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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : May 30, 2017

Real-time inventory monitoring a must for on- and offline retailers

Retailers who take too long searching inventory can expect to lose sales and revenue, according to new research from supply chain specialists, Zetes, with few consumers prepared to wait around for answers. And the problem is not just offline.

by Helen Leggatt

Zetes' survey of more than 2,000 consumers and 214 retailers across Europe, conducted by Sapio Research, found that seven out of ten shoppers would not be prepared to wait more than five minutes in a store to find out if something was in stock. An even more impatient 30% said three minutes was their limit.

Online, too, consumers aren't happy when an item they seek is out of stock. Thirty percent of consumers looking for homewares, and 31% for fashion, say they abandon a purchase altogether if the item they want is not in stock. Zetes' survey found that homewares brands, in particular, faced losing up to 33% of sales from such behavior.

The answer might lie in the implementation of real-time inventory monitoring. When coupled with a single point of view, so individuals across channels and across an organization can access the status of individual items, such technology can mitigate loss of reputation and revenue.

"With the new war against competition fought not just on price and quality but on the ability to respond to the customer's ever-changing and increasing expectations, achieving fast marginal gains and complete visibility throughout the supply chain will be a major differentiator in 2017 and will impact heavily on customer loyalty in the future," said Gareth Thomas, retail business consultant at Zetes.

Tags: consumer survey, ecommerce, Europe, retail, supply chain

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