How to Keep Marketing When You Run Out of Stock

You’ve been plowing full steam ahead with your marketing strategies for the last couple of months.

After a few nerves at the start, it seems that all your hard work has started to pay off. You’re generating traffic by the bucket-load, and your products are flying off your digital shelves.

So what happens when you’re left with an empty warehouse?

Whether your supplier has locked up for a little while, or you miscalculated demand for your latest launch, or you’re just waiting on a late delivery, you need a plan.

Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.

Step 1: Communicate

Your customers don’t want to wait until they’ve clicked through your ads and added the item, they want to your shopping cart to discover you’re out of stock.

Keeping your customers in the know is essential for a couple of reasons.

First, that little update on your website, email marketing campaign, or social media page saves your client a bunch of time.

Second, it shows that you care about their experience, which means you earn some brilliant business brownie points.

Third, it alleviates any concerns. After all, an “out of stock” notification on your store won’t necessarily tell your customers when you’re going to have the item back again. Ease their worries with some reassurance. For instance, check out this update from Evilhair:

When updating your customers, focus on:

  • Clarity: Let your clients know what the issue is and how you’re fixing it.
  • Empathy: Remind them that you understand their frustrations.
  • Service: Tell your customers to get in touch if they have any other questions.

Step 2: Know Where to Hit Pause

If you’re totally out of stock for one of your products, then certain Facebook campaigns and ads will need to go on hold – just for a little while.

For instance, there’s no point using retargeting campaigns to invite your previous customers to stock up or finish a purchase if your warehouse is empty. Press pause on:

  • Remarketing ads: Anything pushing customers to buy an out-of-stock product.
  • Post-purchase campaigns: Upsells or cross-sells for the missing item
  • Retention: Win-back campaigns based on an out-of-stock product
  • Lead activation campaigns

Instead, this is your chance to build relationships with customers in a new way. Focus on brand awareness and creating a sense of loyalty in your existing customers.

Highlight the benefits of your product to generate hype for when it returns to your warehouse and encourage customers to grab a gift card so that they’re ready to buy.

Another great option? Ask your customers to join a waitlist and get a discount the moment your product comes back in stock.

Step 3: Figure Out Where to Keep Going

Just as some aspects of your marketing will need to go on hold, some need to continue. For instance, with campaigns that focus on the benefits of your products, you might be able to encourage customers to add products to a Wishlist.

You can also tease future launches and encourage people to sign up to your social pages and newsletters so that they’re the first to know when an item is back in stock.

Want to keep your customers engaged? No problem; dole out some of your best thought-leadership content. There must be a few useful lessons that you can share. Alternatively, get people involved with a competition or poll so that they have another reason to keep checking your website.

The aim right now should be to entertain, educate, and evaluate.

Add some polls into your ads so that you can entertain your audience and learn a thing or two about the products they prefer. For instance, what’s their favorite color of product, and which packages do they like the most?

If you’re feeling particularly confident, why not host a live Q&A session on Facebook where you answer customer questions and gather feedback.

Keep Moving in The Right Direction

A closed or empty warehouse doesn’t have to mean putting your entire marketing strategy on hold.

Communication with your customers is how you build brand loyalty and new sales opportunities. When the shelves are bare, focus elsewhere.

Drive new interest in your brand with entertaining content and competitions. Learn about your customers and find new ways to connect with them in the future. Remember:

  • Keep customers up-to-date on every change
  • Engage with your audience constantly
  • Figure out which campaigns to pause
  • Know which marketing strategies to turbocharge
  • Concentrate on keeping your company top-of-mind with clients

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