Whether you’re a seasoned ecommerce pro or just starting your online retail journey, understanding and effectively managing product availability can make a significant impact on the efficiency and profitability of your business.
In this ultimate guide to managing product availability, we’ll explore:
- What product availability is
- How to manage it on your Shopify store
- Why it’s crucial for your success
As a member of the Magical Apps team that brought you the Preorder Pro + Back in Stock app, I have hands-on experience in crafting apps tailored for Shopify merchants. But, like you, I’ve also worn the hat of a consumer, which has given me a unique perspective on the importance of effective product availability management for online stores.
Before we dive into the details, let me highlight that managing product availability is more than just a technical aspect of your business – it’s a strategic move that can boost your sales, enhance customer satisfaction, and streamline your operations. To illustrate this, let me share a personal experience.
One key product availability tactic ecommerce retailers offer is pre-orders. As a consumer, I once pre-ordered the special, limited edition of the video game “Nier: Automata” from Square Enix. This experience allowed me to witness firsthand how Square Enix efficiently managed product availability to gauge demand before the game’s release. The positive results of this were likely numerous for them, including not only improved cash flow but also reduced inventory risk. This would allow them to match inventory levels with actual demand. As a consumer, it also offered a better shopping experience for me, ensuring that I secured a highly sought-after product ahead of time and built anticipation for the launch day. It was a win-win for both sides.
Now, let’s delve into how you can harness similar strategies to positively impact your Shopify business.
Table of Contents
- What is Product Availability?
- How to Manage Product Availability on Your Shopify Store
- Why You Should Manage Product Availability on Your Online Store
- Preorder Pro + Back in Stock App FAQs
What is Product Availability?
Product availability refers to the state of your products, indicating whether they are in stock, available for pre-order, coming soon, or temporarily out of stock. Managing product availability is essential for providing a seamless shopping experience to your customers.
Let’s dive into the key aspects of product availability:
Publishing and Drafting Products
When you publish a product, it becomes visible on your online store, allowing customers to browse and purchase it.
Drafting products is useful when you want to prepare a product listing but aren’t ready to make it visible to the public. This is handy for future releases or product updates.
Keeping track of your product stock levels is crucial to avoid overselling or disappointing customers with out-of-stock items. Shopify offers built-in inventory tracking to help you manage this seamlessly.
Pre-Order, Coming Soon, and Back in Stock Alerts
Publishing and drafting products and managing inventory could be considered the fundamental requirements for any business. However, pre-orders, coming soon indications, and back in stock alerts can take your business to the next level:
Pre-order allows customers to reserve products that are not yet in stock. It’s a fantastic way to gauge demand, generate anticipation for upcoming releases, and improve cash flow.
Use the “Coming Soon” label to generate excitement and collect email addresses of potential buyers before a product is available. This can be a boost to future marketing initiatives.
Back in Stock Alerts
Enable customers to receive notifications when a product is back in stock, ensuring you never miss a sale due to unavailability.
Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s move on to the practical aspects of managing product availability on your Shopify store.
How to Manage Product Availability on Your Shopify Store
Built-In Shopify Functionality
Shopify offers robust built-in features to manage product availability, making it a user-friendly platform for eCommerce entrepreneurs. Here’s a quick overview of the basics:
In the product editor, you can set a product’s status as “Active” or “Draft” to control its visibility on your store and sales channels. This is the obvious foundation for any merchant running their online store. Products should only be “Active” if you are actively promoting them in some way to your customers.
Configure inventory settings for each product to automatically track stock levels and prevent overselling.
Use variants to offer different versions of a product (e.g., size or color) and track the inventory for each variant separately.
To access additional product availability tactics that can have a significant impact on your business’ bottom line and customer engagement, we highly recommend considering the usage of an app that can add functionality to your store that isn’t natively present on the Shopify platform.
This includes features such as the aforementioned preorders, back in stock alerts, and coming soon. Shopify themselves admits that they rely on apps for features such as preordering products.
