Many owners of online stores are wondering: what to do with the cards of goods that are not and may never be available? Leave, delete, put 301 redirect to the main page of the site?
Ecommerce sites use different approaches to this issue, but the right one is only one. We'll talk about him at the very end of the article, but for now let's analyze the rest. So, what mistakes make online stores when you make cards with goods that are not available?
1. Approach nihilists
It's funny, but some online stores do not soar on this issue at all. They do not consider it necessary to notify the user that the product is not available. What for? After all, everything is clear: all sizes are crossed out, and even if you want to add a product to the basket, it will not work.
Why this method cannot be used:
- Users do not immediately understand that the product is not available. They have to figure it out for themselves - to look for information, to peer.
- To know that the product is not available after thatAs you looked at it in the picture, found out the price and were going to buy, it is very unpleasant (remember your own experience). It is like a beautiful showcase with goods that are not for sale. Why then is it needed?
2. Approach inattentive
This approach is slightly better than the previous one, but the implementation is just awful. See the screenshot below. Phrase "Sorry, item not available" (1) remains unnoticed until you start reading the text, but this is half the trouble. Immediately below it we see a list of the advantages of this site, and the first item is emblazoned with the phrase "Are available" (2). Uh, is it so or not?
3. The approach of those who are not familiar with the requirements of search engines
And immediately talk about an example illustrating this approach. The message informing that the item is out of stock has been correctly designed: highlighted in red and framed so that it immediately catches the eye. But this is not enough either for users or search engines. The first will remain dissatisfied with the results. And the second will consider your page useless, since You do not offer visitors any alternatives. For this you can get a penalty.
4. The approach of inhospitable hosts
Another common practice of issuing cards with non-existent goods comes down to the fact that 301 redirects leading to the main page of the site are simply added. Is it right to do so? Definitely not. Firstly, because the user will not understand why he was transferred to the main page. And secondly, in this case, he will have to again select the desired category of goods, install filters and look for what he needs. Few will do it, believe me.301 redirect to the main page of the site is the same as telling the visitor to leave the store, because the product he needs is not available. Not a very hospitable tactic.
5. The approach of those who listen to Google, but do not listen to common sense
Despite the fact that Matt Cutts himself recommended using error 404 on cards with a non-existent product in one of his videos, we adhere to a slightly different position. Why? Remember the first thing that comes to your mind when you see page 404? The site is broken, or something is wrong with it, right? How will the user behave after seeing such a message? In 99% of cases will go to another site. Do we all want to achieve this result?
6. Approach close to correct
And immediately turn to a specific example. A large headline tells us that the jacket is out of stock. Below are similar products. It is useful. But not perfect. Why? Yes, because similar products are issued on the basis of brand name and category. There are no jackets matching the color or style. Also, if you refresh the page, you will find that similar products are issued in a completely random way. And if now in these products there is a jacket, similar to the one that the user is looking for (far right), then when you refresh the page, it will not be there.
7. The most correct approach
And the last example for today, in our opinion, is the most correct one. The phrase that the product is not available is highlighted in red and immediately attracts attention. There is no "Add to cart" button (instead, the user is prompted to go to the manufacturer's website). As in the previous example, similar products are displayed. But their not 4, but as many as 40 (!), and sorting occurs not only by brand name and product category, but also by color. Click on the picture to enlarge it.
- Do not remove the item card that is no longer available.
- Do not show the user 404 page.
- Do not redirect it to the main page.
- Make sure that there are no conflicting messages on your item card (“is available” and “not available”).
- The phrase "out of stock" should be evident. Make it large, highlight with bright color.
- Show the user similar products: by type, color, brand, etc. The more products you display, the better.
- Your item card should be useful.
- On the card with the missing item, remove the "Add to Cart" button.
- If the product is soon available again, add a subscription form to its page to notify users of exactly when this will happen.