As a result of a recurring audit, New Look identified a voluminous number of out of stock (OOS) product pages appearing for their seasonal queries in the SERPs. These pages had low click through rates and ran the risk of damaging the domain's competitiveness. Forward3D was assigned to sample some of the OOS pages and provide suggestions on how to treat them
Popular product pages can achieve a high ranking for specific keywords, which becomes problematic when an item becomes out of stock and yet continues to outrank items that are available.
Since most products pages dynamically go out of stock and then have new inventory come in, it can be difficult to measure the impact that these pages have on overall revenue. Based on a specific set of test URLs from New Look in the ‘dresses’ category and a week’s revenue figures however, we identified that product pages that were out of stock for at least one day in a week had organic bounce rates 11.98% higher on average than in-stock pages. Additionally, these pages had a conversion rate 6.66% lower than in-stock products, and resulted in an 11% overall drop in revenue per page across the whole site.
For a retailer the scale of New Look, the number of OOS pages can quickly mount and a coherent strategy is required that maintains SEO standards without compromising on customer experience.
After considering all the options available and given the scale of New Look’s website, we decided that redirecting out of stock items to relevant category (sometimes referred as “PLP”s or “Grid”) pages would provide the largest overall benefit. We collected a list of 4,200 OOS pages and provided a map to redirect these to 150 category landing pages that we believed would provide the best user experience.