‘Out of stock’ leads to ecommerce loss

The cost and significance of out-of-stock items has risen up the agenda again. A critical supply chain issue, the majority of consumers who find an item out of stock either go elsewhere or fail to buy at all.

The Out Of Stock Paradox, from GT Nexus, in association with YouGov, found 83 per cent of UK consumers have gone into a store to buy a particular item and found it unavailable. The same has occurred for 70 per cent online. When that happened in store, 57 per cent of shoppers said their first-choice retailer lost the sale, with 65 per cent going elsewhere or not buying at all when shopping online. A third of disappointed shoppers (33 per cent in store, 34 per cent online) said the product they wanted to buy but could not was an item of clothing or footwear.

For GT Nexus this is a supply chain problem. “Stocking the right goods, at the right time, at the right place, in the right quantities is an enormous coordination effort – but that is what today’s shoppers have come to rightly expect,” said Boris Felgendreher of supply chain specialist GT Nexus.

“Modern supply chains are very complex and often involve hundreds of trading partners. While retailers continue to invest in the front-end of their business – the customer facing web sites and in-store promotions, they are lagging in their ability to execute the movement of goods; the ability to sense and respond to demand through greater inventory visibility and intelligence.

“To remain competitive, savvy business leaders are starting to embrace cloud technology so that they can not only collaborate with their trading partners in real-time, but also respond to sudden bursts in demand.”