I have been doing a lot of work in this area for various clients. In
general, and I have found large differences depending on the size of the
content database, both in terms of number of products and how many fields
are indexed. But for your specific question, it depends on what can be
done about the "sold out" products. If it is possible to back order, then
you should definitely display the items and have a link to do a back order
function. If there is no way to buy them, I would suggest not cluttering
up the page. If you think there may be a branding issue with showing them
how extensive your inventory "used to be" then you can always have a link
at the bottom to view sold out items.
>>I am trying to locate any studies or papers that indicate how people >> use search on an ecommerce site to determine the availability of a >> product.
>> Our company is bouncing back and forth between two scenarios, and I am >> looking for information that will sway it to the most relevant one.
>> Scenario 1: Person types in a search term. The site returns results. >> Person then refines their search by size. Resulting page shows >> everything in that size, including items that are sold out. Sold out >> items show "sold out" next to item image.
>> Scenario 2: Person types in a search term. The site returns results. >> Person then refines their search by size. Resulting page shows ONLY >> things that are available for purchase in that size.