How to Ramp Up Advertising When You’re Expecting More Inventory
Supply chain challenges have plagued every industry for the last two years. The pandemic has had numerous ripple effects, including continued issues getting goods from the suppliers to the retailers and, ultimately, customers. These ongoing effects have made low-inventory advertising more popular in many marketing campaigns. As inventory fluctuates, it’s become more critical than ever for businesses to keep a heavy brand presence across all platforms.
You may have noticed how the major retailers handled the crisis during the last holiday season. They didn’t shy away from the potential supply issues but instead urged customers to shop early to avoid missing out on their gift ideas. Companies such as Target, Amazon, and Walmart ran ads offering Black Friday-style deals for those willing to shop a couple of months earlier. They kept their brand front and center while allowing their customers to save.
Brand awareness is key to keeping your brand top of mind for the customer, even when the products they want aren’t available. Keeping the customer updated on restocked or expected inventory keeps them informed and engaged. The most effective advertising strategy starts with a closer collaboration between marketing and sales. Together, you can plan your messaging around expected inventory to help recover losses from missed sales.
Increase Your Ad Frequency
Brand awareness campaigns aren’t just for new businesses. Best practices show that you should run brand awareness campaigns all year. Increase your ad frequency and run different types of ads simultaneously shortly before your new inventory launches. This technique reminds customers about your brand and your offerings.
Even if you don’t have everything in stock that the customer wants, your ads will entice customers to visit your website to see what is in stock. Radio is an excellent way to make your target customers aware of new arrivals. Local influencers have a loyal and engaged audience of listeners and online followers. When you combine radio and digital ads, you expand your reach exponentially.
Develop Action Campaigns that Drive Sales
While expecting new inventory to arrive, you can develop a new campaign designed to drive action and sales. Action-driven ads are another example of how digital marketing pairs well with radio. Radio notifies the audience of changes and reminds them to visit your site while increasing your digital campaigns allows you to reach customers while they’re searching for products. You can employ several tactics on your site to pique interest and drive sales.
Comparable product recommendations make customers aware that you have alternatives in stock. This strategy can help those who need a product more urgently than you can provide and keep you from losing a sale to a competitor. Including inventory markers on your website can encourage people to buy if numbers are still low. Finally, allow shoppers to pre-purchase to ensure they’ll receive the items as soon as they are back in stock.
Alert Your Core Customers to New Inventory
Fortunately, marketers have many options to keep their customers notified about new inventory. Leveraging channels such as email marketing or retargeting campaigns can help reach frequent or former customers with specific marketing materials that address your new merchandise. If the items are popular and more likely to sell out quickly, you can showcase alternative products instead of only the new item in stock. For instance, digital display ads that feature newly restocked products could also alert the customer that the items are moving fast and suggest they look at similar options, just in case supplies don’t last.
During such dynamic shifts in inventory availability, it is even more critical that your product feeds are as up-to-date as possible. Optimizing your feeds offers another opportunity to present comparable items or additional products they may be interested in by leveraging custom fields. Dynamic search ads are another way to help customers who search for an out-of-stock item. By providing the most current information to interested consumers, you can not only increase engagement and promote customer loyalty but potentially increase your sales by educating customers on additional options.
Advertising During Inventory Shortages Is More Important Than Ever
When you have consistently stocked inventory, your focus is on keeping it turned over. You may be wondering why you would advertise products that aren’t yet in stock, risking the ire of already frustrated customers. However, this strategy serves a multitude of purposes. It keeps your brand top of mind for the customer, reaffirms your commitment to customer service, and gives them a target date for when to expect the new inventory.
Likely, our supply chain issues won’t go away any time soon with the ongoing pandemic. That means that businesses need to focus on keeping their customers. After all, it is much more challenging to lure disgruntled past customers back than to retain them. Now is not the time to stop or curtail your ad spending.
Your investment in customer retention also serves to position your brand for the next year and beyond. The way you choose to handle your response to the shortfalls and delivery delays can either inspire customer confidence and loyalty or sour them on your business. When they don’t hear from you, they have no reason to continue giving you their patronage. When you keep them updated on in-stock inventory or alternatives, they recognize that you want to provide them with the best experience possible.
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