Here’s a study that makes a good bit of sense. (It’s kind of reassuring, too.) eMarketer reports of an etailing group study, suggesting that over half of online shoppers are willing to be patient for out-of-stock goods, so long as you play it cool.
While about half of respondents said they checked for the out-of-stock item at another site, 56% of online shoppers also said they simply checked back later for replenished stock, or signed up to be e-mailed when the item became available.
These results definitely jibe with what we tell e-tailers in terms of setting expectations for customers. It’s important to let people know up-front, as soon as the product is shown, if it’s out-of-stock. It’s even better to engage them with the opportunity to be contacted as soon as the item’s available. Please, e-tailers, don’t use this as an opportunity to spam the would-be customer with email about other products.
You’ve got their email address now. Congratulations. Abuse the privilege and this first item will never be bought, nor will anything else–ever. If you’ve got an email address and no sale, your company is on temporary probation until you come through with the goods.
Don’t rush the sale just because online shoppers are taking their sweet time.
Besides, this email always converts well: “Great news! Your (whatnot) has arrived.”