If you’re selling products on the Web as your Home-Based Business, how do you deal with ‘Out of Stock’ items? Whether you ship the items yourself, use a Drop Shipping arrangement, or use a Fulfillment House, you probably find yourself running out of products right and left this time of year. A lot of sites I’ve seen simply stamp the item “out of stock” and leave it on their site. Is that a good idea? I was pondering this today as I was looking at the Sirius Satellite Radio Online Store – all were listed but most were showing ‘out of stock’.
Is it better to hide the Out of Stock item until it comes back into stock or proudly show it as Out of Stock? I suspect this is one of those ‘multiple schools of thought’ things. On one hand, there is the “fully stocked shelves sell more” way of looking at this. The more a customer sees, the more choices they have, and the more likely they are to buy. And they might get turned off by seeing items that you don’t have (the online equivalent to an empty shelf).
On the other hand, there is the “let’s create scarcity” way of looking at this. In the case of Sirius, I suppose showing items that aren’t available might make people want them more. I know I did! I called Sirius to see when they might be getting more radios in and you know what? I didn’t purchase anything but I did give them my name and email address. Now they’ll be able to market to me: good for them!
But those items are only available through Sirius as far as I know and there might indeed be scarcity for them. Creating scarcity is a good marketing tactic if you can get away with it. If you’re selling items that are not really scarce (that people can easily go find somewhere else) then I think the better choice is to hide the item until it becomes available again.
Any thoughts? Please feel free to post your comments.