Shoppers Want Emails To Tell Them When Products Are Out Of Stock: Study

Out-of-stock issues are on the upswing. And consumers are frustrated: they feel brands should clearly communicate inventory problems, according to Customer Experience Survey, a study by Digital Commerce 360/Bizrate Insights, prepared by Lauren Freedman.  

Among consumers polled, 50% say the retailer should email or text to notify them about products that are not available, and suggest possible resolutions.  

Of course, 68% say brands should clearly identify products that are out of stock on the product page.  

Another 64% say they should be informed if an order will arrive later than promised, while 63% say brands should identify out-of-stock items on the search results page, and 61% say they should remove items that are no longer available.  

When resolving issues with online retailers, 67% prefer to send an email, second only to dealing with the issue via live chat (79%). And 58% cite phone calls when asked for their top three ways they prefer to communicate. 

Shoppers want personalized websites — 59% want to be able to quickly access recently viewed products, and 55% demand that their account information be stored and updated along with past order history. 

However, 52% also want the ability to opt out of personalization because they don’t want to be tracked.  

For email teams that must deal with issues, here are the leading frustrations you can expect to hear:

  • Unclear shipping costs prior to checking out — 36%
  • Not enough images to see what the product looks like, or how it works — 35%
  • Product description text that doesn’t provide enough information — 33%
  • Slow loading/poorly performing sites — 30%
  • Discrepancy between what website said about store inventory and what was actually in the physical store — 28%
  • On-site search that returns poor results — 26%
  • Inability to check availability at a local store — 24%
  • Inability to tell if product is in stock/available to ship — 23%
  • Poor mobile website experience — 22%
  • Inability to complete checkout due to errors or confusing shopping cart — 20% 
  • Excessive scrolling hindering ability to gather desired information — 19% 
  • I have not experienced any of these frustrations — 14% 
  • Lack of clarity and/or difficulty around product delivery — 12%
  • No mobile app — 11% 
  • Website text difficult to read against selected background — 8% 
  • Lack of pre-populated/saved customer information in the shopping cart — 7%

Digital Commerce 360 surveyed 1,000 consumers in September. 

1 comment about "Shoppers Want Emails To Tell Them When Products Are Out Of Stock: Study".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. John Grono from GAP Research, October 12, 2021 at 8:26 p.m.


    So when the last packet of Oreos is picked up off the shelf, everyone on the email list should be emailed?    How full would your spam file be within a week.

Next story loading loading..