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Study: Out-of-stocks — in store and online — a growing problem

BY Dan Berthiaume

Consumers are experiencing frequent out-of-stocks, and retailers will be out of luck if they don’t do something about it.

According to a new survey from GT Nexus and YouGov, 75% of U.S. adults have suffered from an unavailable product in-store in the last 12 months.

The experience cuts across channels, as 63% of U.S. online shoppers have had the same experience. And 26% of shoppers experienced in-store stock-outs often or very often in the last year. One-third of disappointed in-store shoppers blamed the retailer or manufacturer when a product was unavailable.

More alarmingly, 58% of frustrated in-store shoppers became lost sales — where shoppers bought from another retailer or did not buy at all. This figure rose to 65% of frustrated online shoppers becoming lost sales.

"This study shines a spotlight on a global inventory crisis that is frustrating consumers, and impacting the bottom line of retailers," said Kurt Cavano, founder and chief strategy officer at GT Nexus. "In today's competitive environment it is hard enough to get the attention of consumers, but winning them and then losing them due to stock-out is very damaging. It raises the question to retailers that, 'If you can't execute well on omnichannel, maybe you shouldn't offer it at all.”

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