While online shopping has boomed over the past year or more, some eCommerce stores are still struggling to get inventory and meet buyer demand. Whether you sell creations of your own or order inventory from a supplier or manufacturer, the effects of 2020’s workforce issues are still being felt. If you’re running low on inventory, you’re probably concerned with having low inventory pages on your website. Since customers come to your site to buy, it’s only natural they feel some frustration when you don’t have what they’re looking for. And without information on your website about when inventory is expected to be in stock, they may leave the site altogether and head for your competitor! Regardless of what your online store is selling, visitors quickly leaving your website is never a good thing!
Working Around Inevitable Inventory Shortages
While there isn’t much retailers can do to fix inventory shortages in supply chains, there are things you can do to help your website visitors. Why should this matter to you? Well, your website visitors are a major portion of your leads and eventual customers! Not to mention, every bounce from your website and little to no SEO on inventory pages count against you, according to Google’s Search Ranking Algorithm. Applying our tips will help your web traffic have a better shopping experience, show visitors the items you do have in stock, and keep them on your site longer- keeping your search ranking up!
Keep Your Searchability
Despite popular belief, website traffic from search engines such as Google and Bing send visitors to internal pages more often than to your home page. This is because, normally, item descriptions on inventory pages double as SEO boosters for the pages they are on.
Titles and descriptions of items on inventory pages often provide the SEO content needed to help your search ranking. If you only have a few items, or no items at all on the page, you could have pages on your website deindexed by Google and other search engines.
If you have low inventory pages throughout your site due to inventory shortage, you can add SEO-rich content that will help you now and in the future. While it may not give you as much value as actual inventory at full capacity – something is better than nothing for Search Engine Ranking.
Be sure to research SEO parameters for those pages or have your marketing team do so. SEO does have purpose and research is required to curate healthy SEO content correctly.
Offer Info About Low Inventory Issues on the Home Page
Even though a large portion of website visitors will often land on an internal page from a search engine, if they don’t find what they want their next step is likely your home page. Let visitors know what’s going on with lacking inventory through a banner or even a pop up on the home page. If you know your inventory pages are sparse or you have inventory coming in soon, let your web visitors know that, too. If you don’t have an exact date of when inventory will arrive, you can put a projected date range. At the very least, add a message stating you know they’re looking for inventory and they can be added to a list to be contacted when inventory comes back in stock.
“In Stock” Pages for In-Stock Inventory
While your store is affected by material or stock shortages, you may still have a few things available for sale. Let website visitors know what you DO have, by sending them to a page that shows them everything you have in stock and ready to purchase today. Even if you only have a few items available, avoid sending traffic to an inventory page full of “coming soon,” or “sold out” inventory. Filling a page with the latter is better than sending potential leads or customers to an empty page, but still defeats their purpose of being on your site in the first place. Since your goal is sales, send visitors to a page where they can buy!
Now that you’ve created pages that showcase in stock inventory or items, what next?
Advertise “In Stock” Inventory Pages for Mobile Traffic
Do you know if your website traffic is visiting your website from a desktop computer or mobile device?
You’ll want to find out for this tip! When making changes to your site, such as adding an “In Stock” inventory page, you’ll need to direct visitors there quickly and easily. While adding your “In Stock” page to the main navigation is good for indexing and SEO purposes, a button right on the home page that is visible on both mobile render and desktop is vital. If more visitors are on your site from a mobile device, and they most likely are, you’ll want to make sure the buttons are easily accessible in mobile format.
You’re probably thinking, “But what do we do about our low inventory pages if our inventory is coming soon? Or all items on the page are marked sold out? Or the page is just empty and there is no end in sight for the material or stock shortage?” Don’t worry, we’ve got a few solutions for you.
“Contact Me” List Opt-In Form on Low Inventory Pages
If you’re like a lot of retailers and online stores in the US right now, your low inventory pages are common. Don’t let website visitors land on an empty or very low inventory page without a message or information! Create a banner image, easy-to-read text at the top of the page, or pop up that explains the lack of inventory, and what you’re doing about it. Take it a step further and create a contact form that web leads can fill out easily in order to be contacted when inventory becomes available! Speak to your audience the same way you’d want to be spoken to if you were looking for something that wasn’t available. Remember SEO best practices here, too.
Don’t forget to get in contact with these leads once you have a better idea of when inventory will come in, or when the new products are made or arrive!
Invest in Website SEO for Now and the Future
Regardless of what’s going on with current material or inventory shortages, your website’s low inventory page performance is still being measured with the same metrics and parameters by Google and other search engines. If visitors are leaving your website shortly after arrival because of low inventory pages, your bounce rate will increase. In addition to bounce rate problems, if your inventory pages are empty, Google will deindex the pages from search because your products and inventory descriptions contribute SEO value. Make sure you’re not losing your searchability ranking while waiting on new inventory to arrive.
Don't Lose Website Leads or Search Ranking!
Customers are coming to your website because they are interested in what you have to offer! Whether that be to purchase products or find out information about your services- don’t miss out on sales or have your pages de-indexed because your website looks empty. NetSource’s professional expertise will keep web visitors on your site and buying from you, now and in the future.