In 2017, Chinese consumers spent 462 billion yuan (67.3 billion U.S. dollars) during Chinese New Year, a rise of nearly 11% over the previous years, according to Card Issuer China UnionPay. The golden week sees a rush on popular items, with top-sellers sometimes running out of stock as doting parents or friends rush to pick up the hottest gifts of the year.
Holiday season or otherwise, customers get extremely frustrated when the item they’re looking for is out of stock; but out-of-stock need not necessarily mean lost sales or loyalty. With a proactive, sensible back in stock messaging protocol in place, customer interest can be piqued again, helping increase sales and repeat store and website visits.
Here are three ways you can use back-in-stock SMS reminders to bring consumers back to your store:
1. Send An SMS Reminder As The Item Hits Your Warehouse
As soon as your new shipment arrives, an SMS can be sent to customers waiting on that item. The trick here is to make the alert specific and concise, with a call to action.
3 simple examples:
- Great News! “Men’s Black Shoes” is back in stock. You can purchase in-store tomorrow from 9am onwards.
- “Men’s Black Shoes” is about to hit the shelves again. Click on the link to purchase yours before they’re all gone: (LINK)
- Hi “First Name”, “Men’s Black Shoes” is back in stock. We have a limited quantity so click the link to order and then pick up in-store or have us ship it to your home: (LINK)
These messages not only remind the customer that they were looking for this item and that you are thinking of him/her but bring the offline and online together, a critical factor to deliver the omnichannel experience.
2. Send An SMS Message With Links To Purchase Other Items You Sell
If you cannot get the out-of-stock items in time for holiday delivery, let your customer know: but use the opportunity to flag alternative items that you do have in stock that might address their needs. Be very specific with your suggestions for other options.
- Suggest items by the same maker/designer, a competitor or previous versions which may cost less.
- Suggest the item in a different style, colour or brand, for example.
- List items that other customers purchased in lieu of the first choice.
3. Follow Up With A Discount
If you won’t be able to get the item back in stock, send a discount code on another item in your shop. You can tie the discount code into the alternatives that you suggested in the previous SMS or simply offer a blanket discount code or other incentives.
- 15% off “Ladies gown” through this (LINK)
- 10% off any single item in the store through this (LINK)
- Free shipping through this (LINK) if you purchase within the next 3 hours.
The holiday surge is crucial to boosting sales and hitting targets. Inventory management is a challenge and should you go out-of-stock, it is even more important to stay connected to the consumer. Sending back-in-stock SMS messages through a platform like BulkSMSclick is a cost effective yet impactful way to keep the channel open.