How to Convert Customers That Land on a Sold Out Product Page

Getting traffic to your ecommerce store isn’t easy. It takes time, effort and focus to keep driving potential customers to your site. So, what happens when you’ve put in all the hard work, only for your customer to arrive on an item that’s sold out?

Firstly – don’t panic! There are many reasons why you might not have a particular product in stock, from logistical issues to seasonal pressures or deepening your knowledge of your businesses supply and demand.

No matter how well you plan, at some stage you will find that a product you normally offer isn’t in stock when your customer wants it, and you need ways to make sure you can still convert those customers and keep their interest in your services.

Sold out Doesn’t Have to Mean Losing the Customer

Customers are going to feel disappointed when they land on a product and it is sold out. However with the right message you can still nurture those customers and get them to buy.

It can take as little as 6 seconds for a customer to form an impression of your service, so you want to ensure it’s a good one, even if they land on a sold out product page. You can achieve this by creating a sold out page that’s still attractive. This means letting the customer know the item isn’t in and offering them something to mitigate the disappointment / irritation they might be feeling to find their product they wanted is unavailable.

There are a few steps you can take to keep your customer interested when they land on a ‘sold out’ section of your online shop:

  1. Be Upfront

It’s irritating to land on a product page and see the item you want isn’t there. It’s far more irritating if the online store isn’t honest about the situation. Be upfront and make it clear the item is out of stock, offering an apology if needed. If you have positive information to share about when the item is going to be back in then make sure to make that available.

  1. Provide a Customer Friendly way to Pre-order

If you know that you will be getting stock in quickly for your sold out item then it can be worth offering your customers the chance to pre-order the item. This option typically works better when you can give customers a time-frame for when the item will be available.

For products that have a longer lead time (weeks not days) a good alternative to letting them pre-order is to offer to email the customer the moment the item is back in stock. You can also offer them a monthly newsletter and ask them to enter their email address to receive a notification.

This can be helpful for email list building so you can continue to nurture the client.

3. Suggest alternative products

Some customers could still be tempted to buy if you offer them a great alternative to the sold out product. This is where you knowledge of your products really comes into its own, as well as your ability to present different products in a great light. Match products that have similar benefits and features and are in the same price brackets, and offer an alternative.

Clear and bright product visuals with interesting and informative descriptions can work wonders here by enticing your customer to investigate something a little different. In some cases they might decide to buy an alternative product.

  1. Make an Offer

If you want to keep your customer’s interest and make sure you convert them, then one option can be to offer a discount code or coupon that offers them money off the product when it comes back into stock, or allows them to apply a discount to another purchase made on your site.

This can help to create loyalty and build trust, and help your customer to feel as though they are being cared for and valued. You could offer to email a money-off voucher to a customer, to be used on the item when it comes back into stock.  This could also be an advantage to you as you add them to your email list.

Five Steps to Getting More Traffic to Your Online Store – For Free

Online shopping has never been more popular. In the UK a massive 82% of people are internet users, and at least 77% made online purchases during 2017. Ecommerce sales accounted for £533 Billion during 2015 and it’s estimated that at least 70% of UK customers owns a smartphone.

With these figures, which are only likely to rise during 2018 and beyond, you have a huge range of potential customers out there.

Unfortunately, the explosion in internet use over the last couple of decades has meant that the online world has become incredibly busy. While on the one hand you have many more potential customers out there waiting to be reached, it’s also true that you have to compete for the attention of those potential customers; who are becoming more discerning than ever.

That’s why it’s no longer enough to create an online store; you have to actively entice high quality traffic. While some people believe this means you have to spend a huge amount of money on pricey advertising campaigns, the great news is that the internet is a great leveller when it comes to online marketing. There are many opportunities to build your online presence, even on a start-up budget.

These ways require patience and time, but if you’re willing to put in the energy to using them, it will pay off as your online store gets the right customers visiting.

Below I’ll share Five Key Steps you can take to entice more traffic to your ecommerce store.

Step #1: Use SEO Techniques to Improve Visibility

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the way that you get traffic to your site via ‘organic’ search results that potential customers type into search engines like Google or Bing. Although you can pay to have results shown in searches, SEO is the way that you bring visitors to your site for free. Search engines have to be able to find your website otherwise few people will know it’s there. The goal is to have your product appear in the red box.

Getting your site ranking on search engines so that your results appear high up on the page (ideally first), rather than getting lost in hundreds of result pages will take time and effort from you. But because search engines are the primary way that people find information online – whether that’s looking for advice, information or searching for specific products, it’s vital to getting more traffic.

Having product descriptions that are accurate and easy to understand is key to SEO, but it’s not the only way to build your ranking. Writing great content that’s informative and relates to your product/service will help to keep your website fresh and help build authority in your niche for users who find your site.

While SEO can be a complex topic, so start with free resources like Google AdWords and other keyword planners to help you research what terms people enter into search engines that relate to your service, and how to write content and product descriptions that match these searches.

Step #2: Embrace Social Media

You might not be a Facebook or Twitter fan –but research shows that a massive proportion of internet users are! In 2017 2.64 billion people worldwide were using social media. A huge number of businesses use social media as one of their main forms of promotion, especially in their early days, which means you need to get on board.

