Should You Hide Your Out-of-Stock Products?

Jaques Cilliers - Writer for Egnition
By Jaques Cilliers
Head and shoulders photo of Michelle Meyer
Edited by Michelle Meyer
Joel Taylor
Fact-check by Joel Taylor

Published July 3, 2024.

Empty shelves in a grocery store showing that products are out of stock

I know that some Shopify store owners feel no real harm is done when you show out-of-stock products because it can demonstrate to your visitors just how popular the particular item is and that it would pay them to wait for new stock.

However, it's important to manage inventory properly when selling Shopify products. As a general rule, I recommend that you hide out-of-stock merchandise.

» Discover the difference between out of stock and sold out

Important Aspects to Consider Before Hiding Out-of-Stock Products

In the following section, I'll concentrate on a few industry standards that are ideal to uphold as a store owner.

1. Unsatisfactory Customer Experience

Personally, I find that listing out-of-stock products in a Shopify store can lead to a disappointing customer experience for a number of reasons:

  • Customers may waste time browsing and adding items to their cart only to find out the items are out of stock.
  • The store's credibility can also be damaged as customers may question the store's ability to keep track of its inventory.

To avoid these issues, I try to keep my inventory updated and remove products that are unavailable.

» Learn how to hide out-of-stock variants in Shopify

2. High SEO Impact

I found that listing out-of-stock products in a Shopify store can have a high SEO impact. This can be positive because it can help your store rank for a broader range of keywords, and your products can still be indexed.

However, this can also be negative because out-of-stock products can decrease your customers' dwell time, causing your SEO ranking to suffer.

3. Lose Conversions

Listing out-of-stock products in a Shopify store can lead to lost conversions for a few reasons:

  • Customers may be less likely to return to the store to check if the products they were interested in have been restocked. They may turn to a competitor instead.
  • If a store has a large number of out-of-stock items, it can give the impression that the store isn't well maintained.

» Keep your customers updated about your out-of-stock products by automatically emailing them

4. Waste Money on Promotions

I thought it was good practice to spend money on promoting out-of-stock products because I hoped it would increase my sales. But I actually lost sales trying this strategy because customers couldn't buy the products at that point. Moreover, by promoting my products through ads and other marketing channels, it resulted in wasted ad spend. You'll find that it negatively impacts your company's reputation and customer loyalty.

» Find out how to sell your out-of-stock products in Shopify

How Egnition's App Helps Me Hide Out-of-Stock Products

Out-of-Stock Police


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Easily Manage Out-of-Stock Items

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Out-of-Stock Police by Egnition has made managing my stock so easy. Instead of manually checking stock levels and wasting hours, I get emails that point me to the products that need attention. In the case that they're unavailable, I have the choice to either hide my out-of-stock items or simply push them to the bottom of the page—and improve my customers' experience at the same time.

The app also makes sure that my SEO doesn't suffer because out-of-stock products are still indexed, so I still get organic traffic.

Out-of-Stock Police

4.8/5(155 reviews)

» Learn all there is to know about this handy tool in the following Out-of-Stock Police review

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