With today’s order management solutions and insight into inventory and warehouse management it still surprises me that stores don’t have a way for a shopper to order out of stock items. Instead of just preventing the order from happening why not offer an email or SMS alert when the item becomes in stock?
I purchase many different kinds of consumables and some of them are very hard to come by because of demand. I can order some things online and have them shipped to me or to the store (depending on shipping rules for New York) but many times the web site doesn’t list the item when it’s out of stock. So instead, I have to wait for a newspaper or flyer from the store and show up at 8:30am on the day of the sale to buy the item – and hope the line in front of me is not too big.
Imagine if you had a way to be notified when an item becomes in stock right from the store front. Or, even better, be able to order the out of stock item with a ship date well into the future. I am not saying this would really work for all products but we all know hot items sell out fast and being able to be notified when it is in stock would go a long way in my opinion.
Lastly, eCommerce systems would have to do two things to make this work:
- The first thing is to show items that are not in stock. Many eCommerce systems hide items under certain inventory levels, in order for this to work you need to at least have the products in the catalog regardless of inventory.
- You will also need a notification mechanism that has visibility into your inventory. The system should handle (by user profile) how to notify the customer. If they signed up for email or SMS notifications, or if they are a mobile user a rich notification in the store front mobile app.
If you know an online site that allows this today comment here, I am always interested in seeing how companies carry out features like this.