One of the keys to retailer profitability is availability. Put simply, if a product is not on-shelf in store, then it is a lost sales opportunity. Failure to deliver is likely to result in consumers either taking their business to another retail outlet, or more likely, ordering from a rival digital channel.
Whether this issue is down to inaccurate inventory management or shrinkage, the issue remains that the merchandise was not available when the customer wanted to buy it.
Out-of-stocks cost the industry billions every year. Research (1) across numerous categories asserts that when a product is not available on shelf shoppers react in one of five ways: 31% buy the product they need but from a different store or online; 26% buy a different brand; 19% still buy the same brand but a different variant/size or flavor; 15% buy the product at a later date; 9% buy nothing.
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