2 min

Omnichannel commerce: What are the causes of product unavailability?

Fighting product unavailability is one of the top priorities for retailers. With the proliferation of sales channels, increasingly volatile consumers and better-prepared competition, product unavailability can have significant consequences for both profitability and a brand’s image.

Reducing product unavailability involves facilitating access to available stock while equipping digital and retail teams with omnichannel tools that help sell inventory and achieve objectives. It is now a necessity. The Order Management System (OMS) and its omnichannel capabilities work to combat product unavailability while supporting the customer and business priorities of retailers.

However, before taking action, it is essential to understand the causes of product unavailability.

The causes of product unavailability in omnichannel commerce

Product unavailability is a major issue that can have various causes, which are crucial to understanding and identifying strategies for prevention.


Stockouts are one of the primary causes of product unavailability and can result from several factors:

  • Inaccurate demand forecasting: Errors in demand forecasting can lead to incorrect estimates of the quantities needed to meet purchase intentions, which can result in stockouts (as well as inventory surplus).
  • Supply chain issues: Delays or problems in the supply chain, such as extended delivery times, transportation issues, or production delays, can lead to stockouts.
  • Poor inventory consolidation: Operating in silos and the inability to create a unified reference available across all sales channels can result in stockouts.

Demand fluctuations

Demand fluctuations can pose challenges for businesses and cause product unavailability in the following situations:

  • Seasonal peaks: Some products may experience seasonal demand fluctuations. If forecasts are not adjusted accordingly, it can lead to stockouts during periods of high demand.
  • Market trends: Changes in consumer trends and preferences can also influence the demand for specific products.

Logistical problems

Logistical issues can result in delays in product delivery and unavailability for customers. Factors include:

  • Transportation problems: Delays or issues during product transportation, such as customs obstacles or strikes, can result in product unavailability.
  • Capacity constraints: Insufficient production capacity compared to demand can lead to manufacturing delays and create unavailability.

To assess the impact and consequences of product unavailability, OneStock has developed a unique web scraping system that provides precise insights into stockouts throughout the season.

How much revenue are you losing due to stockouts? Request your online product unavailability analysis now.

Further reading