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Dealing with obsolete products on your website

“No results found” – Three little words that could cost you not only a sale, but a valuable repeat customer.

As your manufacturing business develops and evolves, it’s natural that products come and go. How you deal with the implications of that, online and off, can make all the difference.

Let’s imagine a customer who brought Product X five years ago. Their current unit has come to the end of its life and they need a replacement.

They go to your website and, having had a look around, decide to use the search function to find Product X, unaware it was discontinued. And what do they get? “No results found”.

From a business perspective, this is as it should be. After all, you stopped making Product X two years ago, and Product Y is far superior in every way.

However, the user doesn’t know this, and the search result doesn’t leave them any the wiser.

Sure, you sent them a great, informative email about Product Y, but that was several hundred emails ago, and they’ve had three holidays since then.

So, confronted with “no results found”, what does the customer do? Do they contact your firm directly? Do some research and find an alternative product on your site that meets their needs?

Or do they simply head over to the site of that other supplier they’ve dealt with in the past, find what they need, and never return?

You can avoid this scenario easily enough if you have the insight and resources.

If you have search functionality built into your site, make yourself aware of what users are searching for. Speak to your development team or agency to ensure search terms link to custom landing pages that advertise the updated product.

You could also set up automated emails that target customers who bought Product X and contact them around the time it is expected to reach the end of its lifespan.

Don’t make customers work to buy things from you. If they search for an obsolete product, your website should elegantly guide them to the new, improved Product Y, not shut them down with a terse “no results found”.

Coda can help. We offer analytics and monitoring as an ongoing service or a one-off project. Using the data generated by your customers, we highlight ways to deal with obsolescence, as well as improving information hierarchy, data capture, and more.

Coda specialises in dealing with highly technical and complicated manufacturing processes, delivering content and strategies that generate leads and sales.

If you think obsolete products are affecting your leads, contact us here.