Actionable Optimisation

Actionable Optimisation #37 – Back-In-Stock Notifications

 January 21, 2021

By  Will

Use Back-In-Stock Notifications to Stop Customers Going to Competitors

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We’ve all been there. 

We’ve all been advertised a product, or been searching for something, finally found the right one for us and yet on arrival on the merchants site, you find that it's out of stock.

It's frustrating as a customer because you feel let down. You were promised something by the advert or search link, but left wondering what to do.

Do you take the time to contact customer service and ask when it’ll be back in stock?

Do you head to a competitor site and browse there instead?

Do you admit defeat in your search and do something else instead?

None of these are particularly good for your business. Even if someone gets in touch with customer support and gets told the product is back in 2 weeks, they still leave with nothing and you’re just hoping they come back.

This is where Back-In-Stock notifications come in.

Instead of the customer abandoning the site, they have the opportunity to leave an email, phone number, or even connect via Facebook Messenger to be informed when the product is back in stock.

This allows them to leave the site, knowing that while delayed, the product will be in their hands in the future.

And the business collects that valuable data, knowing it’s got an opportunity to bring a bunch of people back to the site, possibly for their first purchase.

With these notifications (via email) achieving conversion rates of 20-25% they’re an incredible way to bring back customers new and old in a contextual and automated way.

Another little benefit to these is for testing out new products. You can list a new product on your website without any stock, drive some traffic to it and see what interest you get. 

If you build a small list of people waiting for stock, then you know it’s a good idea to order in.

As a final point, you can probably get away with these without a marketing opt-in as you have the implied consent, however, when the customer enters their email try validating it against your existing list and offering a small discount to those who need to provide marketing consent.


Will is a Customer Journey Marketing consultant, specialising in CRO, CRM and Customer Experience. Will has over 7 years experience working across a range of consumer facing businesses and has worked for huge brands such as MyVoucherCodes, Europcar, JackpotJoy, Virgin Games and Virgin Bet.


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