Backorders vs. Out of Stock- Things to Know About Keeping Items Available

Every eCommerce business owner must understand the difference between backorders and out-of-stock. Find out the differences and which is best for you.

Backorders vs. Out of Stock- Things to Know About Keeping Items Available

Backorders are the items that are presently out of stock but will be available soon. Although you can buy back-ordered items, you won't receive the orders until they are back in stock. Manufacturers plan and order these products but do not produce them. Therefore, your order will stay on the list until they are available. If any SKU is 'on backorder,' you are waiting for the unavailable stocks.

Backorders Vs. Out of Stock: Understanding the Difference & Best Practices

Turnover Times

Out of Stock: The length of time an item is out of stock is indefinite and can change without notice.


Backorder: backordered items have an estimated time frame for when they will be back in stock and available for purchase.


Impact on Sales & Customers

Out of Stock: When an item is out of stock, it cannot be purchased until it becomes available again. This results in a loss of sales.


Backorder: backorders can still be placed and fulfilled, meaning there is no loss in sales. In fact, backorders often create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to purchase the product before it goes out of stock. Additionally, backorders keep customers informed about the status of their order and provide them with an estimated time frame of when they can expect to receive their purchase.


Tracking

Out of Stock: There is no way to track when an item returns to stock.


Backorder: backorders can be tracked and monitored so that you are aware of their status at all times. This allows you to manage customer expectations better and keep them updated on their order status.

Related: What Is The Difference Between Out-of-stock And Backorders?

Whether Customers Will Accept Delayed Shipping

It is necessary to understand that backorders never work for every business. For example, if any product unavailable on your site is available somewhere else, customers will buy it from there. Moreover, if the items are immediate needs like household products, it is evident that they won't wait long.

However, when it comes to niche products, backorders work perfectly. For example, if your products are unique, then waiting to receive the product will make your website exclusive. Moreover, after global supply chain disruptions arose, customers became accustomed to such situations.

Related article: Expedited Shipping- Everything you Should Know

Pros and Cons of Accepting Backorders

In crowdfunding business model work around the concept of backorder. You have to pay for a 'reward' and understand that you will get it after several months. Let us check out some of the pros and cons of accepting backorders.

Pros

1. Promising demand for the production run: Backorders are an excellent way to assess the need for your products before committing to a production run. If you receive a high volume of backorders, it is an indication that there is a good demand for your product. This information can help you make better-informed decisions about future production runs.

2. Easy to start a conversation with customers:  backorders allow you to connect with your customers and build relationships. You can contact customers to update them on their order status and thank them for their patience. This personal touch can go a long way in building customer loyalty and retention.

3. With backorders, you can jump off point for expanding production: if backorders are consistently high, it can indicate that it is time to develop your display. This expansion can help you keep up with customer demand and prevent future backorders.

4. Gather market insight in advance:  backorders can also provide valuable insights into future customer trends. By analyzing backorder patterns, you can better understand which products are in high demand and adjust your production accordingly.


Cons

1. More risk of canceled orders:   backorders can also lead to a higher risk of canceled orders. Customers may change their minds about a purchase or find the product they were backordering from another source. This can result in lost sales and revenue.

2. Headaches with payment processing: backorders can also cause headaches with payment processing. If customers cancel their backorders, you may be left with unpaid invoices. This can lead to cash flow problems and strain your finances.

3. More customer service demands:  backorders can also lead to increased customer service demands. Customers may contact you with questions about their backordered items or to cancel their order altogether. This can be time-consuming and add to your overall workload.

4. Can frustrate customers: backorders can also frustrate customers expecting to receive their purchase promptly. If backorders are not appropriately managed, it can damage your reputation and dissuade customers from doing business with you in the future.

Related: What Are Shipping And Handling?

How to Avoid Backorders

There are a few things you can do to avoid backorders:

1. Use forecasting tools:  forecasting tools can help you predict customer demand and adjust your production accordingly. This can help you prevent backorders by ensuring that you have enough inventory on hand to meet customer demand.

2. Build relationships with suppliers:  building solid relationships with your suppliers can help you avoid backorders. Suppliers may be able to give you early warning of future production disruptions or offer expedited shipping for backordered items.

3. Improve communication with customers: improving communication with your customers can also help you avoid backorders. You can manage expectations and prevent frustration by keeping customers updated on order status and delivery timelines.

4. Offer alternative products:  if an item is backordered, consider offering a similar product as an alternative. This can help you satisfy customer demand and avoid backorders.

5. Offer discounts or promotions:  you may also want to offer discounts or promotions to encourage customers to wait for backordered items. This can help you maintain sales and revenue while preventing backorders.

Advantages of Selling Back-Ordered Items

With the crowdfunding model, you can understand the positive factors of receiving preorders for the products. Here are a few advantages of selling back-ordered items.

Customer Service: Backorders allows you to connect with your customers and provide them with updates on their orders. This personal touch can go a long way in building customer loyalty and retention.

Market Insight: backorders also provide valuable insights into future customer trends. By analyzing backorder patterns, you can better understand which products are in high demand and adjust your production accordingly.

Increased Sales: backorders can also lead to increased sales. Customers may change their minds about a purchase or find the product they were backordering from another source. This can result in additional sales and revenue.

Improved Cash Flow: backorders can also improve your cash flow. If customers cancel their backorders, you may be left with unpaid invoices. This can lead to improved cash flow and financial stability.

Related: 5 Pitfalls of In-House Order Fulfillment

Benefit of Prepayment

Most crowdfunding platforms take the payment upfront, whereas businesses use the capital to increase the production of any product. If you can process the entire payment for holding the backorder, it will help with cash flow in manufacturing and distribution.

Handling damaged supply chains, as well as production delays, is no doubt a headache. However, you still have hope and can make the most out of bad situations by providing back orders to the customers.

Conclusion

Backorders can be a headache for businesses but there are ways to avoid them. By using forecasting tools, building relationships with suppliers, and improving communication with customers, you can prevent backorders and keep your business running smoothly. Backorders can also provide valuable insights into customer trends and offer opportunities for increased sales. If you handle backorders effectively, they can be a positive force for your business.


Next article: Popular Amazon Inventory Management Tools You Can Use For eCommerce Business


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