How to Prevent Out-Stocking for Large-Scale Conversions in eCommerce
In eCommerce, the best way to always ensure high conversion fulfillment is tracking your stock availability. Thousands of times brands switch to different marketing strategies but are never able to prevent their out-stocking status. Due to this, not just sales opportunities, brands lack in maintaining standard and regular rate of return and good customers’ sentiments. In this subject, faults can be from your or your sellers’ side which puts you down in SERP while searched on online channels. As it is a known fact that gaps are the reason which allows you to either fulfill and be the master or let others fulfill and grab your selling opportunities.
As online platforms are vague and large because of which you can’t assure a regular checking and monitoring of all-types of stocks and on every channel, that is why brands lose control on inventory availability. Brands selling efficiency get hampered and leads are driven to others for fulfillment. But before acknowledging the prevention methods, let us have a glance on what “Out of Stock” actually means.
Meaning of Out-of-Stock
The unavailability of product or stock at the time of purchase is called Out of Stock status of that particular product. This means if a customer is searching for a brands’ product and it displays “Not in Stock”, then that product is in demand but is unavailable at that point of sale. This may be due to ineffective inventory stock management especially location-wise. In addition, stocks have different logistics for distributions and if the sellers themselves do not assure continued procurement from the brands, the stock goes unavailable.
Let us examine which factors can result in unavailability of stocks:
- Bad Inventory Management
- Inaccurate Inventory Records
- Poor Forecasting Efficiency
- Inaccurate Safety-Stock Calculation
- Ignorance of Regular Refills
Importance of Preventing Out-of-Stock
Imagine a situation where your loyal customers are in search of your brands’ product but lack the ability to purchase it due to stock unavailability. This will trigger your potential customers to never look back to buy your products and replace you with your rivals. It’s painful right? But to avoid such circumstances, brands must build such a mechanism that could give them good control to turn every visit into conversions. As eCommerce platforms are hard to depict, you need a speedy and accurate tool that can guarantee your products to be seen always on Buy Box Button. Or else, because of your inefficient mechanism you will even lose your existing customers.
Ways to Prevent Out-Stocking to Enhance Conversion Rates
- Utilize Forecasting & Reordering
As eCommerce is a rapid order receiving platform where brands have to be active with their inventory availability check. If you do not have detailed data on your stock, you are not able to realize how often your product needs to be procured, how many times you went OOS and how much is your conversion rate for that particular product. This helps in building good future action plans regarding the availability so that demands can always be fulfilled.
- Perform Automated Tracking
Tracking your inventory status has proved to be the best method to avoid the situation of OOS. Especially considering visibility of product, display of product not in stock status is very much disappointing to your customers and can lower your brand image. Here, a status matters alot that cannot be rectified with manual monitoring. Therefore, you must switch to an automated tracking method that can alert you before you are unavailable. This not only helps in managing better control over warehousing, but also provides instant reports regarding your listing, pricing, share of search, etc power that are basic tools to grab more customers.
- Conduct Regular Countings
Regular counting of inventory refers to the activity that can be used to keep a check on comparison regarding your existing inventory and needed inventory quantity. It benefits with an idea that if a seller promised to perform this, they will never have to face understocks of products. They may also gain profits in tangible or intangible manner (monetary benefits & good customer experience). But if this is done ineffectively, then brands and sellers both have to compromise on sales and this struggle would never come to an end. The sense of responsibly handling the inventory does not only depend on sellers but brands too. That is why you also ensure regular inspection over your inventories.
- Apply Quality Monitoring
The step of order processing, specifically picking up of items, has to be monitored each time. If not done, then those products may get returned from the customers which will increase stock ill-management and poor warehousing. This section of action must be taken care of on a professional basis so that whatever you say, you only pick those customized products as per the order and do not mislead the delivery. This wrong product order fulfillment generally increases the chances of inventory to lie in between “sold but not sold” situations where products are returned after sale and hence, affect your inventory management.
- Strong Relationship with Suppliers
Building strong relationships with suppliers genuinely means brands must not overlook the suppliers’ problems also. If your stock is not available, there could be multiple reasons for this likewise the demand may have fallen down, sellers must not be paying attention to availability, sellers interest and its commission may be contradictory, etc. These all reasons need an open discussion which sometimes get neglected or dominated by the brands. Therefore, you must not establish such a relationship with them, rather you can try a transparent communication to take place regarding conversions and inventory fill rates.
Whether you deal online or offline, inventory is the only factor that connects you with your customers which has a behind thought of sale and purchase benefits. If you do not hold such products which customers are looking for, then you can be a loser. Including this, you also have to satisfy your existing customer whenever they look upon you to buy products. But if you are unavailable, you are losing on many things such as sales rate, potential customers, brand image, strong competition, etc. Hence, you need to be powerful to track your item availability for accomplishing your organizational goals whether on Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Myntra and so on.