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Opportunities for active stock-out management in online stores: The impact of the stock-out policy on online stock-out reactions


  • CAMPO, Katia


This paper investigates the impact of an online retailer’s stock-out policy on purchase incidence and choice. We make a distinction between three policies: (1) stock-outs are immediately visible and there are no suggestions, (2) stock-outs are only visible after clicking and (3) a replacement item is suggested for each stock-out product. Results from an extensive and realistic online grocery shopping experiment reveal that the adopted stock-out policy has a significant impact on both decisions. First, making stock-outs not immediately visible creates confusion and intensifies the consumer’s loss experience, thereby reducing the tendency to buy in the category. Second, while suggesting a replacement item normally leads to a substantial increase in the item’s choice probability, this effect is canceled out when higher-priced – suspicious – items are suggested. Overall, these results indicate that retailers have an interest in pursuing open and convenience-oriented stock-out policies.

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  • BREUGELMANS, Els & CAMPO, Katia & GIJSBRECHTS, Els, 2005. "Opportunities for active stock-out management in online stores: The impact of the stock-out policy on online stock-out reactions," Working Papers 2005005, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2005005

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    Cited by:

    1. Breugelmans Els & Campo Katia, 2008. "Can in-store displays improve category sales and brand market share in online stores? A study on the overall effectiveness and differences between display types in an online FMCG context," Research Memorandum 035, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    2. Xuanming Su & Fuqiang Zhang, 2009. "On the Value of Commitment and Availability Guarantees When Selling to Strategic Consumers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(5), pages 713-726, May.
    3. Penn, Jerrod & Matopoulos, Aristides & House, Lisa, 2010. "Response to Out of Stock Produce and its Underlying Economic Considerations," 2010 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2010, Orlando, Florida 56487, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    4. Becerril-Arreola, Rafael & Leng, Mingming & Parlar, Mahmut, 2013. "Online retailers’ promotional pricing, free-shipping threshold, and inventory decisions: A simulation-based analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 230(2), pages 272-283.
    5. Nicole Wiebach & Jana L. Diels, 2011. "The impact of context and promotion on consumer responses and preferences in out-of-stock situations," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2011-050, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.

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