousel, so the customer can actually surf many products without leaving the page.

While this is brilliant, I have a couple additional suggestions:

1. Add an “email me when item is restocked” feature.
2. Make the “Continue” button more clear on where it leads (continue through checkout, go back to the category, product page or home page?)

On the same topic, check out these articles:

3 Ways Retailers Handle Out of Stock Items Palmer Web Marketing Blog

5 Ways to Handle Returned to Stock Items

Could Sold Out Products Increase Email Click Through?

Manufacturer Saves Stock-Out Sales With Partner Referrals


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One Response to “Saving Sales For Out-Of-Stock Items”

  1. Phil says:

    This is so true. I had to learn this first hand when I first opened my office furniture website We went to sell a computer desk and office chairs and the manufacturer was out of stock! Now we get weekly stock reports from our manufacturers to ensure it doesn’t happen. Great post by the way. This is something that will really help a lot of folks new to running an ecommerce business.

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