Backorder vs. Out of Stock: What it Means for Your Business in 2024

In the competitive business world of today, it is essential to ensure product availability in order to maintain customer satisfaction and drive business success. In managing inventory, the terms “backorder” and “out of stock” are often used. Understanding these terms, and how to effectively manage them can have a significant impact on your business’s bottom line and reputation. Let Gritglobal help you!

Definition and differentiation between backorder and out of stock

Businesses may face two different situations when it comes to product availability. Backorder is when a customer places an order for a product that’s currently out of stock but will soon be available again. The customer’s order will be accepted and delivered when the item becomes available.

Out-of-stock, on the other hand means that the product is not available at this moment and can’t be delivered immediately. A customer who attempts to buy an item that is out of stock will usually be informed that it’s unavailable and they cannot complete the purchase.

Understanding the difference between out-of stock and backorder is crucial for managing customer expectations as well as ensuring an effective inventory management.

Managing Backorders and Out of Stock Situations

Strategies to prevent and handle backorders and out-of-stock occurrences

Backorder vs. Out of Stock: What it Means for Your Business in 2023

Any business should make preventing backorders and stock outs a top priority. Implementing proactive inventory management can help you reduce the chances of such occurrences, and serve your customers better. Here are a few effective strategies you can consider:

Planning & forecasting: Utilize historical market data and demand forecasting techniques to accurately predict demand for products. You can then ensure you have sufficient inventory to meet the needs of your customers.

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Supplier Relations: Establish strong relationships with your suppliers and communicate often to maintain a stable chain of supply. Reduce the risk of running out of stock by preventing delays in receiving new inventories.

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Safety Stock Maintain safety stock to act as buffers if unexpected spikes or delays in the supply chain occur. It is important to have sufficient inventory to satisfy customer demand during high-demand periods.

Effective communication with customers and proactive inventory management

Transparent and timely communication is essential when backorders or shortages occur. Here are some guidelines to follow.

Transparent communication: Inform the customer of any delays or lack of availability. Inform customers of when the product will be restocked or available again. You will be able to manage customer expectations and build trust.

Alternative Products: Offer alternatives or suggest similar products. This will allow the customer to consider other options and stop them from looking elsewhere.

Backorder vs. Out of Stock: What it Means for Your Business in 2023

Order fulfillment: Is a priority once the product returns to stock. Update customers on the status of their order and keep them informed until their item is dispatched.

As the exclusive BigCommerce BackOrder, BackOrder offers a comprehensive set of features and functionalities designed to streamline the backorder process and enhance the overall shopping experience for customers.


Understanding the difference between product availability situations such as “out of stock” and effectively managing them is crucial for businesses. If you need further assistance or guidance on managing these situations, please feel free to reach out to us

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