Date Sent: August 13th, 2020
Nothing derails a browsing binge quite like stumbling upon something that you'd love to purchase, only to discover that it's out of stock. If you've found yourself in this less-than-instantly gratifying position and left the site to search for a similar item elsewhere, you are definitely not alone. In fact, out of stock items and pages can increase bounce rates by 15%, and even that is a conservative estimate1. Visitors that have a stronger sense of brand loyalty may continue browsing the site, but it is still important to provide them with a satisfying shopping experience.
Out of stock inventory may not be inherently avoidable, but there are methods for leveraging such situations in a way that ensures customer satisfaction and generates higher conversion rates, or at least prevents visitors from leaving the site, and possibly going to a competitor.
Leverage one of our out of stock use case inspiration ideas to ensure customer satisfaction, keep visitors on your site, and ultimately increase conversion rates.
Use Case #1: "Join the Waitlist" Overlay
When visitors find a product to purchase but the site is currently out of stock in their size or color of choice, instead of serving the customer with a generic "out of stock" message, serve them with an experience that:
- Communicates that the item is likely to be restocked soon
- Captures their email address to notify them when the item has been restocked, and to potentially send future email communications
Campaign Setup Overview
To launch a "Join the Waitlist" campaign, you will need to create a custom Click Event and an Overlay campaign. Consider using our out-of-the-box, "Basic Subscription Message" Overlay template.
- Create an Element Click Event to trigger the "Join the Waitlist" button when out of stock SKU's are selected by either asking for help from your development team or by using a Custom Code template to automatically create a custom event
- Next, create another Element Click Event for the button itself to trigger the Overlay campaign
- Then create the Overlay campaign and set the trigger as the Element Click Event
Once the campaign has been created, when visitors select out of stock options for products and click the "Join the Waitlist" button, they will be served with an Overlay that invites them to submit their email to receive a restock notification:
Use Case #2: "Similar Items You Might Love" Recommendation Overlay
Recommending similar, alternative products to visitors when they discover that a product of interest is out of stock is an excellent method for increasing conversion rates and even driving Assisted Revenue.
Campaign Setup Overview
Provide visitors with instant Recommendations that are similar to the out of stock product that they are interested in by creating an Event that "listens" for the user to click on something that is out of stock. Then, create an Overlay campaign using our out-of-the-box, "Simple Recommendation Message" template that is triggered by that Event.
- Create an Element Click Event to trigger the Overlay when an out of stock SKU is selected (this requires Custom Code)
- Next, create a Recommendation Strategy and select the Popularity Algorithm to broaden the possible items to recommend
- Then, select Filters to align the characteristics of the recommended items with the "viewed item," such as Only include items that match the product category, and/or Only include items that match the viewed item properties (such as style, gender, silhouette, etc.)
- Last, Create an Overlay campaign using the Simple Recommendation Message template and select the Recommendation Strategy that you created for this particular campaign
After you publish the campaign, users will be shown an Overlay Recommendation when they select an out of stock product option that looks similar to the following:
Use Case #3: Out of Stock Product Page Recommendation Widget
Site visitors may occasionally happen upon a product that has been discontinued. In such instances, the purpose of keeping the product detail page live is to show highly visible Recommendations to encourage continued browsing for similar products.
Campaign Setup Overview
This use case will require a Custom Code campaign and a custom External component trigger to serve the Recommendation widget when a user navigates to an out of stock product page. When designing the look and feel of the campaign, consider the following best practices:
- Place the Recommendation widget at the very top of the product page, or at least above the details of the out of stock item so that the widget is the first thing that the user sees once the page loads
- Use a title for the widget that clearly states the product is out of stock and mention within the title or in a sub-header that the recommended items within the widget are similar to the product
1"Why Redirect?: The Value of a Redirect," Uproar, May 2020
Sr. Customer Education Manager
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