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Are Out-of-Stock Items Hurting Your Online Grocery Sales?

Mom online grocery shopping next to son while he plays

Online grocery shoppers don’t just want convenience, they also want better options when items are out-of-stock. Of more than 800 online shoppers surveyed, 58% say they frequently find a preferred grocery item unavailable, according to a “Groceries on the Internet” study. This presents a concern for grocers, as 47% of consumers said they will shop at another store if they can’t find what they need on their usual app or website.

Shoppers are growing more frustrated with out-of-stock items online and in-store, especially since the pandemic initially escalated these product shortages. However, shoppers are more likely to stick with a store or app that offers appropriate product substitutions and shopping solutions.

Inventory notifications and product recommendations

Grocers can help ease shoppers' frustrations with out-of-stock items by upgrading their e-commerce functionality to include inventory-based notifications. Over half of consumers polled said a low-in-stock notification would influence their purchase decision, and 80% said they would be more likely to make a purchase if alerted when the desired product is low-in-stock. And when the item comes back in stock, a notification can be automatically sent as well, or even auto-added to a shopper’s cart. 

Smarter searches and product recommendations can help grocery stores steer shoppers to substitute items. Currently, only 28% of surveyed consumers said they see online stores make alternative recommendations. This means grocers are missing an opportunity to better sell related merchandise and products in their stores. 

With accurate recommendations and streamlined notifications, stores can build a better relationship with frequent shoppers, gain more loyal customers, and increase online sales over time. Use STCR’s omnichannel solutions to improve your e-commerce and consumer mobile store while helping alleviate shopper friction. Request a demo to get started today!

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