Continue Selling When Out of Stock on Shopify: A Comprehensive Step-to-Step Guide to Maintain Your Shopify Sales During Out-of-Stock Situations in 2024

Shopify is one of the largest online marketplaces in the world. Since its inception in 2006, the company’s seller base has grown to encompass the aspirations of more than 1.7 million retailers across the world. With the shopping tendencies of customers shifting towards eCommerce on a rapid scale, sellers are constantly under pressure to maintain the right amounts of inventory so that they can fulfill orders swiftly and efficiently. However, there are certain circumstances that cause stockout situations for particular products.

If you do not plan accordingly, it can result in lost sales and profits, which can have dire consequences for any business. While the focus should be on ensuring you always have the right quantity of your best-selling SKUs in stock, there are also ways to ensure that you can continue to accept orders and fulfill them at a later date, mitigating the dissatisfaction caused by products being out of stock. In this blog, we will take a look at the circumstances under which you should continue selling when out of stock on Shopify, the advantages of doing so, steps to continue selling your items, and 5 tips to follow.

The Circumstances Under Which You Should Continue Selling When Out of Stock on Shopify

While selling products on Shopify, an item is deemed as being out of stock when the inventory level for it is at zero or lower. By default, Shopify won’t permit buyers to purchase a product when you run out of the required number of units needed to fulfill current and future orders until you replenish the inventory levels and add the necessary quantity of new stock.

Once that is done and the default setting is modified, customers will then be able to purchase out-of-stock products from that item’s inventory section. You might want to let customers purchase products that aren’t currently in stock for a number of reasons. The main ones are listed below:

  • You want to enable pre-orders for a newly launched item
  • You want to keep selling while you wait for your upcoming stock to arrive
  • You intend to initially sell items, followed by ordering the necessary supplies
  • You aren’t keeping track of the actual level of inventory for various products
  • You do not want to lose out on potential sales
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How Do You Benefit From Selling Products When Out of Stock on Shopify?

Prevents Customer Dissatisfaction

If you continue selling when out of stock on Shopify, you can halt upsetting your clients. You can keep your consumers informed about all the products you sell, making it simpler for them to make purchases even when a product is out of stock. They will appreciate the transparency and the ability to buy a product or add them to a wish list even if they cannot get it right away.

You also won’t lose out on Shopify sales opportunities by employing Back In Stock alerts as opposed to simply out-of-stock products. This is because clicking the “notify me” button indicates that you’ll soon refill your consumers’ preferred goods. So they only need to submit their email to receive a notification when the item again becomes available for purchase.

Enables Accurate Inventory Planning

You can make smarter inventory planning decisions by looking at the waiting list for a product that’s out of stock and selling products when out of stock on Shopify. When a product has a long waitlist, you will be aware of the number of units you need to order and can make the necessary arrangements.

You can also make smaller orders in the interim if there is a short queue for another item. Additionally, you might want to think about reducing the price or discontinuing the sale of a product if no one is waiting for it, which will also help you discern how successful it is.

Maintains Your Sales Figures

According to research, when customers are confronted by out-of-stock product pages, retailers risk losing close to half of the intended orders. For a typical seller, those abandoned transactions result in sales losses of roughly 4%. According to Harvard Business Review, 7% to 25% of customers who encounter a stock-out will keep browsing but won’t purchase a replacement for their desired item at your business.

Additionally, 21% to 43% will actually go to another store to purchase their desired item. Therefore, if you give customers the option of purchasing an item even if they have to wait more time for it, there are more chances that they will choose it as opposed to browsing for it elsewhere.

Suggested Read: How to Handle out-of-stock items?

Steps to Sell Products on Shopify if They are Out of Stock

New Product Listings

continue selling when out of stock on shopify_New Product Listings

You can enable the option to make your products visible while they are out of stock when you first list your products. The first step is usually already selected by default. Follow the below procedures to continue selling when out of stock on Shopify while listing new products:

  • Step 1: While creating a new product listing, click the “Track Inventory” checkbox in the “Inventory” section
  • Step 2: Below the checkbox, there will be an additional “Continue Selling When Out of Stock” option that you need to enable

Existing Product Listings

You can edit current product listings in bulk, which enables you to make a change on a single listing and apply it to all of your other existing products. Follow the below procedures to continue selling when out of stock on Shopify for existing product listings:

  • Step 1: Scroll to the “Products” tab and select “All Products”
  • Step 2: Select all of the products you have currently listed
  • Step 3: Click on the “Edit Products” option
  • Step 4: After the spreadsheet shows on your screen, select “Add Fields” and then choose “Continue Selling When Out of Stock”
  • Step 5: Select the tick boxes at the side of all the products you want to continue selling once they are out of stock

Suggested Read: 15 Most Common Mistakes To Avoid When Using Shopify for Your Retail Business in 2023

5 Simple Ways of Selling Products When Out of Stock on Shopify in 2023

Suggest Alternative Products

You should think about including a section in the product descriptions for related items that are available on your site to continue selling when out of stock on Shopify. It is imperative to give your clients some recommendations for substitute products so they might find other options equally appealing and eventually buy a few of them.

