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

In today’s competitive business landscape, ensuring product availability is crucial for maintaining customer satisfaction and driving business success. When managing inventory, two terms often come into play “backorder” vs “out of stock.” Understanding the differences between these terms and how to manage them effectively can significantly impact your business’s reputation and bottom line. Let Gritglobal help you!

Definition and differentiation between backorder and out of stock

When it comes to the availability of products, businesses may find themselves in two situations. Backorders are when clients order a product which is currently unavailable but will be soon available. Customer’s order is accepted in principle and fulfilled when the product becomes available.

In contrast, out-of-stock means the item in question cannot be shipped immediately and isn’t available right now. When a customer tries to purchase an out-of-stock item, the seller will inform them about their inability to fulfill the order.

Understanding the differences between backorder and out of stock is crucial to managing customer expectations.

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

Preventing backorders and out-of-stock situations should be a priority for any business. By implementing proactive inventory management strategies, you can reduce the likelihood of these occurrences and better serve your customers. Here are some effective strategies to consider:

Planning and forecasting: Use historic data, market trends and demand-forecasting techniques to accurately predict product demand. Keep enough inventory on hand to satisfy customer demand.

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Supplier Relationships: Develop strong relationships with suppliers, and keep in touch regularly. This will help you maintain a stable supply chain. Prevent delays and reduce the likelihood of stock running out.

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Safety Stock: Keep a level of safety stock to serve as a buffer for unexpected spikes in demand or delays in your supply chain. You need to ensure you can fulfill orders from customers during times of high demand.

Effective communication with customers and proactive inventory management

Transparent and timely communication is essential when backorders occur or there are out of stock situations. Following are some guidelines to help you:

Transparent Communication: Inform customers of any possible delays or non-availability. Tell customers when you expect to restock the item or when it will be available. It helps to manage expectations of customers and build trust.

Offer alternatives or similar products currently on stock. This allows the customer to think about alternative options, and stops them from searching elsewhere to find their desired result.

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

Efficient order fulfillment: Once the product is back in stock, prioritize fulfilling backorders promptly. Keep customers informed about the progress of their orders and provide regular updates until their items are dispatched.

As the exclusive BigCommerce Backorder application, 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 free to contact us

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