Stock shortages are one of the biggest challenges that retail businesses face. Businesses want to have enough stock to keep their customers satisfied, but this isn’t always the case. Popular items can sell out quickly and then you are faced with a stock shortage or outage. This can cause customers to leave your store feeling frustrated or dissatisfied.
On the other hand, ordering too much stock can also be detrimental for your business. Having too much stock can cause mayhem for store managers and often causes items to go on sale, especially if the store doesn’t have a large warehouse where the excess could be stored.
This problem can be solved with an automated retail stock shortage system. An automated solution consists of customers informing the store which item they are looking for, and the business will then send the customer updates automatically. Implementing an automated system will improve the stock shortage situation for both the business and the customer. The customer will be more informed about your stock shipments and hopefully will be able to purchase the item they are looking for.
In this blog, we will go over how to implement an automated retail stock shortage system.
Step 1: Integration Setup
The whole process begins by connecting your customer database and your stock database. This way, you can arrange for messages to be sent to a list of customers who have signed up for stock alerts based on both the product they indicated interest in, and changes to that product in your stock database.
For example, if I wanted to buy a certain product and I have signed up for the alert system, I will be notified when new stock arrives, and when that new stock sells out. If I can get to the store and purchase, I can then indicate that I no longer require emails about this item. Not only will this make the store seem more transparent about stock quantities, but it will help ensure that customers are satisfied that they had a fair chance to make a purchase.
Step 2: Customer Data Collection
In the second step, a form will be created that allows customers to visit the website and request updates on the stock for a particular item impacted by a shortage, or general updates for a specific type of product. The form will be available to anyone and filling it out multiple times will allow the customer to change their preferences.
The form should be as concise as possible but be sure to include any essential information. The form should include:
- Specific impacted products or product types
- Preferred contact methods, so customers can choose how they are alerted
- Name and postal code fields for tracking and reporting purposes, as well as prioritization of local customers
- Disclaimer that a stock notification does not mean that it will last
Step 3: Personalized Messages
The next step of creating a retail stock shortage system is for businesses to send out messages regarding their stock items. The messages that are sent will be time-sensitive for the customer. You want to confirm they know that steps will be taken to give them a chance to acquire whatever goods they expressed interest in, and the best way to do that is to personalize the messages.
The message pulls data collected by the form to include things like name, the location that has received stock, and so on. Personalizing messages makes people feel more directly addressed and increases the chance that they will open the message.
Step 4: Reports
After your messages are sent out, the system will give you reports that show data of how customers interacted with your messages. This will tell you valuable information regarding your customers and their behavior, which will help to identify issues with supply and demand.
The reports also help you see what actions should be taken with your alerts relative to your stock. What days might be ideal for sales in a particular department, or when to offer restricted shopping periods are also possible takeaways from your message reporting, combined with other store data.
Interested in an automated retail stock shortage system?
Don’t worry, SimplyCast has you covered. Here at SimplyCast, we have created a retail stock shortage system that can be used by any retail business that would like to organize their stock more efficiently and easily inform customers about stock updates. The solution can be customized to fit your needs and will help improve any stock shortage situation for everyone involved.
Click the button below to request a demo from our team to see how you can use the automated retail stock shortage system.