One option we would recommend is the “Preorder Pro + Back in Stock” app. This app is a game-changer for Shopify merchants, offering a seamless way to handle pre-orders, back in stock alerts, and coming soon products. We can vouch for it because … we built it!
But you can also find numerous apps for preorders, apps for back in stock alerts, and more on the Shopify app store. We encourage you to explore the available options and decide which one will work best for your business.
Now that you have an idea of how to manage product availability, let’s explore why it’s so important for your online store.
Why You Should Manage Product Availability on Your Online Store
Managing product availability is more than just a behind-the-scenes task. It directly impacts your customers’ experience and your bottom line.
How, you ask? Here are the six of the top benefits of effectively managing product availability that I can think of:
1. Increased Sales
Expanding the methods in which you make your products available by offering pre-orders allows you to secure sales before a product is available, ensuring a consistent flow of income. Alternatively, back in stock alerts as a tactic can help you recapture potentially lost sales when out-of-stock items become available again.
2. Improved Customer Satisfaction
Avoid disappointing customers with out-of-stock items by offering them the option to receive a notification when products are back in stock. Or, clearly marking unavailable products as “Coming Soon” manages customer expectations, reducing frustration and impatience. Especially if you can also provide a precise available date or period.
3. Better Inventory Management
Rather than manually tracking the inventory of your products, automatic inventory tracking on platforms like Shopify helps prevent overselling and simplifies inventory management. And if you’re offering product pre-orders or back in stock alerts, you can analyze the data garnered from them to make informed inventory decisions.
4. Enhanced Marketing
Labeling products as “Coming Soon” or offering pre-orders generates excitement and allows you to build anticipation through marketing campaigns. With such campaigns, you can gather email addresses from interested customers for future marketing efforts.
5. Competitive Edge
Offering pre-orders, back in stock alerts, and coming soon labels sets your store apart from competitors and demonstrates a customer-first approach dedicated to transparently communicating the status of your inventory and products.
6. Data-Driven Insights
The data generated by availability product management tools and apps on platforms like Shopify provide valuable insights into customer preferences and demand patterns.
Preorder Pro + Back in Stock App FAQs
- Pre-Order Button
- Collection Page Badges
- Product Arrival Dates
- Pre-Order Quantity Limits
- Mixed Cart & Pop-up Warnings
- Pre-Order Settings
- Pre-Order Emails
- Notify Me Settings
- Filtering Products
- Bulk Settings
Compare the best Shopify preorders & back in stock alert apps
After extensive research and experimentation, I’ve uncovered four of the top options available. In this article, I explore their features, pros and cons, and how they cater to different merchant needs and preferences.
The 4 best Shopify Apps for preorders & back in stock alerts
Explore the four best Shopify apps for preorders and back in stock alerts. Get a detailed overview of these apps, and what customers are saying about them.
The best preorder and back in stock alert Shopify apps:
- Preorder Pro + Back in Stock – Unique coming soon feature, but lacks SMS and push notifications
- PreOrder Globo | Back in Stock – Affordable with a clean interface, but can’t display back in stock on the homepage or collections
- Back In Stock ‑ Restock Rocket – Dedicated focus to back in stock alerts but expensive
- Notify! Back in Stock|PreOrder – Solid functionality but slightly subpar user interface
Managing product availability on your Shopify store is not just a technical detail; it’s a powerful strategy for boosting sales, enhancing customer satisfaction, and optimizing inventory control. Shopify’s built-in features are a great starting point to cover the basics of what is required to run an ecommerce business.
But for a comprehensive solution that can unlock additional tactics such as preordering, back in stock alerts, or coming soon products, apps like “Preorder Pro + Back in Stock” that we developed here at Magical Apps or some of the other many apps on the Shopify app store are a must-have addition to your toolkit.
By understanding what product availability means and mastering the art of availability management, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the competitive ecommerce landscape and ensure the success of your online store. So, go ahead and start empowering your Shopify store with the right product availability strategies today!
Preorder Pro + Back in Stock
Everything you need to add pre-order, coming soon, and back in stock alerts to your shop.