Out-of-stock items, shipping speed and cost provoking customer disloyalty: study

Dark stores: increasingly popular with shoppers (Image: shutterstock)

Dark stores: increasingly popular with shoppers (Image: shutterstock)

Coming across out-of-stock items, slow shipping and shipping costs are increasingly sending shoppers elsewhere to find what they are looking for – and they don’t come back.

According to a survey of 2000 consumers across the UK, US and Ireland published by Conjura, an ecommerce data analytics company, more than 45% of consumers across all age groups claim that finding that what they want is out-of-stock will send them to another brand, with the percentage rising to 53% among Gen Z shoppers.

“The results of the survey reflect what we are seeing in the data world. More companies are concentrating on optimising supply chain and fulfilment through the use of data than ever before. It’s no longer enough for eCommerce brands to share their products online and then sit back and passively wait for the results. Brands’ strategies must ebb and flow with evolving retail trends and consumer behaviour and feedback,” says the co-founder and CEO of Conjura, Fran Quilty. “To remain competitive in this fast-changing sector, ecommerce companies need to understand how all areas of their business from supply chain and on-demand deliveries to customer experiences and online journeys all fuse together to impact consumers and their shopping behaviours so that they can adapt accordingly to optimise their offering.”

The report goes on to find that shipping, shipping fees are also a deciding factor. More than 27% of Gen Z and more than 32% of Millennials think that quick shipping will significantly impact their repurchase likelihood. Some 55% of consumers in the US, UK and Ireland combined are unlikely to purchase from a fashion brand again if they failed to dispatch or deliver their order on time. This is only true for approximately 46% of Gen Z consumers.

High shipping fees are now seen as the greatest deterrents for consumers, with more than 40% of consumers unlikely to make a purchase when the brand charges high shipping fees.

Overall, the study also points to how little consumers are married to any particular brand these days. : In the US and UK, some 30% of consumers intend to shop at new brands, not just familiar brands, this summer. Across the US, UK, and Ireland, 20% of consumers are unlikely to buy familiar brands in favour of new brands. The same is true when you look specifically at Gen Z, Millennials, and Baby Boomers.

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