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I have a design decision that I would like some feedback on.

I have an e-commerce store for electronic products. I am based in the UK and ship products from my location, this means I can show the entire stock count on the product page.

enter image description here

Now I want to expand to the US. I do get some orders from the states, however I believe US customers are being put off by the time (and cost) involved with ordering from the UK, and any confusion or costs they may have to pay at customs. I have decided to use a fulfilment company (Shipwire) to stock and fulfil orders for US customers.

My question is now - what stock count to display to the user? The way I see it I have three options:

  1. Do not show stock counts, just that the product is 'in-stock'.
  2. Show both UK and US warehouse stock levels.
  3. Detect user's location (Geolocate IP) and show stock count for their region.

The main point I want to get across that the customer (whether they are in the UK or the US) can order their item cheaply, knowing it will arrive next day (depending on shipping options). With them knowing there will be no customs charges or any other hassle involved.

I thought about saying something like '14 in stock for next day delivery in the US' or some such text, but that is very wordy.

I would appreciate any feedback on this point.

(Side point - I am currently performing A/B tests to see whether showing or hiding stock counts will affect conversions, results are very oddly, 52% (Shown), 48% (Hidden))

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5 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I agree with what Denzo has said that you dont really need to highlight the fact that you have an UK/US branch unless you want to also promote the feature that we can also ship to UK (if you are ordering from US) or vice versa. Just use Geolocation or IP tracking to find out where the user is located.

I do disagree with his statement of not showing how many items are in stock.If you have an item which is pretty popular and you have only 10 of them left,you can actually use it as a marketing incentive to drive the user to buy it.

Amazon does this pretty well

Similarly for your shipping details,provide an incentive for the user:

enter image description here

Just one word of concern about using Geolocation,not all older browsers support it,so if you are going to direct your customers to your US or UK site on basis of their location, ensure you for something like IP tracking to determine their point of orgin

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Good complete answer. Thank you. I do have the information about deliveries (order with x hours etc) on the popup that appears once an item has been added to the basket. loveelectronics.co.uk/products/206/… –  James Mar 23 '12 at 10:52
    
We implemented this at the ecommerce I work for - and the next day a sales person walked up to me about an hour after arriving and said "I just had someone call to buy something because they wanted to make sure they got the last one"... It does work for sure. –  Ben DeMott Mar 24 '12 at 12:12
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Show both. Folks love more info!

15 in stock in the US (get it overnight!) 4 in stock in the UK (get it in 4 days!)

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It would be interesting information from a trivia point of view but honestly as a consumer,what value add does it provide me? –  Mervin Johnsingh Mar 23 '12 at 6:02
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I believe that knowing how many are in stock doesn't add valuable info. Simple "in stock" or "not in stock" indicator should be enough. By the way when an item is not in stock it would be great to know when it will be in stock :)

I think you could let the user know that it will arrive the next day during the check out.

In regards to separating US and UK users. I think this should be done upon entering the site. With the ability to change it at any point in time, obviously.

The rule of thumb in any e-commerce site is the less the user has to think about all the details the better it is. Great user experience comes from not knowing all the irrelevant details.

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It's simple enough to use a geoip service to segregate users by geography. In stock/not in stock for the given region should suffice. Unless you are selling in bulk to distributors. They would probably appreciate that information.

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The solution to it falls this way -

  1. I believe showing up "in-stock" is a reasonable and better idea, rather to stack information on region-wise or to show counts. How many ever stocks remain is part of the dealer rule and a user is not worried "how many left", the flip-side if the items are in a low quantity - you might well say "Order Now: Last 2 in stock" or "Only few left"; just akin to Airline industry as how they sell their tickets "Only few left" - "Last 2 tickets available".

  2. Next to say that people are aware of the shipping rules - you may very well say under the product and price "Shipping in 2 days wherever may it be" or "Shipping rules similar across globe". You may even put this next to the Shopping cart.

  3. Other way to look at it is to mention both UK and US price next to the product and ask people to chose one of it (or) may be the other best idea as you have mentioned to Geo-locate them and match the "currency".

  4. If your logo has a breathing space, the region-wise demarcation can be very well shown next to it or to the RHS of the Shopping Cart.

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