Get a Second Chance to Convert Customers with Back-in-Stock Notifications

September 12, 2023
Rene Emery

Learn how back-in-stock notifications can boost conversions and help you collect valuable zero-party data.

You scour the Internet, find the perfect item to buy, compare sellers, and find one that is well-rated and trustworthy. But when you go to purchase it, the size you want is out of stock

If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, you’ll shop elsewhere for a similar product, or your intent to buy will change, potentially making you a lost customer.

Back-in-stock notifications are a simple solution that improves customer experience and allows your brand to recapture potential sales. You might not make the sale today, but you won’t be forgotten, either.

The concept of a back-in-stock notification is simple. The visitor enters their email address, and when you update your inventory, they receive an alert that the item is available again. 

Back-in-stock notifications empower your brand to:

Customer experience is important enough that 88% of businesses prioritize it. Back-in-stock notifications can improve your sales and help you better serve shoppers.

Let’s see how these notifications work so that you can better visualize how to implement them into your Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, or other store.

How Back-in-Stock Notifications Work for Consumers

Out-of-stock items impact marketers and shoppers. You work hard to attract leads, and shoppers spend a lot of time comparing products and making a purchasing decision. When items are out of stock, both parties lose out.

That’s where back-in-stock notifications come into play, and implementing your store’s notification is fast and easy.

First, you’ll need to embed the request form on the product page.

Your customer will need to enter their email into the form to request notifications and can opt-in to:

  • Receive notifications when the product is available again
  • Get alerts when similar items are added to your store
  • Receive relevant messaging, promotions, and other marketing emails

An example of a back-in-stock notification in action can be found below:

an out of stock message with the option to receive back in stock notifications
The out-of-stock message on the right side of this product page allows customers to sign up for back-in-stock notifications.

How Back-in-Stock Notifications Help Businesses Like Yours

Out-of-stock items cost businesses $22 billion in sales per year. Integrating automatic alerts for back-in-stock items can help you:

Increase Sales

56% of online shoppers have been unable to purchase products online because they were out of stock. Notifications can recapture some of these lost sales.

Even if the notification doesn’t lead to an immediate sale, it’s an opportunity to reengage with a lead and potentially sell them another product in the future.

Grow Your List

Opt-in options on the notification form invite visitors to sign up for your email and SMS list. You can segment this list, send highly targeted offers to subscribers, and nurture them over time.

Capture Customer Data

Capturing customer data allows marketing teams to better tailor offers that touch on the consumer’s pain points. You can capture an email, send out a survey, and gain valuable zero-party data that can increase the relevance of your messaging.

Increase Brand Loyalty

Competition for market share is fierce. Brand loyalty is a shortcut to success. Up to 65% of overall revenue can come from existing loyal customers.

Loyal customers are less likely to switch brands and buy products more often.

Out-of-stock items may be a “bad experience” for a consumer, but notifying them that the item is back in stock and potentially offering a coupon can lead to a positive customer experience.

3 Key Out-of-Stock Strategies

Digioh customers see success with back-in-stock notifications. Key strategies that we’ve found to work exceptionally well include:

1. Embed Directly on the Product Page

Ideally, back-in-stock notification forms are placed right where the “Add to Cart” button would normally be displayed. This way, shoppers can’t miss the form and the sign-up option.

There are a few ways to make this happen.

  • Add a button that launches a lightbox asking for the shopper’s email address or phone number, OR
  • Embed the form directly onto the page.  

A teaser or pop-up will draw more attention to your form, but some shoppers may prefer an embedded form. No one knows your customers better than you, so choose the option you think they would like best.

2. Invite Them to Join Your List

Collecting data from your site’s visitors is a golden opportunity. If a potential customer joins your list, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Sell the out-of-stock item to them when it’s available
  • Nurture the lead for future upsells and cross-sells

3. Collect Relevant Data Points

Data helps you sell more products, period. If you collect just an email address and the out-of-stock item, you’re allowing vital data to slip through your fingers. Instead, create a consumer profile with data on interests, sizes, favorite colors, and other preferences.

Anytime you can add to the consumer’s profile, it empowers you to better target the buyer’s needs.

Sample Back-in-Stock Notification Copy

Back-in-stock notifications are really simple. You don’t need witty copy or limited-time offers; the shopper is already interested and will give you their email address in exchange for convenience.

That’s why we recommend keeping your copy short and sweet. Like this:

We’re sorry, but this product is currently sold out. Enter your email address to get notified when it’s back in stock.

Under your main copy, add a simple email input and a CTA (or an arrow if you want to save space). 

Once the shopper submits their information, show a thank-you message, like:

Thank you! We’ll let you know as soon as this is back in stock!

Here’s an example of a form created with Digioh:

out-of-stock pop-up
This out-of-stock pop-up example asks shoppers to provide their email to receive back-in-stock notifications.

In this example, shoppers have the option to subscribe to the brand’s email list and shop for their best sellers, keeping them onsite.

We make it easy to create custom notification forms that fit your brand and goals.

The Potential of Zero-Party Data

Back-in-stock alerts allow you to capture and activate zero-party data to personalize your interactions with shoppers.

Let’s look closer at the potential of zero-party data for your brand.

Capture Data

The goal of a back-in-stock notification is to get customers back to your site and make a sale. But it’s also an opportunity to capture data.

First, you can invite visitors to join your email list when they sign up for a back-in-stock notification, allowing you to capture email addresses and grow your subscribers.

Second, you can capture valuable zero-party data from the notification form itself. 

Let’s say that you sell t-shirts. A visitor finds a shirt that they love, but their preferred color and size combination is out of stock. If that visitor signs up for a back-in-stock notification, you learn quite a few things about them, like their preferred:

  • Size
  • Style
  • Color
  • Brand
  • Category

Visitors who sign up for a back-in-stock notification are very interested in that product. This interest alone can tell you a lot about that specific customer.

Leverage Data

Having the ability to capture zero-party data is great, but the real magic happens when you leverage that data.


The most obvious way is through back-in-stock emails and texts. You know the visitor is interested in your product, so they’re likely to purchase it once they learn it’s back in stock.

example of a back-in-stock notification via SMS
You can also send back-in-stock notification via SMS.

You can also leverage your data in other ways.

  • If they subscribe to your list, you can send personalized messages featuring products that meet their preferences. While waiting for your item, they may discover a new product to buy. 
  • Create retargeting campaigns based on the shopper’s preferences and interests.
  • Display personalized options to shoppers, such as available items in their size.
  • Show a back-in-stock banner or teaser when they return to your site. 

personalized back-in-stock notification on a store's header image
With zero-party data, you can show a personalized back-in-stock message on your homepage to greet returning visitors.

There are so many ways to use the zero-party data you collect to better engage with shoppers and provide them with a better experience. 

Final Thoughts

Back-in-stock notifications are a great way to win back customers who may have otherwise been lost forever. 

When you notify shoppers that their preferred items are back in stock, you get them back to your site, increasing the chances of making a sale. 

But you also get a valuable opportunity to capture zero-party data that you can leverage to provide shoppers with a more personalized experience. Not only does personalization increase conversions, but it also provides shoppers with a positive experience.

Rene Emery
Contributing Writer
Emery is a B2B/Finance/SaaS writer who focuses on clear, concise, and optimized content. Leveraging 12+ years of experience, she relies on her work with hundreds of companies worldwide to create content that speaks to readers and makes difficult topics easy to understand.

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