Key points:

  • Backorders allow a store to keep taking orders even when the stock isn’t ready to ship immediately
  • An attractive backorder offer will stop you losing customers with buying intent to the competition
  • Easyship can help you find fast and reliable shipping options that will keep waiting customers happy

An effective backorder strategy has the potential to both keep orders of popular products coming in and deliver a positive customer experience. On the flip side, without a definite delivery date, cancellations and bad reviews can be a headache for every online business.

This article breaks down four easy to implement tactics to keep backorder customers happy and stop them from ordering off the competition.

Table of Contents

What Does Backordered Mean?

Backorders occur when an ordered product is currently out of stock, but expected to be back in stock and ready to ship shortly. Before placing the order, the customer is informed that the product is on backorder, with the customer effectively preordering the item.

This allows a store to sell a product or service even if a finished product is not ready to ship, without missing the customer buying intent window.

Backorder vs Out of Stock

When demand for a product can’t be predicted and outstrips supply, a retailer can either notify the customer that the product or service is either out of stock or start to take back orders. When the product is marked as out of stock, customers can no longer place orders and may go to competitors.

With cash flow fundamental to the success of every business, if you can keep customers happy when offering a backordered item, then it can benefit both buyer and seller. While this may not work for every business, it can be an effective tool to drive sales and increase customer satisfaction.


Why Do Backorders Happen?

Manageable backorders tend to happen when demand amongst a customer base is so strong, all available stock is sold out before it can be replenished. Every online store is unique, but common causes include a surge in demand or supply chain issues, such as the manufacturer experiencing a raw materials shortage.

While there is no one size fits all solution, effective inventory management is a key factor in meeting the demand you have worked hard to generate. An automated inventory management system, that implements a safety stock solution or starts creating a purchase order before you run out, can help business owners meet any sudden demand peaks.

Related post: How to Manage Backorders

How to Handle a Customer Backorder

Many people may ask is backorder good or bad? Ultimately, this all depends on the overall customer experience. Checkout this quick breakdown to ensure loyal customers don't suffer from a bad experience.

Transparency Is Key

Updating product pages to flag products that are on back order will manage expectations from the point of purchase. Detailing your store's back order process and the expected delivery date can be key to maintaining customer satisfaction.

If your brand already has a track record of reliability and good customer service, customers may be happy to wait. This decision will be based on a clear backorder policy that sets expectations straight from the outset.

Ship in Stock Purchases Immediately

According to a 2022 survey by Statista, it was revealed that faster delivery was the main aspect that online shoppers wished to change about their shopping experience - according to 13% of respondents.

With this in mind, any way to reduce the wait can be key to keeping your customers happy. If the products are purchased as part of a larger order, then implementing a system that ships the in stock items immediately can increase customer satisfaction.

Notifying customers which products have shipped immediately and which are on backorder can help clear any potential confusion. This also provides an opportunity to share an ETA for the products the customers have agreed to purchase on backorder.


Offer Incentives

Keep the customer sweet by offering them something in return for placing a backorder with your store. You can consider either dropping the price or adding a small token of appreciation. Popular incentives include:

The key aim here is getting the customer with buying intent to complete the purchasing process, before checking out a competitor and becoming a lost sale.

Keep Customers in the Loop

Updating customers as soon as an order ships and passing over the tracking number ASAP can help build a positive customer service experience. Whether you are shipping domestically or internationally, offering tracked shipping allows customers to accurately understand where an order is in real time.

Keep Your Backorder Customers Happy With Easyship

Finding the fastest and cheapest way to ship orders can be a headache for all online businesses. Use Easyship to quickly find a reliable solution for your store's shipping challenges.

Free Shipping Rates Calculator: Explore the cheapest rates from major couriers, with up to 91% off. Get instant access to delivery lead times from top shipping couriers, essential for getting a backorder delivery ETA to the waiting customer ASAP.

Backorders done right have the potential to drive sales, increase brand loyalty and ensure customer satisfaction. With this brief breakdown, you can make every backorder sale a success and keep your business growing.

Ready to ship? Sign up for a FREE Easyship account and start creating a backorder offer that customers love today. Whether a backorder or regular sale, Easyship can solve your shipping challenges, so you can focus on growing your business.