Better let your customers know if your stock is running low than upset them when they find the item they want gone.
Nothing can be more frustrating, especially if they got their eye on a particular thing and have been planning to buy it.
Notifying your customers of low stock items will help them plan their purchase. If they’re dying to get their hands on something which is likely to disappear in 10 minutes, at least they can buy it then and there or request you to reserve it for them.
Courier services company, Whistl, conducted a study on the effects of stock-related issues on consumers, and found that 51% of UK online shoppers who don’t find the item they want on a retailer’s site will go straight to its competitor.
The report reveals that 90% of online consumers have had an unpleasant shopping experience as a result of items being either low on or out of stock.
18% of UK consumers say they wouldn’t make a repeat purchase on a retailer’s site after experiencing an out-of-stock issue with them, while 17% would rather buy elsewhere if the product they want isn’t available within a 24-hour period.
It’s pretty understandable that a customer faced with stock issues would look for an alternative, but Whistl’s survey reveals that shoppers from Newcastle are the most likely to switch retailers.
Also quick to turn to an online seller’s competitor are folks from the following areas:
- Belfast (57%)
- Southampton and Bristol (56%)
- London and Glasgow (both 54%)
On the other hand, it’s likely that those in Cardiff will stay loyal to a retailer and wait for them to replenish their stock.
Low stock levels trigger sense of urgency
When you have only a few items in stock, turn the situation into your favour by writing short notifications on your product page.
Whistl reports ‘Low Stock’ gave Brits the most sense of urgency to buy within the day (78%), followed by ‘X people are looking at this now’ (45%), ‘X users have looked at this today’ (40%), and ‘X users have bought this today’ (23%).
So if you’re worried that your stocks are running low, don’t be. Post a low stock alert on your site and let your customers decide which action to take while you restock your inventory.
According to 42% of UK shoppers, trendy fashion items always have stock problems, followed by food and drink (16%), technology (15%) and entertainment (8%).
Stock levels influence a customer’s purchase decision a great deal just as products, payment options, and shipping methods do.
Melanie Darvall, director of marketing and communications at Whistl, puts it this way:
“It was interesting to see how stock levels can affect consumer behaviour. We knew that there would be some influence, but we certainly weren’t expecting it to have such a large impact as our findings have shown. It was particularly insightful to see how people react when they see a notification of low stock on something they want (or think they want). The fear that it may be snapped up by someone else if they don’t act quickly typically makes them purchase immediately in order to avoid disappointment.”
Was there ever a time when your low inventory levels spurred online shoppers to make impulse purchases?