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Getting reviews for products that go out of stock quickly has always been an issue in ecommerce.

I'm curious if we allow comments rather than reviews, how would users use the feature? would there be similar consequences like trolling and flaming.

How could users who haven't bought that particular product add value if there was a feature to post comments

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  • I'm not sure I understand what you said: "Getting reviews for products that go out of stock quickly has always been an issue in ecommerce." What do you mean by that? Why has it always been an issue?
    – UXerUIer
    Apr 14, 2017 at 12:06
  • it means when the product goes out of stock the reviews are useless, as the product page for out of stock products aren't visible to users. there are many products (with the exception of best sellers) whos stock wont be replenished once out of stock. this makes all reviews previously written about the product redundant.
    – Blue Ocean
    Apr 17, 2017 at 6:06
  • Hmmm... I still think that out of stock items and their reviews might still be useful because at the very least those reviews give potential customers an idea of how reliable your company is
    – UXerUIer
    Apr 18, 2017 at 18:08

2 Answers 2

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The functionality might be similar to Comments but the wording of it should say something like:

Please tell us what you like about XXXXX(product name).

Because, if you only put the title like Comments, the user will add comments like: When will it be available to me, or it's always out of stock etc.

To make it more engaging you may increase the length of it to:

Please tell us what you like about XXXXX(product name). The stock might be sold out in no time but we will are getting a new stock soon.

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There's a bunch of different approaches you can take to this issue.

Take away their problem

Of course, it'll be hard to prevent out-of-stock entirely. And getting the stock back up asap also speaks for itself.

However, what you could do, is to allow them an other way to interact with the page and let you know that they want this item stocked. One way I've done it in the past, for a company that hosts workshops, is to have a "register interest" button. You could do something similar with a "please restock" button, which you could even link to a form where they can enter their email address so you can follow up when it is back in stock. (See? Two people are winners here)

Advise on due-dates

Frustration can also be taken away by handing the user a due-date (or rough estimate of one). Again, obviously, make sure you get this date right, or at least close, or it could do the opposite and lead to even more frustration.

Explain the situation

Explain why it's out of stock. Ordered too few because unexpected success of a marketing campaign? Let them know this item was out of stock due to "overwhelming success" and tell users to "check back soon!". This creates a need for an item, while also saying "we ordered a ton, but sold a ton and a half!", which actually is a positive thing. It means the item is great, and the crowd loves it. You'll be surprised how far just a reason can go in making people treat you differently.

Review disabled for non-buyers

If your site has a log-in functionality, you could look into allowing only people who actually purchased and received an item to submit comments/reviews.

This is probably the safest way, but might lose you some organically created content because you're obviously limiting sources.

Disable commenting for out of stock items

(I don't recommend this one, but added it for the sake of completion, and because it might help in extreme cases or for specific audiences)

Speaks for itself, but will be controversial because it will affect even people who did order the item. It's a simple option to implement though.

Along the same vein, you can "sink" comments that contain words like "out of stock" or "unavailable" so they don't come up at the top of the comment section. Only really relevant if there are enough results, and might again piss off some users.

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