Image of a retail store shelf containing vitamins and supplements.

In retail and eCommerce backorders are a common occurrence. Especially when a product is in high demand or temporarily out-of-stock, businesses often allow customers to place orders for the item with the understanding that it will be shipped once it becomes available again. However, there may come a point when the business decides to stop taking backorders altogether.

In this article, we will explore the meaning of backorders and what it means when a business is no longer accepting backorders along with the implications this can have on your eCommerce business.

What does “No Longer Taking Backorders” mean?

“No longer taking backorders” means a company has stopped accepting orders for products that are currently out of stock, indicating they cannot guarantee future availability or delivery dates for those items.

Why would a company stop taking backorders?

Backorders can be a double-edged sword for businesses. While they allow companies to continue selling products even when they’re out of stock, managing them can become a logistical nightmare.  A company might stop taking backorders to manage inventory levels, reduce operational strain, or improve customer satisfaction by avoiding extended delays and uncertain delivery times. Below, we explore several additional reasons why companies might decide to halt this practice.

  • Inventory Management Challenges: Backorders make it difficult to predict inventory needs accurately. Companies might choose to stop taking them to better align their stock levels with actual demand, minimizing both surplus and shortage risks.
  • Operational Strain: Handling backorders requires additional administrative and logistical efforts—from tracking product availability to managing delayed shipments. For some businesses, the operational strain isn’t worth the potential sales.
  • Customer Satisfaction Concerns: Extended wait times can lead to customer dissatisfaction and harm the company’s reputation. Stopping backorders can be a strategic decision to ensure a positive shopping experience by only selling what’s readily available.
  • Supply Chain Complications: In situations where the supply chain is unpredictable—due to factors like raw material shortages or manufacturing delays—companies might find it safer to pause backorders until they can guarantee more stable production timelines.
  • Cost Implications: Managing backorders can be costly. Additional expenses may arise from special handling, increased storage needs, or expedited shipping to meet customer expectations. Some companies may find that these costs outweigh the benefits of continuing to accept backorders.
  • Strategic Shifts: A decision to stop taking backorders might reflect a strategic shift towards a different business model or sales strategy. For instance, a company might decide to focus on in-stock items exclusively to streamline operations and improve turnover rates.
  • Market Dynamics: Sometimes, market conditions or consumer behavior shifts make backorders less viable or necessary. Companies must adapt by either pausing or permanently stopping backorders to remain competitive and relevant.

See Difference Between Backordered and Out-of-Stock items.

Check out the comprehensive guide on Backorders vs. Out-of-Stock and see how your brand can best handle these situations.

Should your brand stop taking backorders?

woman packaging an order to be fulfilled

There are several reasons why a business may choose to stop taking backorders. One of the main reasons is to prioritize existing orders and ensure timely fulfillment of those orders. When a business is inundated with backorders, it can be challenging to keep track of all the orders and provide accurate shipping time estimates to customers, which can result in customer churn. By temporarily pausing backorders, the business can focus on fulfilling existing orders and prevent further delays.

Another reason for discontinuing backorders may be related to inventory management. If a business is consistently struggling to keep products in stock and fulfill backorders promptly, it may be a sign that its inventory management practices need to be reevaluated. By halting backorders, businesses can take the time to assess their inventory levels, reorder stock, and implement strategies to prevent future stockouts.

Additionally, stopping backorders can help businesses avoid potential customer dissatisfaction. When customers place backorders for products that are consistently out of stock or experience long delays in fulfillment, it can lead to frustration and negative feedback.

Communication is Key for Backorder Management

When you decide to either offer this type of service or discontinue it, communication is key. By being transparent with customers and suspending backorders, businesses can better manage customer’s expectations and prevent disappointment.

While there are valid reasons for a business to stop taking backorders, it is important to follow backorder best practices when communicating this decision effectively to customers. Businesses should provide clear and timely updates on the status of back-ordered items, offer alternative products or solutions, and ensure that customers are informed when backorders will resume. 

There could be a variety of reasons for no longer offering this service, due to supply limitations with materials or trying to streamline processes within operations. If the seller decides that they are no longer taking backorders altogether they should express that to their customers.

Streamlining Operations for Backorders

Managing backorders can be a major headache for any business, causing delays, customer satisfaction or even lost revenue. There are simple steps that can be taken to prevent backorders, streamlining operations, by choosing a 3PL Service like eFulfillment Service, can ensure that you have the right processes in place to keep your inventory levels in check.

  1. Inventory Management system: Having a reliable inventory management system is essential for preventing backorders. Ensure the system you are using provides real-time visibility into your stock levels, so you can easily track stock levels, allowing you to reorder products when needed, and avoid running out of popular items.
  1. Forecast demand accurately: By analyzing past sales data and trends, you can more accurately predict future demand for your products. This will help you avoid overstocking or understocking items. Reducing the likelihood of backorders.
  1. Establish clear communication channels: Make sure that your sales, purchasing, and warehouse teams are all on the same page when it comes to inventory levels and stock availability. By improving communication and collaboration between these teams you can ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal of preventing backorders.
  1. Set up automated reorder/low stock alerts: To avoid running out of stock, make sure your inventory management system offers low stock alerts. This will allow you time to reorder from your supplier to ensure that you do not runout of stock. This is a service that we here at eFulfillment Service offers.
  1. Optimize your supply chain: Constantly improve your vendor relationships, this will allow you to streamline your supply chain so that you can receive the goods back into stock within a timely manner. Communicate with your fulfillment center so that they know when the goods will arrive and what to expect for orders being released. This will allow them to plan for the influx of orders and get additional help if needed to get the orders shipped.

By implementing these strategies and streamlining your operations, you can reduce the risk of backorders and improve customer satisfaction. Remember that prevention is always better than a cure, so taking proactive steps to keep your inventory levels in check is essential for the long-term success of your business.

How to Keep Customer Satisfaction High if You Accept Backorders

aisle in Walmart store

Customer satisfaction is crucial for any business, and it becomes even more important when handling backorders or outlining that you are no longer accepting them. Backorders can be a frustrating experience for customers, especially when customers expect to receive their purchases within days of ordering them. How a business handles backorders can greatly impact customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

Here are a few reasons why customer satisfaction is important when handling backorders:

Customers who have a positive experience with a business, even when facing backorders, are more likely to remain loyal and continue to purchase from that business in the future. By handling backorders professionally and efficiently, you can retain customers and build long-term relationships with them.

In today’s competitive marketplace, providing exceptional customer service, even during challenging situations like backorders, can set a business apart from its competitors. Businesses that prioritize customer satisfaction and handle backorders effectively can gain a competitive advantage and attract more customers.

Manage Inventory Effortlessly!

Get a FREE quote from eFulfillment Service to see how we could help simplify your inventory management.


In conclusion, by prioritizing customer satisfaction and providing excellent service during backorder situations, businesses can strengthen their relationships with customers and drive long-term success. 

If you decide to no longer take backorders all together, you need to make sure that youhave a clear strategy on how you will communicate that with your customers. Customer satisfaction is essential when handling backorders because it can help retain customers, build trust, manage reputation, foster loyalty, and gain a competitive advantage.

Simplify Shipping with a 3PL!

Get a free quote from eFulfillment Service and see how a 3PL could simplify your fulfillment!