Solve your holiday inventory woes with an out-of-stock signup form

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There are two kinds of online shoppers—those who know exactly what they want, and those who have to browse online before they find exactly what they’re looking for. 

Regardless of which kind of consumer you are, it’s a major let down when you finally find the item you want and you’re ready to buy—only to discover that it’s out of stock or backordered. And with shipping delays wreaking havoc on global supply chains (again) this holiday season, your product inventory may be affected.

But not all hope is lost. By placing an out-of-stock form on your product page once inventory has run out, you will give your customers the opportunity to actively choose to stay in touch with your brand. They will receive updates on the item they initially tried to buy—which can only mean good things for you and your customers’ experience. 

How does an out-of-stock form work?

For your customers, the process of signing up to receive updates about a product that’s out of stock or backordered is pretty simple. They can subscribe—via a form on your site—to receive either emails, texts, or both that keep them informed about the status of the product they wanted to purchase. 

For you, the marketer, the work comes in setting up the infrastructure on your site to collect those subscribers. This means designing your out-of-stock form, manually deploying it on your site, and setting up the campaign or automation (also known as a flow) that will re-engage your audience. 

Out-of-stock form 

An out-of-stock form is a popup or flyout that you manually place on product pages on your site when you’ve run out of a particular item. If you manage your forms in Klaviyo, you’ll find a fully-customizable out-of-stock form in your signup forms library. 

It’s another way to collect email and text subscribers—and not just any subscribers. The people who sign up for these lists are high-intent purchasers. When a particular item is back in stock—there’s a strong likelihood that they’ll buy it.

Back-in-stock flow

While it may sound similar, the out-stock-form is different from the back-in-stock flow in Klaviyo. The back-in-stock flow is triggered by a button on your website—for which you have to embed a specific code snippet on the backend of your site—and it can be used for all products. 

If you’re looking for a less technical way to collect subscribers during the holidays, or whenever you’re experiencing a shortage of inventory, opt for the out-of-stock form. 

Sign up for benefits galore

The epitome of a win-win strategy is when you can provide a great experience for your returning customers and new site visitors, while also yielding positive business results for your brand. 

That’s exactly what the out-of-stock form accomplishes. Shoppers who come to your site are now able to follow a product that they’re highly interested in, and are given the choice to enter into a deeper relationship with your brand. Plus, an out-of-stock form can build excitement for your customers if they’re eager to buy. 

An out-of-stock flow gives you the opportunity to potentially recover lost sales, sustain customer interest by keeping your brand at top of mind, and promote trust with your audience through transparent and honest communications. 

The positive customer experience you create with the help of an out-of-stock form could bring first-time buyers back for future purchases. And if their experience is reassuring and informative when your inventory is low, then your opportunities are unlimited when things return to normal after the holiday rush.  

Make the most of your out-of-stock form

Are you eager to try out an out-of-stock form for yourself? Great—it’s just another tool that’ll help keep your audience engaged and your revenue flowing, even if a certain product is currently unavailable. 

Here are some tips for incorporating an out-of-stock signup form on your site: 

1 | Create a list that your subscribers will be added to once they sign up

This is the first step in the process, before you even add the form to your site. You want to make sure that these high-intent customers receive personalized messages that are relevant to the products they’re interested in. Siphoning them away from your main subscriber list allows you to segment them from the beginning.

2 | Consider the message of your form carefully when you’re designing it

Make sure that you use language that’s enticing and encourages your website visitors to sign up. Be clear and let them know exactly what kind of messages they’re going to receive. Or, try reframing your out-of-stock products as backordered instead. This way, it just seems like a particular product is unavailable, rather than admitting that you ran out.

3 | Immediately deploy the form once your product is out-of-stock

You want to give yourself the best chance to collect as many interested customers as possible. So, the sooner you manually add the out-of-stock form to your site, the faster you’ll see subscribers begin to sign up. 

4 | Set up a welcome series for subscribers who are new to your brand

If someone subscribes to your out-of-stock product list and they’re new to your brand, this is the perfect opportunity to greet them with a tailored welcome series. It can be holiday or product specific, and it lets your subscribers know that they can expect to receive a second email once the product is back in stock—two customer touches for the price of one.

5 | Send a link to your subscribers with an option to pre-order your product

If you’ve built a way for customers to pre-order items on your site, you can send them a link to place their orders early for backordered items. You’ll immediately get the sale, and your customers gain the confidence that they’ll get the product they want when it becomes available.

6 | Send subscribers a campaign as soon as the product is restocked

Your subscribers signed up, hoping that they’ll get the opportunity to place their order once the product is available. If you don’t have a process set up for backorders, let your customers know the moment the item they’re interested in becomes available. They’ll come running back to their (online) shopping carts.     

Another way to create a memorable customer experience

The holidays are a noisy time for your customers—and their inboxes. They’re inundated with so many promotional messages from other brands, they’re probably going to ignore a lot of them. 

The goal is to stand out from the crowd and capture your audiences’ attention with an email or text they can’t resist. And the best way to do that is with a message they want—better yet, a message that they’re expecting. An out-of-stock signup form will help you personalize your communications, recover otherwise lost sales, and give your site visitors a welcome solution to their shopping disappointments.

Want to learn more about the wonderful world of signup forms? Discover the 4 signup form A/B tests other DTC brands use. 

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