You’ve got a popular product and it’s selling like hot cakes: awesome. However, it soon completely sells out and you’ve got some irritated customers: not so awesome. Unhappy customers means fewer sales so it’s important to keep them happy whenever you can.
What can you do when your product sells out and how can you take advantage of the situation to drive brand loyalty and growth? That’s what we’re here to tell you:
1. Understand the value of your brand over the competition
Nothing will make you realize the advantage you have over your competition more than when your product runs out of stock. Some customers may choose to shop elsewhere immediately, as brand loyalty matters less in an online world, where everything is within reach. Factors like pricing and product selection remain high-ranking reasons for why a customer would switch brands.
However, this means that if you are better than the competition in these areas, then consumers will stay loyal when you sell out—provided you support a model where you can still guarantee to meet their order. If you lag in these areas and you sell out, then re-launching your product at a more competitive price, or expanding your product selection when back in stock can be huge for gaining loyalty. Marketing around the points you excel at when you sell out, is crucial to continue making sales when you stock up.
2. Move to a pre-order model
As well as keeping a crucial cash flow into your business, a pre-order model ensures you are making a proactive move to keep customers. Customers want to stay loyal to brands that they have chosen to do business with, so providing an avenue to keep their custom is key.
Moving to a model that accepts pre-orders allows you not only to keep a customer while you restock, but also gives you the opportunity to market to a loyal customer base, and build product hype and anticipation. With a regular cash flow, you can therefore keep up marketing activities and not fall off when your stock is sold out. Consequently, if you decide to accept pre-orders, you will need to add some new tactics to your marketing activity.
3. Maintain marketing and brand activities
The key is to maintain your marketing activities when you do sell out, while also not ignoring that certain products are sold out in your messaging. Building an email automation system where you are consistently updating your pre-order base is very effective. A steady stream of communication from your business, while your customers wait for their product, keeps them connected, informed, and loyal. If you stay silent, the customer will lose confidence that you will actually fulfill the order on time and they may even cancel the pre-order.
Other tactics like creating countdown images or GIFs on social media will also help to build hype and anticipation for your product. The key is not to ignore that you have sold out. If you have, let your customers know you have, and explain why they should stay loyal to your brand.
4. Listen to your customers and expand your product offering
When you open up pre-orders, this can be a great time to listen to what your customers have to say. When a product sell-out happens, this is when your customers will interact with you the most, so use this opportunity to gather information and data.
Ask your customers about your products and if there are other products available on your online store that would satisfy the same need. Try to understand from your customers why the particular item in question is the one that is the most sought-after. Is there a way you can reposition your other products so they meet the desires satisfied by your sold out stock?
When your product sells out, you can also use this opportunity to expand your offering when you do restock. So it’s not just a comeback, you’re coming back bigger and better.
5. Be patient and focus on your customers
Remember to stay patient while you wait for your item to restock and keep up existing activities. Today’s customers expect consistency from brands, so ensuring all marketing and sales activities stay active while you are out of stock is key to making sales when you’re in stock.
Don’t panic and be transparent with those that matter, your customers. The above tactics will ensure you maximize your opportunity for profit when your product does sell-out.