back in stock emails for ecommerce

What Are Back in Stock Emails and Why Are They Important for Ecommerce Businesses?


Learn why automated back in stock emails are a must-have for ecommerce businesses. 

As an eCommerce store owner, seeing your products go out of stock is one of the greatest delights ever. It lets you know how well your product is doing and you also get to clear your inventory from time to time.

But products that are loved by most customers are the ones that help you generate the most sales and revenue. Hence, being on top of your game with these items is crucial.

Yes, the hype around your star products that are selling like hotcakes, will pique the interest of many. But if you can’t deliver, this hype will soon die and customers will find a better alternative. There are so many choices out there anyway!

So, while your shelves are getting cleared in no time and your store is thriving (for now), you also don’t want to disappoint your customers with a constant out-of-stock label on products they’ve been eagerly waiting to get their hands on. Inability to cater to this demand is going to massively affect your numbers, reputation, and credibility.

In this article, we’re talking all about how you can turn this into an opportunity to improve your sales with the help of a brilliantly planned strategy – back in stock notifications.

What are back-in-stock email notifications?

These are alerts that a user willingly signed up for to get updates on when a certain product is expected to be in stock again.

Typically, when a customer lands on a product page and notices that a product is out of stock, they can choose to subscribe to notifications about when the product will be restocked. And once it is back in stock, your store can send out a strategically crafted email informing them about the update and direct them towards making a purchase.

Usually, this is more than just 1 reminder email sent out. There needs to be a well-planned strategy in place to carry out your back-in-stock email workflows. Here’s an example –

Why does your Shopify store need a back-in-stock notification workflow in place?

With stock levels changing constantly, going out of stock is inevitable. However, this should be no reason to lose customers who are interested in your brand. You can make the most of this situation too and turn this into a strategy to keep the demand and supply in check in your eCommerce store.

Here’s a list of reasons why you need to enable back-in-stock email notifications on your storefront.

1. Recover lost revenue and marketing spend

When a customer sees an out-of-stock label on your product catalog/page, you lose a chance at making a potential sale. And obviously, to get that user to your website and the particular product listing, your brand would have invested a lot of resources.

Back-in-stock notifications provide you with a chance to recover that lost opportunity by alerting interested customers and boosting your conversion.

2. Sustain customer interest

When a user sees that the product they’re looking for is out-of-stock on your website, it is very likely they will look for other alternatives and finish their purchase. All it takes is one quick Google search and they’ll have access to hundreds of other options available out there.

Nevertheless, back-in-stock notifications aid in sustaining this initial customer interest. Getting them to subscribe to these alerts helps create an expectation that the product will be restocked soon and they can still get their hands on it.

3. Generate social proof

Adding an out-of-stock notification on your Shopify website instantly highlights how popular the product was and how it got sold out so quickly! This tiny element adds value to your brand credibility by acting as a powerful source of social proof.

Now, you can take it a step further and add a back-in-stock subscription list. This makes the user believe there is so much demand for this particular product that you had to create a dedicated waiting list for the same.

This helps pique their interest and prompts them to subscribe as well.

4. Peaks excitement

The need to wait to get their hands on a particular product helps create excitement around that purchase. Shopping is usually an emotional journey. By adding another layer of emotion to it, you can enhance the feeling a customer has towards your brand and products.

5. Enhance the customer experience

Yes, an out-of-stock product in your catalog is nowhere near enhancing a shopper’s buying journey. However, the effort made by the brand to restock the product for them helps develop a connection.

6. Get valuable customer insights

Using these notification subscriptions, you can easily measure customer demand without having to hoard dead stock for months together. It gives you a detailed insight into which products are worth restocking based on real-time customer interest.

It will also help you plan your future product launches in a much better way.

How to execute back-in-stock emails to ensure guaranteed conversions?

1. Keep the signing up option clear

Make it easy for users to sign up for your back-in-stock message notifications. This element on your product page should be strategically designed and placed so that it is hard to miss.

Here are some ways you can execute this –

  • Add a sign-up box right under the out-of-stock label
  • Use a bright and clear button to grab the user’s attention
  • Incorporate exit-intent pop-ups

2. Notify customers as soon as possible

It’s crucial to notify customers as soon as you restock a product. You don’t want your interested customers to lose interest because of long waiting periods and turn to your competitors.

So, as soon as products are back on the shelves, send out announcement emails to all those who signed up for it. Additionally, you can also broadcast this information on your social media handles to increase your conversion rate. However, ensure that you have an elaborate inventory to support this.

3. Write a crisp subject line

You can create dedicated email workflows to try and boost your sales. But what if your subscribers never open these emails? That’s a lot of effort, time, and resources wasted.

Did you know that on average, a person sends and receives close to 121 business emails every day? Furthermore, 47.3% of email traffic is usually spam messages.

To get noticed, you need to be able to grab your subscriber’s attention with a catchy subject line. Persuasive copy is your secret sauce in executing the perfect email marketing campaign.

So, keep your back in stock email subjects clear that remind, alert, entice and persuade your subscriber. Here are some good examples –

  • Don’t miss out – iPhone 13 Pro is back!
  • Back in stock: Adidas Superstar Shoes

4. Build your email content

Your back-in-stock email needs to be short and to the point. You don’t want to beat around the bush and lose focus. However, you need to still plan your message copy strategically so that you can easily remind, reengage, and recover a customer.

We recommend mixing these elements to create the perfect back-in-stock email message –

Personalization – Address the subscriber by their name. Add information about the product along with its price.

Urgency – Create a sense of FOMO around the product that entices the customer to complete their purchase right away. Use phrases like “selling fast” or “be quick” to do this.

CTA – Drive engagement and direct the user to perform an action by adding a big, bright, and clear CTA that reads “Buy Now”.

5. Add personalized product recommendations

More often than not, the customer would have found the product they were looking for in some other store. After all, there are so many options to choose from today! And losing a potential customer is painful.

However, you can still use your back-in-stock message to improve your conversions, even if it’s not for the same product.

What we mean is, that when the user subscribed to your back-in-stock notification, they showed a heightened interest in your brand and what you do. You can still leverage and make the most of it.

Use this opportunity to cross-sell and upsell. Make the experience personalized by adding relevant product recommendations. For instance, if a user signed up for alerts for a new eyeshadow palette, you can also add links to makeup brushes or makeup cleansers to persuade them to make a purchase from your store!


Back in Stock alerts lets you convert your interested customers by engaging them with a series of reminders that prompts them to come back to your store when the item is finally available.

With RetainIQ’s high-performing back-in-stock email flow you can turn your out-of-stock products into revenue drivers for your store. You can easily boost your sales and increase customer loyalty by solving the problem of missed sales due to unavailability!

Book a free demo today to know more!

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