What's Your Digital Customer Experience Strategy for Out-of-Stock Products? – CMSWire

Lead Marketing & Automation Services > Blog > Uncategorized > What's Your Digital Customer Experience Strategy for Out-of-Stock Products? – CMSWire

By | Jun 2, 2022
CHANNEL: Digital Marketing
The pandemic, geopolitics and war have snarled global supply chains, frustrating customers and causing record levels of brand switching and retailer switching. With problems unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, brands need nimble marketing strategies that maximize customer retention and minimize poor experiences.
To accomplish this, brands need a multi-pronged approach that spans web, messaging, infrastructure and loyalty. 
Out-of-stock messaging on websites rose 325% in October 2021 compared to October 2019, according to Adobe. Don’t allow an out-of-stock product page to become a dead end. Here are some to strategies to consider to help deal with that:
If done thoughtfully, the notification signup process can also be used to collect promotional opt-ins.
And for people who don’t opt in during that signup, you can use the notification itself to plug the promotional opt-in again — although the primary focus of the message should be the back-in-stock notification.
Related Article: Can Your Website Still Be the Backbone of Your Digital Experience?
Use your campaigns to direct your subscribers toward in-stock products to lessen the impact of out-of-stocks. Here are some to consider:
Related Article: 5 Truths About Inactive Email Subscribers
Some of the strategies mentioned above are difficult if your messaging platforms don’t have access to live inventory data. Many of our clients are fixing that disconnect by using a customer data platform (CDP) to connect with their order management systems to fuel real-time inventory messaging.
Whatever approach you use, finding a durable, scalable solution to this disconnect is a worthwhile investment considering the outlook for supply chains.
Out-of-stocks have prompted high levels of brand switching. According to McKinsey & Co. research, when US consumers experience an out-of-stock item, only 13% wait for it to come back in stock. Meanwhile, 39% switch to a different product brand, and 32% switch retailers.
That has both brands and retailers turning to loyalty programs to try to retain their customers as much as possible. Because of the renewed focus, the global market for loyalty management platforms is expected to more than double by 2026 to $18.2 billion, according to MarketsandMarkets Research.
But the loyalty programs that are going to be the most successful won’t be the traditional transaction-oriented programs, says Emily Rudin, senior director of Loyalty product strategy & growth for Oracle CrowdTwist. 
“If you have a spend-to-get program, it’s time to rethink that program,” she says. “First, younger generations aren’t motivated by price in the way that older generations were. And second, copycat programs of competitors don’t work anymore, so be unique to your brand.”
The next generation of loyalty programs is focused on building communities around values and engagement. Instead of only being rewarded for purchases, members are rewarded for watching videos, reading articles and taking polls and surveys, among other things. Those polls and surveys serve as great progressive profiling vehicles, giving you valuable insights that you can use to personalized and target your messaging to respondents.
Using as many of these strategies as is appropriate will help take the edge off supply chain problems, which are expected to last — and could become significantly worse if geopolitical instabilities and war spread.

Chad S. White is the author of Email Marketing Rules and Head of Research for Oracle Marketing Consulting, a global full-service digital marketing agency inside of Oracle.
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