Save Sales Lost to Inventory Deficiencies

Back in stock notifications can play a pivotal role for e-commerce retailers hoping to recapture sales lost due to stock deficiencies, but just how effective are they?

Marketing Sherpa profiled BirkenstockCentral.com and revealed the amazing returns they experienced as a result of implementing back in stock notifications. The PSNE Group owns the online only retailer BirkenstockCentral.com.

They do not utilize dropshippers and instead choose to warehouse all of their products. While this can simplify the order fulfillment process, it also means that with all of the different options available, they can run out of stock from time to time.

Birkenstock Central wanted to keep shoppers trying to purchase out of stock products  from buying elsewhere and they decided to pair a real-time inventory system with an automated out-of-stock email notification system.

Utilizing real-time inventory, out of stock products would have the text “Temporarily out of stock” in bold red text and in red highlighted text, “Notify me when this size is in stock”.  Shoppers are able to either enter purchase information right then or enter their email address to receive a back in stock notification. Each evening, Birkenstock Central’s system scans the inventory to check for back in stock items and automatically sends notification emails to customer. The email contains a link to the shopping cart with the item automatically loaded into the checkout page.

To avoid a run on the same product twice, they never send out more notifications than the number of products they receive and the emails are sent out in the order the requests were received. Even though this approach greatly reduces the chance a customer returns to purchase the previously out of stock item and it is already sold out, it does happen. In those rare instances, they simply apologize to the customer ask if they would like to be place back on the notification list.

Within a 30 day period this approach resulted in a 36.5% open rate, 35% read rate (open for at least 5 seconds), a 26% click through rate and a 25% conversion rate. Overall, the program delivers a 22.45% conversion rate.

Back in stock notifications are just one of the many features of the Centrifuge Inventory Management system, to learn how to take control of your inventory and recapture lost sales, click here.

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