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How to send restock alert SMS

Restock alert SMS are the untouched revenue lever your store needs. Here’s how to start sending them.

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Let’s say you’ve had your eye on a new road bike. You know the exact model you want and find a retailer with great reviews and a generous return policy to boot.

Now all you need to do is hand over your credit card information. When you get to the product page, you select the frame size, and then you read the three dreaded words “out of stock”.

An out of stock notice on a road bike listing

Below you find a field where you can input your email address for restock alerts. You wait a couple of weeks but never get that email. (It probably landed in your promotions tab or junk folder.)

You eventually buy another bike from another retailer. Your life goes on, and you forget all about this episode.

Why did the retailer miss out on a $1,300 sale despite restocking the bike a couple of days later? Because the average email open rate is between 15-25%.

The open rates of text messages hover around 98%. 

That’s why you need to add restock text alerts to your store.

What are restock alerts?

When you run out of a product or product variant, telling your customers that you’re out of stock directs them to your competition. On the other hand, when you give customers the option to sign up for a restock alert, there’s a chance they’ll wait around. 

This is precisely what restock alerts do: they provide customers with the option to sign up for a notification that informs them when the product they want is available.

Typically they’re sent via email, but an increasing number of DTC e-commerce and retail brands use the high engagement of text messaging to their advantage.

A restock alert web form

Not only does it recover some lost revenue by notifying customers when a high-demand product is brought back to the store and available for purchase, but it also:

  • Increases the number of touchpoints between you and your customers
  • Fosters a deep connection and adds delight to the experience

How to send restock text messages

There are two steps involved in sending restock alerts via SMS. You’ll need to:

  1. Collect phone numbers
  2. Send texts

A simple hack if you only offer a small number of SKUs is to create a keyword for each product. A keyword is a word or phrase that customers can text to a phone number to subscribe to texts.

So, let’s say you’re Hamboards–a skateboard brand with only a handful of products.

A product listing on a sporting goods website

You can add a simple line of copy to the product page along the lines of “Text “HST200” to (833) 222-3059 to be alerted when this board is back in stock.

When you get a new shipment of products, you can then send a text message to this group of people as it’s already a list within SimpleTexting. Given that we offer unlimited keywords and they take seconds to create, it’s the quickest way to get up and running.

Thanks for your interest in the Blacktail HST200. We’re happy to inform you that they’re back in stock. Get riding before they’re out again. Use code 10% off:

However, this gets complicated when you have a ton of SKUs. For example, a company selling different clothing items with lots of size options would find this cumbersome and difficult to manage.

In this case, you’d need to use our SMS API with your e-commerce platforms API. This way, you can create an automated flow for collecting phone numbers and sending restock alerts.

Additional tips for restock alerts

The best restock alerts employ a combo of copywriting tactics: incentive and scarcity. You can use phrasing to help convert customers on the fence like:

  • Sold out immediately last time
  • Expecting these to sell fast again
  • Act quickly
  • Limited time

In terms of incentives, it depends on your margins, but they’re a great way to drive up the conversion rate of restock alerts.

Finally, if you experience product shortages across your store, you might want to consider sending a general SMS update to your subscribers when you’re restocked. 

Create your restock alert SMS today

Now there’s no excuse to leave money on the table. With these tactics and successful real-world examples, you know how to create a restock text that recaptures sales.

We highly recommend signing up for a free 14-day trial so you can see how easy it is to create keywords and send texts. Our support team will be happy to provide you with any assistance you need.

Drew Wilkinson
Drew Wilkinson

Drew Wilkinson is the Head of Marketing at SimpleTexting. Drew has more than a decade of experience managing successful integrated marketing programs to build brands, raise awareness, and generate demand.

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