This is a strategic tactic, especially if the out-of-stock products generate a lot of traffic from other sources. Many Shopify themes allow you to place the related products tab directly under the product information. You can experiment with the messaging as well. For instance,  you write something along the lines of “Take a look at similar products that we offer while this item comes back in stock” rather than just “Related Products.”

Place Out of Stock Items Last on Product Lists

Your clients won’t be able to buy a product if it’s sold out. Therefore, there is no purpose in displaying a product that is not currently available for purchase. Therefore, the out-of-stock goods need to be placed last on various product and category lists to prevent them from being easily visible and accessible to customers, who may end up trying to purchase them, only to run into a variety of hurdles.

Sadly, there is no way to accomplish this directly through your Shopify admin panel. But in the same way that some Shopify applications let you include a “Notify Me” option to your listing pages, there are other apps that let you move the items that aren’t presently available and conceal them at the bottom of your page.

Refrain From Hiding Out of Stock Items

On their websites, some retailers prefer to hide or remove out of stock products from the view of customers. When you do this, you end up directing your clients to nonexistent pages and 404 errors, which is a recipe for disaster and can make them lose faith in your brand.

If you have connected that item to an ongoing social media marketing effort, it can get even worse because leads will flock to your site, only to be disappointed. If you want to continue selling products when out of stock on Shopify, simply give people the option of buying them at a later date. This will ensure you continue to get sales and will also ensure that customers don’t get a long-lasting negative impression of your business.

Inform Customers When Products are Sold Out

It is important to inform your customers that certain items are currently out of stock after placing them in a strategically out-of-sight way. So, on the collection page of your shopify website, you must place a “Sold-Out” banner upfront on the relevant listing pages so that customers will be instantly informed. However, only do this for the items you have no intention of selling or restocking in a hurry.

Your clients will be able to tell which items are available and which are not, thanks to this, which will prompt them to continue browsing other products that are available. Shopify uses a unique HTML class, so out of stock goods can be targeted using a custom CSS. Because of this, you will need to work with code and perhaps enlist the aid of a programmer.

Provide an Option for Customers to Get Notified

You must provide your clients with a suitable solution to continue selling when out of stock on Shopify. By including a “Notify Me” in an accessible location on the listing pages of every out of stock item, you can allow customers to indicate their interest in purchasing that item.

Customers can enter their email address or phone number when they click the button, allowing you to add them to the waiting list and send them an alert when the product is back in stock. Remember that if a product has multiple variants, each inventory variant must be edited independently. To add a “Notify me” button to your store, simply browse the back-in-stock alert applications in the Shopify app, shopify plus store and choose an appropriate option.

Conclusion: Fulfill Your Shopify Orders With WareIQ

Out of stock situations are a sad reality for every retailer. However, instead of panicking and causing even more damage, you can prepare for it and use the aforementioned tactics to continue to achieve your sales targets and ensure your customers have a positive experience. Shopify as a platform is highly customisable and has no dearth of productivity-enhancing apps that can redirect the attention of your customers whenever you want to.

This can help you recommend alternative products, add them to a wishlist and get their contact information to promote upcoming products in the future. If you need assistance with fulfilling orders on Shopify and any other eCommerce selling platforms, consider partnering with WareIQ. WareIQ is an eCommerce fulfillment company that provides a wide range of services and can fulfill orders on most major online marketplaces, including Shopify. Some of our main features include:

Platform Integrations

Shopify and more than 20 other eCommerce channels can be seamlessly integrated with WareIQ so you can view all of your crucial data from a single dashboard.

Super-Speedy Delivery

With the help of WareIQ, you can deliver purchases to consumers on the same or the following day, improving their experience with your business.

Returns Management

Returns are an unavoidable aspect of online shopping. Their detrimental effects on your company don’t have to be, though. We fully manage your returns process and provide a number of precautions to shelter your business.

Selection of Shipping Companies

With more than 12 of the largest shipping companies in the nation as partners, WareIQ has a smart allocator that chooses the quickest and least expensive shipping method for each order.

Comprehensive Storage Network in India

We have a network of dark stores and fulfillment centers that spans the entirety of India. Additionally, you can manage your orders on all of them using our unique WMS.

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Suggested Read: How to Fulfill Shopify Orders with WareIQ in 8 Easy Steps

Continue Selling When Out of Stock on Shopify: FAQs

Pavel D’silva

Pavel D’silva

Pavel is a content marketing analyst at WareIQ. He has more than 3 years of content marketing experience. His key responsibilities include writing SEO-based blogs, guides, guest posts, and other types of content on a plethora of topics related to eCommerce fulfillment, operations, supply chain, warehousing, shipping etc.

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