When using social media to generate traffic to your online store, remember these key steps to making social media work for you:

  • Be active – once you have your social media platform set up, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest or Instagram you need to be posting regularly.

 

  • It’s not just about you – Yes, your social media should reflect your product or service, but your social media activities should be about more than simply promoting them. Building a social media presence that people want to engage with means interacting with other brands and users and offering interesting and engaging material to help people get to know you and what you’re offering.  Make sure you communicate regularly with your customers and answer any queries they have. Share and like other people’s posts.

 

  • Call to action – When you do post about your product make sure you invite people to engage more deeply by linking to your online store. This will encourage your customers to visit and see what you have to offer.

Step #3: Build Authority in Your Niche

By building authority in your niche via offering relevant and useful advice and information, you can help build trust in your products and services – which encourages people to keep visiting your site and ultimately buy from you.

Adding a blog to your online store can help drive up traffic by helping your SEO and positioning you as an expert in your field. Although many sites use their blog simply as a way to keep customers up to date with news and events, offering free advice and information will make your efforts far more effective. Many ecommerce platforms like Shopify and Woocommerce offer easy ways to add a blog to your site. Share great content you create to your social media, and build brand awareness.

Step #4: Engage Influencers by Offering Freebies

Influencer marketing is where you get your product or service seen by people who are influential – especially on social media.  With today’s blogging world and huge social media audience, many people have built massive platforms with large amounts of followers. Vloggers, youtubers and instagramers can even sometimes make (very lucrative) careers from using social media in their niche. For example the popular game Minecraft has inspired several gaming ‘vloggers’ to make profitable youtube and other channels about the game.

One of the best known UK Youtubers in this niche is Dan Middleton, aka ‘Dan TDM’ who made a whopping £12.3 Million in 2017! His Youtube channel has over 18.3 Million subscribers. With this sort of reach, it’s no wonder many companies reach out to these online influencers to help them promote their service.

You can engage with influencers on social media by telling them about your product or offering a freebie to encourage them to use and review what you have to offer. Choose who you approach carefully – make sure they are relevant to your niche and likely to enjoy what you have to offer.

Ask for a review in exchange for this free gift. If an influencer with a large following enjoys your product and posts about it on their channel it could explode your traffic.

Step #5: Run an Online Competition

Running an online competition is a great way to get traffic to your site and increase your social media following. Facebook is the largest social media platform and a great place to use when you want to run a competition.

While you can run straightforward competitions, you can also get creative with your product promotion. For example, offer customers a chance to win if they take a picture of themselves using your product and tag you in it with a specific hashtag. This can allow some great interaction with your followers – and increase product visibility.

 

Offer a time-limited giveaway of a new product or service if customers like or share your post. This helps to get your product out to more people.

Want to Give Excellent Customer Service? Use Tracked Fulfilment

In today’s competitive Ecommerce world, small businesses in particular can sometimes feel tempted to cut corners when it comes to fulfilment. One of the key ways many company leaders try to do this is on delivery, and especially choosing carriers who offer services that aren’t trackable.

This is a mistake though and here’s why:

Customers who order online expect to be able to have a fully online service and get frustrated when they don’t receive it. After all, if you’ve browsed for the product you want via a website, chosen it online and then paid for it online – why should you then have to sit around wondering when your item will arrive?

While a few customers might be happy to accept second-guessing when their delivery will arrive, the vast majority are unhappy with that solution. This unhappiness will be compounded if the customer has actually forked out more money for faster delivery by choosing services such as Next Day.

If you’ve ever taken a morning off work to wait for a parcel that doesn’t arrive or been given an estimated delivery time, only for the parcel to be missing in action, you’ll appreciate how important it is for the internet-savvy customers of today to be able to track their package online.

Online Tracking is key to Excellent Customer Service

Offering delivery options to your customers that allow them to track their package online is a core way to offer excellent customer service – and the great news is it doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Many couriers now offer tracked options as standard, whether the customer has paid to have the item delivered more quickly or not. These tracking systems can provide a range of details from delivery day, all the way through to detailed information about what stage the package is in the fulfilment process.

Customers can check if their parcel has left the depot, is in transit, and for some couriers are even sent a text message giving them a delivery slot. This can be invaluable to help give you the edge over competitors – after all, it’s much easier to be home to take a delivery during a one hour delivery slot than ‘anytime up till 8pm.’

Offering a trackable delivery service will offer extra value and improve customer loyalty by creating a more streamlined, modern service that customers feel they can trust. This is vital to gaining those all-important repeat customers who keep coming back to your business for the excellent service they receive. It can also cut down on the time you spend on dealing with queries, complaints and customer service because your customers can use their reference number to track their parcel for themselves.

At Meteor Space we’ve spent years building great relationships with partner couriers, so we know who offers the best service – at the best price. We can give you advice on the most cost-effective tracked options, and our IT solutions mean you can also fully integrate your website with ordering and delivery so you can keep tabs on the status of all your orders.

Get in touch with our friendly team today to find out more about how we can help you offer this vital part of your core service needs.