UK retail has the stock, but it’s not always available

A new report, from OneStock, ‘Omnichannel Study: How retailers can serve the post-Covid shopper‘ has discovered from research among 2,000 UK shoppers that unavailable stock still accounts for almost a fifth of UK retailers’ inventory. 82% of UK shoppers have experienced out-of-stocks during the pandemic while 73% said they would be less loyal to a retailer if they experienced out-of-stocks.

A fifth (20%) of consumers had bought a product online, only to then be sent an email from the retailer advising them it was out of stock. A further quarter (23%) experienced delays due to stock shortages after they checked out online.

The report warns that this doesn’t just negatively impact customer experience, but erodes customer loyalty.  Almost three quarters (73%) would be less loyal or less likely to buy again from a retailer if they experienced product unavailability. A further 59% said they would have less confidence to continue shopping with a retailer if they continually experienced out-of-stocks.

Romulus Grigoras, Founder and CEO at OneStock, commented: “With the accelerated and sustained demand for ecommerce, online competition has intensified.  As such, retailers are investing more and more to bring shoppers to their sites, nurture them and serve them the right products in order to convert them, only to fall at the final hurdle if the item then isn’t in stock. This costs not only that conversion but erodes long-term customer loyalty.”

“Retailers should remove silos in the inventory pool and unify stock. Whether it’s from the DC, warehouse or store, it should be picked from any channel. In this way, retailers not only extend their available ranging, but enhance customer convenience, improve conversions and increase customer-life time value,” he concluded.

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