Wildcard Friday: How To Use A Discontinued Product Page To Your Advantage



How many users do you think have come to your website, landing on a discontinued product page and bounced away disappointed that the item they’ve searched for is out of stock on your website? Even if the pool of people is small, the opportunity to cross sell the user on a similar or even BETTER item is sitting right in front of you.

If you think about it, a product page showcasing an item that has been discontinued by the manufacturer, or is taken out of stock for an unspecified amount of time, has most likely built up a good amount of age, authority and rankings. The last thing that you want to do is delete or 404 error the page and throw away everything that’s been built up with that product page in the eyes of a search engine, not to mention the chance to make a sale.

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Today, I’ll be giving you tips to take advantage of all of those discontinued product pages.

Take note of the “Before” example – notice the add to cart button is gone, price is grayed out, reviews are still accessible. We can take this a few steps further.

  1. In this example, I’ve grayed out the photo and messaged to the user that the manufacturer has discontinued the item. Instead of just telling the user that the item is unavailable or discontinued, I’ve specified that the manufacturer has stopped distributing the product. My hope is to halt the user from continuing to search for the item on other websites. We want to keep the user on the site, shopping for a different item.
  2. I’ve removed the price, the style number, the customer reviews, the savings, the quantity options and any other details about the item that has been discontinued to make room to merchandise for similar items to cross sell.

  3. Some websites have cross sell features already built into the site – this is great, but sometimes cross sells are below the fold or to the side which aren’t ideal merchandising placements for the similar products you are trying to sell in place of the discontinued item. In this example, I’ve take a few similar items to the bathing suit that’s been discontinued and placed them clearly for the user. You can get more personalized than I have with messaging for your specific products, but this gives you a general feel for an option.

    You may be thinking, “But Lauren, I have a billion discontinued pages, I can’t customize them all!” I will agree that this process will take some time. Prioritize discontinued product pages by demand and where the pages are ranking in the search engines. Theses are the most important pages to tackle first.

    Merchandising on a discontinued product page is also something you can track or test!

    If you are interested in testing product pages, category pages or even sitewide changes, Exclusive Concepts offers Conversion Booster, a conversion optimization program as a service. Call us for a free audit!

    I hope I’ve uncovered an opportunity for you today. Please join us after the weekend for SEO Monday!

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