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Old 15th November 2011, 09:39 AM   #1
ragtimeacres
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Default Should You Show Your Customers Your Stock Levels?

Hi everyone,

I run a small Internet company and we are trying to grow our sales numbers. I like how Amazon.com product pages say things like "only 2 left in stock - order soon" and I was wondering if I should take the time to implement something like this on our site. Can showing current stock levels to potential customers increase your sales? Do companies do this legitimately or are they purposely creating low stock levels to create a sense of scarcity? Any thoughts on using stock level indicators as a sales/marketing tool would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Heather

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Old 15th November 2011, 12:05 PM   #2
David Jackson
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Hi Heather,

Using "call-to-action" phrases like "order now", "limited-supply" or "while supplies last" is a time-tested marketing ploy used to create urgency. Psychologically, consumers tend to procrastinate unless they are nudged into making a decision. Showing current stock levels is simply another way of creating urgency. Anything you can do to create urgency and get consumers excited enough to "buy now" is to your advantage.

Interestingly enough, you mentioned "scarcity", which is part and parcel of creating urgency. In fact, I wrote an article about The Scarcity Principle titled The Amazing Power of Scarcity.

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Old 15th November 2011, 11:18 PM   #3
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I believe that indicating how much stocks you have left shows that you care for the customers and would not want them to get angry in case they ordered 5 and then you only have two left.

Showing your customers the amount of stocks left is a marketing strategy that ensures trust is being given.

For example, I ordered for a shoe. I've waited for that shoe for a long time and it's displayed on the store glass. I tried the display, liked it and decided to buy it. However, the salesman said that there were no stocks anymore. That's really frustrating on my part. However if they indicated there were no stocks left beforehand, it probably would make my feelings lighter.

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Old 16th November 2011, 12:04 PM   #4
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It is a fact that scarcity sells. High-end retailers create limited quantity items and sell them at higher price.

I think there is value in showing the stock levels and "create" scarcity occasionally. Just be careful about going overboard with this. You don't want to have too many items with low stock levels. However, it could work if you apply it selectively on the items you want to sell fast.

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Old 17th November 2011, 12:45 AM   #5
numeric
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBiz View Post
It is a fact that scarcity sells. High-end retailers create limited quantity items and sell them at higher price.

I think there is value in showing the stock levels and "create" scarcity occasionally. Just be careful about going overboard with this. You don't want to have too many items with low stock levels. However, it could work if you apply it selectively on the items you want to sell fast.
I like what you said. Scarcity do implicate the demands of the certain product to the customer. Potential customers become seriously curious about products that become sold out immediately.

I also experienced that one where I was just interested at a certain shoe but as soon as I saw online that it's about to go out of stock, I bought one for myself.

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Old 17th November 2011, 07:25 AM   #6
ragtimeacres
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Default A few more questions

I would like to thank everyone who answered my post. Getting some more insight into using stock levels as a sales/marketing tool has been great, but I still have a few more questions and concerns.

As with many businesses a lot of our sales come from repeat customers. If we begin using low stock levels on some or all of our products will this eventually become ineffective? I know when I'm shopping on Amazon I don't let their stock levels sway me because I figure the company will have that item back in stock quickly.

I also didn't see anyone directly address whether there is an ethical issue in presenting products with a low stock level if we actually have a solid amount of inventory on hand.

However, there is the opposite concern that displaying 3 in stock could cost me a sale if the customer wants 5 pieces.

More input on this issue would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 17th November 2011, 10:40 PM   #7
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although it is just a marketing way, we do business should be honesty.

image that someone maybe not really want to buy that, but the stock quality may give her a wrong information and promote him/her pay it.

do you think it is waste source and money?

well, someone else may be very exciting coz they get a limited product.

so, everything has its two sides

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Old 20th November 2011, 12:00 PM   #8
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Here might be an idea. Why not take two similar items from you store that have close to around the same level of sales and mark one with a stock level and leave the other one as is. Do a comparison and how the item with the new stock level performs compared both to the other item and its old sales history.

About the ethical notions of listing false stock prices I think you would absolutely never want to do this. You always want to b honest with your customers.

I think a cool stock counting feature would be that the item would not showcase a stock number if lets say you had over 25 in stock. Then once you fall below 25 or whatever threshold you decide the stock amount is then displayed to the customer with and urgency buy phrase attached.

When I personally shop on Amazon I do not pay any attention to stock levels. I either want it and if they have it Im buying it or its sold out.

Do lets us know what you decide on this matter as it is a very interesting business concept.

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Old 14th January 2012, 10:59 PM   #9
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it is a good idea... showing how many stocks are left will give customer a sense of your business's presence, makes it seem more real..

and of course, if they really want something, seeing only 2 left could prompt them to place the order quickly

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Old 15th January 2012, 02:33 AM   #10
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It is up to you if to apply for this method or no. If you products are rather unique than it can work, but if the products are the same, then it won't work at all and you need to find some other ways to get more customers and increase the sales.

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