Lesson to be learned… Aussie supply chain crisis forces customers local

As the global and Australian supply chain crisis continues to disrupt the retail industry, consumers are being forced to change their shopping habits and buy local for speed and availability, new research from mobile and IoT provider SOTI has found.

Australian consumers are feeling the effects of supply chain issues firsthand, with 40% of Australian consumers saying they have recently experienced one or more items not being available or have had to purchase alternatives when their preferred product was not available. Likewise, 70% said they have had to go to different retailers to find items in stock. Worse still, 69% of shoppers said items they wanted to purchase have not been available at all.

Compounding these supply issues, 74% said they feel delivery times have been slower than usual, and more than half (61%) said that the shipping and delivery time is the most frustrating aspect of ordering online.

Unwilling to compromise on speed and availability, consumers are now paying special attention to the purchase journey. In fact, a third (32%) of Australian consumers said that if the delivery or pick up of an item takes longer than two days, they will look elsewhere. Meanwhile, with deliveries from outside Australia now taking longer to arrive, 60% of Australian consumers have changed their habits, saying they are now less likely to order an item that requires shipping from overseas than they were a year ago.

As part of the From Clicks to Ships: Navigating the Global Supply Chain Crisis 2022 Report, SOTI surveyed 10,000 consumers across Australia, US, Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, France and Sweden to understand how consumers are responding to the retail supply chain crisis, as well as their expectations of brands and retailers to cope with it.

The onus is now on retailers to adapt to these behaviours and match up with consumer preferences.

“Brands and retailers are being forced to pause and think again about how they approach customer relationships and go-to-market strategies in response to these issues. They need to have insightful data at their fingertips to cater to these consumer preferences and combat consumer impatience, while considering that we’re still very much in a state of fluctuation. There is now a premium on the flexibility that allows brands to provide the best possible customer experience, no matter how or where customers shop,” says Michael Dyson, VP of sales, ANZ at SOTI.

Looking to the future, when asked if they would consider using any of the following alternative delivery options in 2022, 68% said they would consider in-store delivery/collection (“click and collect”/buy online and pick up in-store) and 78% would consider delivery to a designated drop-off point.

Consumers are also open to even more significant changes in the way they receive their goods as technology advances. Almost half (48%) said they would consider either autonomous vehicles to deliver larger packages to their home or other convenient location, or delivery drones to deliver small packages (39%).

“Mobile technology can help retailers to improve both communications and customer experience across all relevant channels and media. By ensuring they have mobile-enabled operational intelligence, brands and retailers can diagnose problems quickly and adapt fast to meet developing consumer needs and preferences. In this rapidly shifting retail environment, the only certainty is uncertainty. By ensuring consumers have choice and flexibility, brands and retailers, as well as their logistics partners, will be prepared for all eventualities,” says Dyson.