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What to do with cards of goods that are not available

The situation when the owner of the site does not attach importance to the fact that individual products are over happens quite often. Then, when it becomes decent, after analyzing the statistics of visits and discovering that the lion the proportion of traffic falls on pages with missing items, finally comes the understanding that this is a problem and it needs to be somehow solved. 

After all, if there are too many cards of goods that are not available in the online store, this badly affects both on his profitability and on promotion in search engines. So what to do with goods that are not available? 

Often, the owner of an online store addresses his problem with a webmaster supporting his website. But it’s important to understand that the developer can do anything with your web resource, but at the same time, what to do with pages of goods that are not available, decide you.

In this article, we will analyze several approaches to solving the problem with cards of goods that are not available. Let’s say right away that the only right option for users and search engines does not exist. All of the following methods are often used, but not all of them are effective.

1. Leave everything unchanged

In this case, the store owner is guided by the fact that the visitor came at the link, and if you remove the product position from the site, the link will accordingly disappear and the potential opportunity to get the buyer will be lost. After all, a visitor after opening a product card that is not available can take a walk in other categories. Maybe, of course, but... look at it from the other side.

Imagine a person looking, found what he wanted, went over the link, thought, doubted. Suppose it so happened that the price and benefits of your offer arranged it. And so he presses “Buy”, and he is given a message that the goods are not available. In most cases, after that, the visitor’s mouse cursor will stretch straight to the cross, which will help him leave unreliable site.

2. Apologize for lack of product position

This solution to the problem with pages of goods that are not available is, of course, better. But it turns out as in the joke where "the lounges were found, but the sediment remained. That is, the owner of the site adds the phrase “Excuse me, the goods are not available”, but, as is most often the case, the user does not pay attention to her because of her inconspicuity, looks at the goods in photographs, studies the characteristics and decides for himself to buy here. 

Незаметная надпись, что товара нет в наличии
 
Agree, after he spent time on these processes and decided to buy, stumbling on the phrase “Not available” is not the best outcome. As you can see, again a dead end. A person in such a situation could see other goods, but we again did not show concern, did not tell him ways to solve the current situation. And that is minus.

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3. Send visitor to website home page

Often you can see in online stores a solution when for cards of goods that are not available, a transition to the main page of the site is prescribed (redirect 301). But it’s not worth doing either

Imagine a visitor looking for a Philips HC1066 mowing machine. Most likely, he asked a corresponding request in the search engine and he received a bunch of online stores, among which is your site. It opens several links in parallel, studies information on them, and on the tab of your site sees not a product card, which is not available, but just the main page, which is likely to have interesting commodity items, but not at all those for which he came. 

Already at this stage you will lose to competitors whose product cards have opened. Most often users don't understand why they see the main page online store, not a product card that they need. Naturally, most potential buyers in this situation will close your site and go to study other options.

4. Error 404

We will not repeat how to draw up the 404 error page so that it does not scare customers with its appearance, since there is separate article. Let's just say that if the product card is not available and page 404 is displayed instead, this may be the right solution from the point of view of the search engine, but to the user such an option is again of no use

Ошибка 404 вместо карточки товара фото

To find the right solution to what to do with goods that are not available, imagine the situation in the offline store. A potential buyer went into the store because he was told that there were "velacre bathrobes with mother-of-pearl buttons. And he sees that someone else is taking the last copy of the goods he needs from the hanger. 

A good seller’s reaction in such a situation will be show the most similar bathrobes, and not just say that the goods are not available and close the door in front of the buyer.

After all, it is possible that it was not so important for the visitor that the buttons were mother-of-pearl, and the material was necessarily velor. This all turns out to be a campaign. But at the stage when the buyer came and received information that the goods are not available, the main task is to keep his attention, not just report an error.

Therefore, error 404 is not the best option for pages of goods that are not available. Even if there is an offer on it to use the search on the site to find the desired product position, the probability that the visitor will agree is extremely small. It is much easier for him to return to the search engine and find other options.

5. Show maximum customer care

So we came to the most optimal answer to the question of what to do with goods that are not available, which will be consist of several steps:

  • First of all notify visitor, that the product is not available. How best to do this depends on the situation. For example, if such a product will never be (limited collection, not produced, out of fashion and so on), then the phrase “not available” is appropriate. It is important that it be visible and immediately caught the eye when opening a card of goods that are not available. How you do this depends on the design abilities of your webmaster.
     
  • In case it is possible to order goods, but it will take time, you can use the phrases “The product is available on pre-order”, “Let's leave within 3 days”, etc.. In this case, you give the visitor a choice, and if he agrees to wait, then you get a loyal client.
     
  • Even if you opted for the “Not Available” inscription in the product card and removed the order button, do not burn all the bridges. Leave the visitor the opportunity to write to you. Perhaps he will have clarifying questions, so feedback button keep better in sight of the visitor.
     
  • Additional customer care on your part will be a offer notify about the appearance of goods in stock

    Как сообщить посетителю, что товара нет в наличии
     
  • In addition, you can keep the buyer's attention by offering selection of goods similar in characteristics. The more thoughtfully the collections of similar goods to missing copies will be made, the more likely it is that the visitor will become a buyer. 

    The number of goods shown also plays a role, especially when it comes to clothes, jewelry, accessories and other goods that are perceived primarily visually.

    Выводить похожие товары на странице

Do not forget to show a little imagination

In the end, we will give you another useful advice: if you do not know what to do with goods that are not available, try to think through all possible options for dialogue with the visitor, as if the situation occurred in a real store. 

It is possible that depending on the specifics and assortment of your online store, this approach will help come up with additional solutions problems with pages of goods that are not available. 

The more alternatives you apply to your site, the less dissatisfied visitors will spoil your karma and conversion indicators.

P.S. On the course "10X online store"you will learn the main principles of attracting new visitors and converting them into regular customers. Register at the link above, and in just 2.5 months of training you can bring your online store to a completely new level.