Customers are the greatest assets for any business. Thus, a customer-friendly mechanism has to be devised while dealing with the clients. Businesses strive to maintain a good rapport with the customers to ensure that they grow a sense of trust and positive brand image. No company tries to spoil the relationship with the clients. However, if you are the owner of an ecommerce company, you must have experienced the situation when you have hundreds of orders lined up at the portal, and you have run out of stock. This is quite alarming and you need to deal with the situation strategically.
Well, stock-outs are frustrating, both to the customers and the e-businesses. In fact, most of the ecommerce companies do not inform the customers about the shortage of products till the last moment. This is really detrimental to the interest of the e-store, hampering their repute and leaving a negative impression in the minds of the customers.
Statistics reveal that nearly 63% of the people who shop online have faced these situations, while e-stores from all around the world make an annual loss of over $634 billion due to supply shortages. The best thing an ecommerce business can do is to keep a track of its stock and inform the customers well-before the delivery date about the stock-out. It will considerably reduce the hassles of the customers, as they will have enough time to switch to another supplier. Although there will be a certain amount of delay, it is far better than surrendering at the eleventh hour.
In fact, it is a positive move on the part of the web store if it keeps the customers updated with the availability of goods. The customer support system needs to be refined, and the companies need to develop a greater sense of responsibility towards the customers. It is really unprofessional to keep the customers waiting for a particular product till the last moment and then failing to deliver it. Around 53% of the online shoppers in the USA have shifted to other stores due to poor delivery services of irresponsible companies.
Well, it is true that stock outs are unavoidable, and to some extent, indicates the demand for the products. However, the interests of the customers have to be taken into account while prospering with the business. Perhaps, the public relations department of the companies should take over the responsibility of keeping the customers updated. Transparency in dealing with the customers and constant communication with the customer base can reduce the issue to a certain degree. The problem is, the online shops accept the orders without taking a note of their stock. A better mechanism in monitoring these aspects will ensure that the customers will not face the hassle.
In this context, it is relevant that around 50% of the online shoppers fear that the ecommerce websites will misuse their personal and contact details, especially when they fail to deliver the products on time. However, if the companies are honest enough to inform the customers about the depleting stocks, they can preserve their repute. It is true that the company personnel can observe the fast depleting stocks due to high consumer demand, and in these situations, it is their responsibility to inform the customers that the stocks are about to end. This is a positive policy to do away with the annoyance of customers.
Ecommerce giants like ASOS, Death Wish Coffee and Zappos have adopted user-friendly policies of displaying their stocks online, thereby striking out the unavailable ones at the very outset.
There is another suggested option to deal with these situations. When the stock of the e-store diminishes, the product can be marked in a certain colour, for example, red, in order to indicate that the stocks are low. This can be very helpful as well.
Having a separate ecommerce outsourcing team for online store order & inventory management can be greatly helpful in keeping the stock updated in a clear manner.
In a nutshell, being honest with the stock does not rob an online business of its name, but the failure to deliver the goods in time does. It is for the own benefit of the store that they should manage the stocks well, keeping the customers updated with the availability of goods when the stocks are low. It reflects the sense of responsibility of the business when it tackles the situation with professionalism and sincerity. The customers can either be informed via email, or phone, or any sort of notification through the website. This will help the firm to grow with trust and loyalty, upgrading its brand image in the process.
Competition is increasing day by day. Being careful in all aspects of ensuring customer satisfaction only keeps you safe. Encountering stock-outs is not a sin but mismanagement can be lethal.
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