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Coping with a Stock Shortage

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As a retailer, a severe stock shortage, or stockout, is probably one of your worst nightmares. Not having the stock that your customers want doesn’t just mean that you are losing money. It also means that you can’t offer your customers the great service that they are used to. If they can’t get a product that they want, you are letting them down. They’ll be forced to either wait or look elsewhere. If you handle the situation poorly, this can be a permanent loss of a customer and potentially damaging reviews. 

You’ll also have to decide what to do with your time. Without stock, business slows. If you employ staff, this might lead to worries about paying them and finding ways to fill their time. Even a slight loss of business can mean that you struggle to pay bills, and your business can suffer long-term consequences. 

Be As Honest as You Can

Customers, for the most part, appreciate honesty. They don’t mind something being out of stock as much if they understand why, they know how long they might have to wait, and they are kept updated if there are any changes. If you want to keep your customers happy during a stock shortage, communication and honesty are crucial. 

Make Sure Your Website is Right

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If you are an online retailer, you need to make sure that your website is displaying accurate stock information, but you also need to learn how to SEO out of stock products in magento, to keep your website working for you. This is all part of communicating accurate information with your customers, and it’s imperative if you don’t want your stock shortage to become a disaster. 

Make the Most of the Time

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So, business is quiet? That doesn’t mean that you can all chill out and take a break, far from it. A calm spell is a great chance to get stuck into some of the jobs that you don’t often have the time to commit to. This could include some more menial tasks like cleaning and tidying. But, it’s also a great time to think about new products, to make plans for the future, to hold staff appraisals and to give your website some TLC. It might even be the perfect chance to start thinking about the holidays, or your next busy period. 

Learn from It

What can you learn from this stock shortage? Is it the results of a particularly busy and unexpected period? Or, is it down to weak ordering or pool  stock counting? Is there anything that you could have done to avoid it, and is there anything that you can do to stop it happening again? You should also try to learn lessons from your response. Could you have dealt with the shortage better? Or started fixing things sooner?

Look for Patterns

Ask yourself if this has happened before? Look back over your sales and stock for the last year, do you often run out of, or run low of the same products? Or, is there a specific time of the month that it happens? Spotting patterns is a great way to avoid shortages. 

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