How have supply chain shortages affected retailers and consumer behavior?

Supply chain shortages have been affecting European customers for the past few years; whether it’s because of the pandemic causing mass delays; Brexit impacting UK trade; or the recent spike in prices, retailers haven’t had an easy time staying on top of supply and demand. So how have these issues affected both the retailer, and consumer behavior? In this blog, we’ll take a look at four of the impacts of global delays.

 

  1. Retailers have had to be frank about delays

Many retailers have struggled with the issues of trying to keep customers interested, despite the delays, which often means being honest about wait times. This is a difficult problem, as they might fear that customers will go elsewhere if they see long waits for their products, however, there’s nothing worse than being told your items will arrive within a week, then waiting months for something to turn up. Retailers have reported that the strategy of honesty and communication about wait times was an effective way to satisfy most customers wondering where their product was, amidst supply chain chaos.

  1. Consumers have come to expect rapid delivery, but this is sometimes hard to enact

For customers, their expectations surrounding delivery time have become shorter and shorter over the years, meaning by the time supply chain issues started occurring, many customers wanted next day, if not same-day delivery. However, as discussed in the aforementioned point, retailers were often unable to deliver this, leaving customers disappointed.

  1. Retailers have struggled to sell seasonal stock

One of the lesser talked about issues which has emerged from supply chain issues, is the problem of seasonal stock issues. For example, many retailers ordered in winter clothing, which only arrived by summer, by which time customers no longer wanted to buy it. Many retailers have had to employ discounting strategies in order to shift old stock which they only got a hold of by the time it was too late.

  1. Consumers are paying the price

For the consumer, the price of online shopping has gone up noticeably. This is because as retailers pay more to acquire stock and for transport (for example, the issues caused by the Suez canal blockage made storage container prices shoot up as much as ten-fold) they must make up the loss in margins by charging the customer more for the product. As the cost of living crisis continues, customers are harder to persuade to part with their money, however, they can’t avoid paying a premium for items they need, as prices continue to soar.


 

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