Let’s say you have a popular item that’s out of stock, but replenishments will arrive in 3 days — do you continue to sell it (oversell) or mark the product as out of stock?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both actions, but if you choose the former, you must inform your customer that their order will be delayed and give them the option to choose another product or cancel and refund their order.

Customers value proactive communication, and if you email them when they purchase an out of stock products AND GIVE THEM THE OPTION TO WAIT OR CANCEL/REFUND, customers will appreciate your service and transparency.

Fortunately, with Shopify Marketing Automation, you can configure sales of out of stock products to trigger emails to your customers.

The Use Case

About a year ago, u/FauxToys posted “Sales when out of stock” in r/shopify on Reddit that he wanted to continue selling a popular item even as it was close to going out of stock.

You can see the original post here.

As described in the introduction, it’s fine to continue selling out of stock products as long as you keep customers informed about any potential delays in processing times.

With Shopify Marketing Automation, you can schedule emails to accompany sales of out of stock products.

How to email your customer when they buy an out-of-stock product with Shopify Marketing Automation in 3 easy steps

If you prefer to watch a video walkthrough, see this video:

Otherwise, you can follow these steps.

1. Choose the “Order Created” trigger.

2. Add a condition and set it to Order → lineItems → currentQuantity is less than or equal to 0.

3. Click Then → Action → Send Marketing Email


Shopify Marketing Automation offers an easy way to email customers when they buy products that are out of stock.

If you have no plans to replenish the product, or replenishment is more than a month away, it would probably make more sense to create a back-in-stock flow, which you can do in Klaviyo, Omnisend and any other email service provider.

What are your thoughts on overselling?