If you’re like many ecommerce websites who keep out-of-stock products listed on their site and use this as an opportunity to send email notification when the item is back in stock; you’re doing a good thing. Intimating customers for the products they’ve showed interest in, but couldn’t quite get their hands on when they are back in stock. An email message like this is contextual, relevant and a proven way to increase your conversion rates. Also, it’s a good tactic to increase their loyalty towards your brand.

Though this is a good way to use your back in stock email alert, but one huge mistake that a lot of companies are still doing – they don’t realise that a simple back-in-stock notification won’t do any good to keep those customers from moving away to your competitors. And, by the time, the items will be back in stock, your customers might have forgotten all about it.

So, before the interested shoppers go out of the woods, try to retain them like these data-driven marketers at Forever 21, Charles & Keith, Gilt and MatchesFashion are doing. With a few simple tweaks you can take your back in stock email program to the next level.

Unlock the Power of Waitlist Notification

When a shopper adds a product to the wait list, you can send an email to confirm that they’ve been added to your wait list. Now, why should you send these emails?

There are three important reasons: firstly, wait list notification emails acknowledge that the item has been successfully added in the wait list. Secondly, it offers you a touch point to connect with your shopper.  Thirdly, this gives you an opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell related products and that shouldn’t be missed.

Forever21, an American fashion retailer, sends confirmation emails whenever someone adds a product in their wait list.

Given below is the confirmation email (added to wait list) that I got from them. It’s simple and to the point which is a good way to get the job done.

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They’ve not only confirmed that I have been added to their wait list but have included few suggestions to lure me back to the site and make a purchase. Well done!

Here is one more example:

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This incredibly subtle wait list notification is from Charles & Keith.  They’ve included all the specifics in this email except the product image.  Also, they’ve included the links to their main social profiles and a link to their site at the bottom of the email, to encourage subscribers to stay connected and pull them back to the site.

Reignite Interest with Product Recommendations

You recommend related products in your cart abandonment email and browse abandonment email, why not do the same things in your waitlist emails? In fact, in waitlist emails, it makes more sense instead of just asking people to wait for the product and losing them to your competitors. You can send them related product suggestions based on the items they’ve added in wait list. Here is an example from Gilt:

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This is the first email in a series of four emails that Gilt sends to its customers once they’ve added a product in their waitlist, to encourage them to return to the site and make a purchase from the similar items. A key takeaway of this email is that they’ve made it very easy for the recipient to understand the purpose of the email. Also, they’ve made it very relevant, and easy to act on.

If sending related product suggestions in your email marketing messages then this is a seriously low-hanging fruit; just make sure to add these in your waitlist email strategy.

Sending back in stock emails when the inventory is restocked might sound like a no-brainer, but it isn’t. Even the brands that send back-in-stock emails, doesn’t optimise them properly to make it more relevant. Here is an example to show you which elements you should consider including in the email to make it relevant:

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I received this email from Charles & Keith with the subject line “Your item is back” making it clear what the email is about. Though it would’ve been better if they would’ve included the name of the item in it. Other then that, they’ve included all the details of the product except the image making it ineffective to jog my memory.

A back in stock email that doesn’t include details of the item and the image is worthless. Just adding details of the product will not trigger the same emotion as an email with a compelling visual can.

Here’s an example from an online store that did this right

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I received this email from Matchesfashion. They’re not just telling me that the item I liked earlier is back in stock, but are also showing me all the relevant details to quickly remind me the exact product. They’ve also included clear and focused CTAs to encourage me to take an action.

Out of stock is inevitable in ecommerce with stock levels changing in real time. But, that doesn’t mean you should leave these shoppers for your competitors and back out because you don’t have the product at that particular moment. Target these shoppers by smartly implementing back in stock email series to keep their interest alive. Shopping is an emotional decision; better target these shoppers through related product suggestions before they move on to your competitors.

Your customers already have a plethora of options to quickly shift their loyalties; so don’t let demand & supply ruin your sales. No one likes to be on a waiting list unless it’s an Apple product. So play them well and show your customers that you care about them.

[This is a guest post from Reshu Rathi, Sr. Marketing Manager at Betaout. Betaout is a customer segmentation and marketing automation platform for Ecommerce]

Note from Inc42: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.