As many as 81 percent of shoppers report suffering from an unavailable product at a brick-and-mortar store in the past 12 months. This results in 55 percent of disappointed shoppers becoming lost sales, according to a GT Nexus study.
The survey, conducted by YouGov in the U.S., the U.K., Germany and France, found that 65 percent of online shoppers have similarly been disappointed by out-of-stocks in the past 12 months. The consequences can be pricey for retailers, as 57 percent of shoppers blamed the retailer or manufacturer when a product was unavailable.
"This study shines a spotlight on a global inventory crisis that is frustrating consumers, and impacting the bottom line of retailers," said Kurt Cavano, founder and chief strategy officer at GT Nexus. "In today's competitive environment it is hard enough to get the attention of consumers, but winning them and then losing them due to stock-out is very damaging. It raises the question to retailers that, 'If you can't execute well on omnichannel, maybe you shouldn't offer it at all.'"
In the U.S. during the last 12 months, 75 percent of adults have suffered from an unavailable product in-store, and 63 percent have had the same experience online. More specifically, 38 percent of U.S. shoppers have had this experience often or very often in the last year, and 26 percent have experienced online out-of-stocks often or very often in the last year. In the U.S., 33 percent of frustrated in-store shoppers blamed the retailer for an unavailable product. Fifty-eight percent of frustrated shoppers became lost in-store sales and 65 percent became lost online sales.
"Retailers need end-to-end supply chain visibility to execute in this environment," Cavano said. "This means connecting all of the players in your supply chain, inside and outside your four walls, creating a true multienterprise supply chain. Do this well and you can effectively and profitably meet consumer demands. Do this poorly and you won't be around much longer."
In total, IHL Group estimates that retailers are losing $1.75 trillion annually due to the cost of out-of-stock products, along with overstocks and needless returns.
-See this GT Nexus press release
Retailers lose $1.75T on overstocks, out-of-stocks and returns
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