Many of you are dealing with this very issue. You planned to sell Blue Widgets for nine months, you have them on your website, but most of the sizes are sold out and replacements are sitting on a ship outside of Long Beach.
Do those canceled orders or canceled items hurt future customer behavior?
The company I'm currently analyzing (and this was pre-COVID, so I get it, we live in a different world now)?
In fact, canceled items helped ... helped A LOT!
Customers were 2.36 times more likely to repurchase if they had an item canceled than if the order was properly fulfilled for the company I analyzed for this series.
2.36 times more likely to repurchase!
In other words, when a customer was disappointed the customer became persistent. The customer looked for something else to buy, causing the brand to get two orders in a short period of time.
What am I asking you to do with this information?
Don't give up. Give the customer alternatives. Give the customer choices. Especially first-time buyers. Work hard to aid their persistent behavior.