Monday, April 15, 2019

Dropshipping - How To Deal With Out of Stock Items?

Being out of stock in drop shipping is a pretty common scenario you will encounter with dropshipping.  When this happens, some will react unfavorably and may not be able to handle the issue appropriately. Knowing how to address Out of Stock is essential, and we will talk about it as we go along this post.

How to deal with out of stocks items?  One thing that you have to keep in mind when dealing with out of stocks is that you do not use the word, “out of stock”.  Remember, the seller’s rating is very important. Your rating will be affected if you say that the item was canceled because you were out of stock.

Why is it important to deal with out of stock items?
Internet and technology have its way of improving the means of communication.   With drop shipping, you get to interact with hundreds of customers every day. Products are sold to customers everywhere.  It is also convenient to communicate and give your feedback to a service. And with drop shipping, we understand how important a seller’s rating is.  

Good customer feedback strengthens our business.  Let us talk more about the importance of handling out of stock items.
Makes customers happy
We serve our customers in dropshipping.  We say that the customer is always right.  They are the meat of our business. They can get other products from other stores, but what sets your business apart from others would be our ability to provide better service to customers and making them happy.

Increases potential of getting repeat customers
When your customers are happy with the services you provide, your business will have the impression that you take customers’ business seriously.  Did you know that customers will only make feedback if (1) the customer is very happy? or the (2) the customer is very dissatisfied. A happy customer may mean repeat business, too.

Improves seller’s rating
Because you are in the world of dropshipping, you deal with both suppliers and customers.  We also know that the competition is tight in dropshipping. One of the things that a buyer is looking for when buying items online is the legitimacy of the seller.  If you have a bad rating, then definitely, the business will not be in good shape. The more happy customers you have, more chance of getting good ratings, equates to more repeat buyers.

What tips can you share when handling Out of Stock items in dropshipping?
When a customer sends an inquiry about the item they want to purchase, the items are most likely posted on your store or may have already made the purchase.  Later on, you find out that the item is out of stock! This could be an awful situation if not handled properly. Earlier we talked about how we can deal with out of stocks items in dropshipping.  Let me share some tips on how to effectively handle out of stock items.

First, on the list, take ownership and be proactive.
As for any business, taking ownership is very important.  On the scenario given, when you found out that you are out of stock, do not panic!  This is a common thing because you are in a retail business. Only that, this is done online.  What you can do is communicate with the customer. Be proactive and send an email to your customer rather than the customer asking for the items that did not come as expected.

Never say that the items are out of stock.
I have been reiterating this over and over.  Do not mention to your customer that the product is out of stock.  This will affect your rating as a seller and will create a negative impact on your customer.  If the customer wishes to cancel the order because of the explanation you will proactively say to your buyer, then tag the item as canceled by the customer but not out of stock.

Use positive phrases when talking to your customers
How you say things make the difference.  You can send the message to your customers better than being straight forward about the situation.  Not that we are teaching you to lie to the customers. Of course, there should be transparency but think of it as saving your business.  You still want to make it better at the end of the day.

Offer product resolutions.
Always ask the customer how they want to resolve the situation.  Of course, we will not tell them that we are out of stock. But you can be creative in explaining and giving them options to resolve the concern.  You can offer to extend the shipping date, offer replacement of a similar item, process a cancelation, and offer a refund. Note that we do not want to offer cancelation and refund onset.  This has to go last to your options. Some customers do not know what options are available to them unless you tell them. Again, be creative.

To summarize everything:  
Let us now apply the tips that were mentioned above.  You may use this as a suggestion in case you encounter “out of stock” issue in your dropshipping. You can say something like,

“ Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for your interest in the xxxx product.  It came to our attention that the items that you are interested in which we have on hand are not at its best quality.  As a valued customer, we want to ensure you get the products on its best quality. The new items will be delivered in approximately xxx days.  

Should you wish to proceed with the order, let us know right away so we can secure the order for you.  In the meantime, you may want to check our catalog and check other items that might interest you. Please let us know how you want to go forward with this and we will gladly assist and prioritize you.  

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.”

Related Questions:

What to do to handle the price increase in dropshipping?
Just like in dealing with out of stock items, a price increase is common to dropshipping.  As for any business, being transparent and proactive will make a difference. Send an email to your customers and tell them about the price increase, just don’t forget to give them options as to how they want to issue resolved.

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