Out-of-Stock? Loss of Availability or Lost Opportunity?

Search engines like Google, Microsoft Bing, DuckDuckGo, Opera, etc., supplement the sale of products on e-commerce platforms. The leading inspiration for online shopping for 39% of global users is ‘search engines.’ Therefore, brands understand and put in heavy budgets in search engine advertising for sales of their products.

As the e-commerce revenue has become dependent on the discoverability of the product listings on search engines, so does the need to optimize the product pages. Unfortunately, some of the out-of-stock product pages could also rank high on different forms of ads. The problem is often witnessed until the search engine revokes soft 404s, which are landing pages with out-of-stock products.

The Out-of-Stock (OOS) product listings not only drain the advertising dollars of the brands but also derail the objective of ad placement in the first place. The consumer discovers the product listings, clicks to visit the landing page, and feels disappointed due to product unavailability. Such actions could increase the bounce rate of the e-commerce website and impact its SERP.

Besides broken expectations, customers drift towards other brands ending up buying your competitor’s product, including add-ons. The lost sales, peaking bounce rate, and diversion to rivals are just a part of the problem. Although the problem might not be that huge for brand loyal audience, if the customer is in real need of that product, alternatives are always on the cards. This leads to customer’s loss of interest in the brand.

Ensuring Availability and Happy Customers

The good part about your listings is that your product pages match the SEO criteria of search engines. It is the same reason they are becoming more discoverable when customers search for brand, competitive, and generic keywords.

It’s important to notice that Google, the maximum traffic provider to e-commerce platforms, has changed its guidelines for shopping ads. As per the new compliance metrics, the search results will be based on product data and not keywords. Therefore, it is more than necessary to optimize the product landing pages and also to ensure that the details on the ads should match the details on the product pages.

Now that your products are listed higher on searches and ads, you also have the option of offering recommendations for similar products on the e-commerce platform. The next best step is to focus on managing the stock availability of your top-performing listings. For this, you would need to deep-dive into your products ‘stockouts vs. stock availability’ percentage across e-commerce platforms, especially during the holiday/festival season.

Our solution, mScanIt, offers dashboards for your Product Page Benchmarking and Stock Availability. It measures these two aspects of your brand vis-a-vis the top competitors. Moreover, the data is collected on several parameters like availability at the category level, platform, pin code level, and a lot more. Using the Perfect Page Benchmarking dashboard, marketers can identify the best-performing product listings based on the product page title, description, bullet points, etc.

Furthermore, you can manage stock availability using the platform, category, SKU, and many other filters. The exportable reports make sharing the ‘stockouts vs. stock availability’ percentage reports easier by using multiple filters with the e-commerce managers and managing stock availability.


When Out-of-Stock product listings appear on search engine ads, it causes larger implications for brands than just sales/revenue loss or waste of advertising dollars. The brand discoverability or awareness remains intact, but the customer interest in the product/brand might diminish significantly.

Unavailability of stock often diverts the consumer’s interest in competitor’s products and toward new interests or products. Therefore, managing stockouts at pin code, category, platform, and other levels becomes crucial for brands. It enables them to capitalize on the lost opportunity of their competitors and hence, supplements the sale/revenue of the brand.

Our eCommerce Competitive Analytics helps keep track of stock availability and stockouts across multiple degrees. Want to learn more about what mScanIt can offer to your brand?

Get in touch to learn more about the Out of Stock.


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