out of stock

Despite big data investments, retailers struggle with inventory issues

Retailers are collecting more data than ever, but putting that data to good use is apparently proving to be more challenging than many anticipated.

According to a study conducted by IHL Group for DynamicAction, retailers around the world lost well over half a trillion dollars in the past year due to out-of-stock inventory.

That’s a jump of nearly 40% from 2012. At the same time, they lost just under $500bn due to overstocks, an amount nearly a third greater than in 2012.

SEO considerations for discontinued products in ecommerce

I was recently asked for advice on the best course of action for discontinued products for an ecommerce site and whether you should follow Google’s previous advice to let the pages 404.

I decided to write this piece up because it’s something that’s talked about a lot, but rarely written about. I’m half suggesting people to question bits of it, as it’s an area that is, in my opinion, pretty subjective.

In this specific scenario, the website was a very large fashion retailer, meaning that products are frequently discontinued (with no intention of bringing them back) at the end of each season.

How to improve customer experience when products are out of stock

Various cart abandonment surveys conclude that around 25% of online customers abandon their cart due to out-of-stock issues.   

But the frequency of the stockout events is much higher than 25% as many customers encounter an out-of-stock page even before they’ve added one item to their cart, causing them to abandon the site altogether.

Furthermore, the impact of out-of-stock (OOS) extends well beyond the lost sales of the item alone. OOS have been shown to reduce the satisfaction a consumer has with a given purchase decision, leading to subsequent behaviors such as store- or brand-switching, complaints, and negative word-of-mouth. 

So how can we tackle the out of stock problem online retailers are encountering today?