MadeWillis - 3:57 pm on May 13, 2010 (gmt 0)
I'm curious what others are doing with their ecommerce sites. When you have a product that becomes discontinued or for whatever reason you stop selling it, what do you do with that page? I have come up with 3 options:
1. Removed the page, in which case the page becomes a 404 or not found on the server. This would likley require a custom 404 page for any hope in retaining that visitor.
2. Hide the page, where the page is removed from navigation, but can still be accessed if the URL is found posted somewhere and/or still found in the serps. Possibly just add a note to the page that states the product is no longer available and even remove the add to cart button so there is no way to buy it.
3. Redirect the page to either a brand page, category page or homepage.
In the past I have opted for option 2. The content stays in the serps, brings in traffic, but prevents people from adding the item to the cart.
I have a client that lists thousands of products and as you can imagine they go out of stock. I have always kept older product alive, just removed from navigation in the past. What is the best choice for ecommece sites with thousands of products?