Blog: The Healthiest Way to a Healthy You
by PaisleyH

4 Tips To Help Alleviate Your Out-of-Stock Product Woes

When your customers walk into the store, they need something. They're there for a reason. Unfortunately, you may be telling them you can't deliver services or items.

Date:   5/23/2022 10:41:33 PM   ( 40 d ) ... viewed 20 times

When your customers walk into the store, they need something. They're there for a reason. Unfortunately, you may be telling them you can't deliver services or items. The product is out of stock. You want it there, but it's stuck on a ship, or the factory is behind in production (parts aren't available). There are plenty of reasons.

What do you do? How should you handle these awkward moments and prevent the customer from leaving without buying anything? Store owners have some options. It's imperative at this time that businesses admit the problem, face it and offer realistic solutions and alternatives. Try these four tips to ease clients' concerns and continue working with them.

1. Consider Your Sources

If you're struggling to keep what you need in-house, talk to your operations manager and evaluate your transportation and product lines. Do you have other options? Can you work with other vendors or find alternative delivery methods? In addition, with times getting tough, reach out to a transportation consulting firm that understands the limitations and availability. Use experts to minimize your supply chain hiccups.

2. Provide Details

Customers need information. Don't leave them in the dark, wondering when they can get what they need. So, be upfront about the situation and explain what is happening. For instance, is a factory impacted by a pandemic cold? Are there workers out sick and unable to keep up with the average pace? Shoppers need (and deserve) an explanation to understand why their oven or car isn't available just yet. Give them an estimate for the delay, telling them you think it will be back in stock by a specific date. 

Several things may happen with this approach. Customers may choose to prebuy it and wait for it to come into your facility. In this case, assure them that you'll keep them up-to-date about any future delays. If they don't want to buy yet, you could take down the information, putting them on a waitlist to get it when it does arrive.  

3. Offer Alternative Products and Solutions

Often people have an idea of what they want, but they are willing to go with something else. After all, sometimes people can't wait months for what they need. If you want the sale, win them over with something better or of equal quality, avoiding the supply chain concerns.

For instance, if an oven is broken, your shopper may not be able to wait for months to have one come into the store. They need a new one quickly to avoid eating out of the crockpot or drive-thru for months. Approach them with an upbeat attitude, explaining that you don't have specific models available but have others with similar ratings and qualities. Sell up the merchandise, showing how it satisfies and could give more. Plus, it's there and can be delivered: a huge win in today's market!

4. Move Those Signs

Use the concept of misdirection, moving eyes towards other full shelves and avoiding the missing product conversation. Promote merchandise you can get, and use visual displays to showcase them. For instance, don't leave gaping holes on the display floor or shelves. People notice. If something is going to be out for a while, remove the sign or put it in a less visible location. Relocate something else you want to be seen to those locations.

It's a hard time right now with supplies. Out of stock is a frustrating phrase to see and hear. It's even harder to be the one saying it to others. Get creative, finding new and alternative products. Keep your customers informed as best as possible and help them see the perks of other options.


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