The inventory shortage affected almost every other business that is based on the sale of physical products.
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If you have been in this line of business for a few years, you’re probably familiar with low stock or stockout scenarios. The COVID-19 exacerbated supply chain challenges and caused delays in delivery that some businesses are still grappling with.
Some business owners respond to such situations by going slow on their advertising or ending their campaigns altogether. This does make sense to some extent. Why reach out to potential buyers if you have nothing to offer them? Wouldn’t that be a waste of your precious marketing resources?
However, in doing so you could miss out on the opportunity these scenarios present to deepen customer loyalty and introduce your brand to untapped niches. Companies that maintain consistent ad campaigns through inventory issues have been found to enjoy great success.
Here are some of the campaign strategies they deploy to capitalize on what could otherwise be a bleak moment in the life of a business.
1. Inform the Customers
Instead of shrinking away from your customers when inventory runs low, be proactive in communicating with them. Inform them about the challenge you’re facing and help them to find alternative solutions to meet their present needs. This will leave your customers with the impression that, over and above making profits, you care about them.
Offering your customers no communication or solutions at this time can make for a negative experience that can affect future sales of the same product. You should instead keep your conversation with customers going, taking the opportunity to build interest in other product lines.
You should also make a conscious effort to keep your customers updated on the supply challenges you’re facing through your website, social media, and email. Promotional messaging on other products can piggyback on these updates so that you kill two birds with one stone.
2. Web Content
When you run out of one or more products, the content on your site should shift focus. Instead of promoting individual items, it should be crafted to create and enhance brand awareness. In addition to keeping up brand awareness on your website, you should do the same using your social media.
Maintaining a stream of positive, brand-related posts will keep you in the hearts and minds of your online customers, ready for when your shelves are full again. If you don’t have the capacity to do this in-house, you can utilize professional web developer services in NYC. You can leverage their expertise to keep your content fresh and on-brand as you focus on your core business.
Promotional content relating to products that are out of stock should be tweaked to reference other alternatives that are in stock. You can use dynamic ad technology to ensure that the promotional content on your website reflects what is currently in stock. This will alleviate the need to do the updates manually. It will also ensure that visitors have real-time information on products currently available.
3. Stick to Your SEO
Yes, you may currently not have inventory to push, but that won’t always be the case. You will still need buyers when the normal supply is restored. This is why you need to keep working on your SEO campaigns to drive traffic to your website. During stockouts, you can focus on low funnel keywords to generate leads for future sales.
Remember that pushing your website up Google’s results pages is a long-term process. Your inventory shortage is a temporary glitch that should not halt an activity that will probably last through the life of your business.
4. Be Ready For The New Inventory
Part of being ready for when the supply chain is normalized is ensuring your current customers are still around and faithful to your brand. Promoting your products to existing customers is easier and less costly than having to try to win the customers back from competitors.
Instead of going silent, ramp up interest in your products and encourage your customers to pre-order. Even if it will mean offering them the product at a discount, you would rather guarantee yourself future sales than letting buyers wander off to competitors.
Opportunity in Crisis
As you can see, a stockout is not the time to pull away from your customers; it is the time to lay the foundation for future growth. The key to cashing in on the opportunities such a scenario can present is having a strategy on how you will continuously engage both existing and potential customers. This should form part of your business’s overall marketing plan.