A circulation of products in a store is a natural way of reinvention of Magento stock. New products appear, while unpopular items disappear, everything seems quite simple. But there are products that might be out of stock not because of the low demand but for some other reasons, so one day they will be re-stocked and sold again. And the question of how to display them arises.
Here some suggestions on out-of-stock products in Magento (they can also be applied to other eCommerce platforms).
- Leave it as it is
Yes, not doing anything really solves many problems (and doesn’t cause new ones) but that is not the case. Most customers get annoyed when they don’t find something in the place where they used to find it. They are most likely to leave your store for another one that can give them what they need. It’s even worse if this customer will never come back to you again – here’s your love story ends.
- Remove a product page and show a 404 page instead
Some online stores choose that solution, but it’s not ideal in my opinion. Firstly, giving your customers a 404 page (especially, if it’s not customized) shows your indifference. And what will you do once the product gets in stock again? You can “turn on” the page again but take into account that your previous SEO efforts will be lost.
But if you still prefer that method of temporal page removal, keep track of all 404 errors.Try using some errors detecting extensions or/and customize your 404 page. A good 404 page may turn a frustrated customer into a loyal one.
- Redirect customers to a relevant page instead
If you don’t have a product A, you can show customers a product B if it can replace A. This works great as a customer will find what he needs and you won’t lose his loyalty.
You can use a 301 redirect if your product A won’t be re-stocked, or a 302 redirect if you decide to re-stock it later.
This solution is good but still it doesn’t give you any information on customers demand. Moreover, it works mostly for simple products. But what if only one type of a configurable product isn’t available right now?
- Enable products pre order
If you know that products that are currently out-of-stock will soon be re-stocked, you can let customers to pre order them. If shoppers are given an opportunity to pre order products they need, they are more likely to stay with you. What is more, you will get valuable info on products demand and can use this info in the future.
When it comes to Magento, you should know that this platform doesn’t provide pre-orders by default, you’ll need a special extension to get it. With such an extension you can replace an “Add to Cart” message with “Pre order” and let customers subscribe for stock updates. So once the product they are interested in becomes available, they receive a notification, come to your store and buy it.
You’ve read about 4 different solutions for out-of-stocked products in Magento.Now it’s your turn to choose the most suitable for you and your customers.