E-comm

How consumers are thinking about out-of-stocks

A majority of shoppers (55%) have found a specific item they wanted often or always out of stock online, according to a survey by Lucidworks.
article cover

SpongeBob SquarePants/Nickelodeon via Giphy

· less than 3 min read

Stay up to date on the retail industry

All the news and insights retail pros need to know, all in one newsletter. Join over 180,000 retail professionals by subscribing today.

We need to talk about out-of-stocks.

Per a new survey by customer-service company Lucidworks, 55% of shoppers find a specific apparel item they want is often or always out of stock online when they shop.

  • The poll included 800 consumers in the US and UK who buy clothes online at least once a month.

Subbing out: 76% of shoppers said they’d sometimes or always go Radiohead and find an alternative, even if they started shopping with their heart set on something else. Though, 69% will say 👋 and head to another site.

  • Even though 70% of respondents said retailers sometimes offered recommendations for substitute products, the survey found that recs that don’t match their taste is the reason why 60% of shoppers say they don’t buy them.

Still, 85% of shoppers have some items—like shoes, undergarments, and jeans (it’s hard enough to find a perfect pair once)—they just won’t budge on.

Look who’s stocking: The majority of shoppers (91%) want to know when the product they’ve been eyeing is back in stock—75% want an email, 38% text, and 13% want retailers to automatically add it to their cart. Sanjay Mehta, head of industry at Lucidworks, told Retail Brew that it’s ultimately important to provide “some transparency and visibility into what’s occurring with items they’ve expressed interest in.”

  • “Proactive types of notifications that this product is getting low in stock are great, or reactive notifications that are more or less back in stock are really powerful,” he noted.

+1: On the flip side, consumers are “getting savvy” to retailers falsely advertising low stock items to create urgency and “losing trust” because of it, Mehta said.—EC

Stay up to date on the retail industry

All the news and insights retail pros need to know, all in one newsletter. Join over 180,000 retail professionals by subscribing today.