Right now, there are almost 100 cargo ships — with inventories worth more than an estimated $24 billion — sitting outside Los Angeles and Long Beach awaiting inspection. And while the holidays are anything but ideal in terms of timing for these issues (and all of the extra stress and headaches they cause), don’t expect them to disappear anytime soon.

As inventory challenges and global shipping delays continue to impact your customer experience well into 2022, back-in-stock notifications will be key to creating continuous engagement and a more satisfying, effective path to purchase for every ecommerce buyer. After all, top-performing retail brands like Girlfriend Collective, Adidas, and GREATS are already adopting automated back-in-stock notifications and triggered messages to seamlessly move their customers from click to conversion to closing the sale.

So, why let them have all the fun — or experience all the success? Because there are three easy ways you can build more rewarding, engaging, and effective back-in-stock notifications too!

Why back-in-stock notification success is essential for your brand

For retail consumers, the recent rise of ecommerce has led to a buy now, wear now mindset. Your customers have grown accustomed to same- or next-day delivery, curbside delivery, buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS), and a variety of new, pandemic-inspired ways to shop that make it possible to convert online browsers into first-time buyers faster than ever.

Back-in-stock notifications are the perfect low-lift, high-impact marketing tactic to help you take advantage of this trend. Especially today, at a time when your products could go out-of-stock without a moment’s notice and your brand is left holding the bag for any unexpected delay.

Simply put, an effective back-in-stock notification turns a potentially negative customer experience into a positive and personalized interaction. And for you, that means new opportunities to recapture lost revenue, re-engage lost customers, and give shoppers the deals and products they ultimately want.

Confirm customer interest with back-in-stock notification opt-ins

There’s nothing more disheartening for your customers — or more dangerous for your ecommerce experience — than an out-of-stock alert. After weeks of searching for the perfect product and the best deal possible, finding out that a desired item isn’t even available is enough to cause some to write your brand off forever. Unless, of course, you offer consumers opt-in email confirmations and triggered back-in-stock messages to eliminate this possibility from ever occurring.

back-in-stock notification

That way, these highly interested buyers are the first to know when the product they’ve been looking for is back on your virtual shelves. Combined with their express permission and any other zero- and first-party you’ve collected throughout the life of their engagement, these special opt-in emails can even help you generate personalized recommendations — enabling you to promote similar products, styles, item categories, and other relevant offers from these interactions too.

Still out of stock? There’s a notification for that too!

Today, the fear of the unknown is real. And with your customers facing more uncertainty in product availability, shipping cycles, and delivery dates than ever, a little update can take your brand’s back-in-stock notification success a surprisingly long way.

Rather than give your online shoppers a transaction with no foreseeable end in sight, an automatically triggered email letting someone know that their item is still out of stock is an easy way to keep them engaged by rewarding the interest they’ve expressed in your brand.

And, with a little personalization added into the mix, to reward yourself with another chance to provide alternative products that are available for purchase right now — no wait required — and increase your chances of an extra sale.

back-in-stock notification

If you need a real-world example of these alerts in action, look to footwear retailer Adidas for inspiration on how to overcome your out-of-stock obstacles. Anytime someone tries to purchase an out-of-stock item, Adidas automatically triggers an email message to be sent 14 days later if the product hasn’t made its way back on to its online store’s shelves.

Automate your way to back-in-stock notification success

Any retailer’s success is predicated on its ability to move at the speed of the customer. And today, your buyers are moving faster than ever. High-intent shoppers have done their research and know what they want, so don’t hurt your chance to make a sale by delivering an undefined wait instead of the products they expect.

By automating your back-in-stock notifications, these touchpoints become your brand’s ideal interaction for helping anyone ready to complete their purchase — whether you have the items they want in stock or not. That way, emails can be delivered to these interested shoppers as soon as products are received — giving them the opportunity to buy before anybody else.

back-in-stock notification

A back-in-stock notification is a powerful way to bring back once-engaged shoppers and create sales recovery opportunities despite the holiday season’s inventory challenges and shipping delays. Instead of disappointing your shoppers with unavailable products and out-of-stock alerts going forward, give them the option of back-in-stock messages. Your brand — and your bottom line — won’t regret it.