Supply Chain Crisis: How It Affects Holiday Shopping

High demand, combined with supply chain delay, shortage of materials and troubles in recruiting worker, is shrinking the availability of items both online and in stores. Analysts expect as customers approach the last minute, physical stores will become a more appealing option for shoppers than waiting for delivery.

Even if customers can’t find exactly what they’re looking for at a store, it’s often easier to browse through a place to find an alternative product – and they can give it a try.

Rod Sides, Deloitte vice president and head of US retail and distribution, said in an email: “Brick and mortar may be more appealing to consumers later in the season. “Shoppers can leave with goods in hand, instead of waiting on the dates promised by the shipper.”

Consumers saw more than 2 billion messages go out while browsing online in October, according to Adobe Analytics. That’s a big reason why, in physical stores, sales will grow 8% this year – a 10-year high – as shoppers return to in-person shopping and try to avoid slow deliveries. late, according to real estate research firm CBRE.

Analysts also believe that buying online, in-store orders will boom this holiday because of concerns about shipping issues.

Shoppers will rely on curbside pickup more than ever to give them peace of mind when shopping during the holiday season, said Andrew Lipsman, a retail analyst at market research firm Insider Intelligence.

Lipsman expects retailers to advertise pickups as an option for customers on their websites and mobile apps, in marketing emails and on television to appeal to customers who are nervous about buying. Shop online at the end of the season.

Stores say they have better control over in-store inventory and curbside pickup than home delivery orders – meaning there’s less chance of confusion or order delays. row.

“The closer I am [to the holiday]“I would absolutely use the ship for storage as that would give more confidence in being able to actually get the goods in time,” said Ben Johns, general sales manager for home action sports. outdoor equipment retailer REI, said in a recent interview.

When a customer places an order online and receives it in-store, the products are already in-store, or REI ships them from one of the warehouses using its own truck. That means REI doesn’t need to depend on third party carriers it has less control over delivery to customers’ homes, he said.

$5 off orders and free blankets

Retailers have an incentive to attract shoppers to their stores.

Usually, it’s more profitable for retailers to buy products in person than to order them to your door because they have to pay for expensive last-mile delivery. Return rates are also higher for items purchased online, and retailers must eat the customer’s return costs.

Top retailers are driving customers this year to their physical stores to shop or order online and pick up their items in person.

Kohl’ (KSS)is offering customers a $5 discount on orders when they pick it up in store. It is also trying to make the pick-up process smoother for customers by adding new temporary pickup locations and designated parking spots for pickups, as well as a self-pickup test. where customer can access their order by link and code.

This year, demand for pickup truck orders will increase in part because it “helps remove the added stress of waiting for packages,” said Paul Gaffney, Kohl’s chief technology and supply chain officer. goods to your doorstep”.

How to find lower prices and avoid empty shelves during peak holiday shopping
Carter’, (CRI) The children’s clothing chain is offering customers gifts as an added perk if they buy items on certain dates in stores – but not online – such as blankets from May 19. November 11 to 21 and Skip Hop toys from December 10 to December 12.

Randa Apparel & Accessories, which sells brands like Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and others, has shifted a large portion of its ad spend to driving customers to stores, rather than buying online. It also directs more of its inventory to stores than to e-commerce.

“When inventory is limited, we want to drive consumers to buy in-store rather than buy online,” said David Katz, chief marketing officer at Randa.

Customers buying products in stores are more profitable for Randa than selling online, which often comes with “huge reverse logistics costs” on return orders. “We paid for this education, and it was a valuable lesson to learn,” he said.

When shoppers go to stores, they also tend to make impulse purchases or buy related items nearby – belts, for example, near the pants they’re buying. This is less common when shopping online.

Overall, says Katz, “the level of frustration is lower when you’re shopping for mortar and brick, especially when inventory is limited.”


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