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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : September 20, 2013

Venda: Poor stock management costing UK retailers billions

It's a tough climate on the High Street for UK retailers, yet many are failing to help themselves due to poor stock management which means consumers are leaving their stores empty-handed, some never to return.

by Helen Leggatt

Retailing on the High Street in the UK is challenging in today's online and mobile commerce environment. Stores need to be doing everything in their power to build and maintain loyalty in order to stay ahead of the competition.

However, a new survey among 2,043 UK adults commissioned by digital solutions provider Venda, and conducted by YouGov, reveals that 38% of consumers have left a store empty-handed, not because of price, but because what they wanted wasn't in stock or was unavailable in the right size, style or color.

Venda's resulting "Missing £Billion Basket Report 2013" shows the extent of the damage done to a retailer's bottom line when stock management is left wanting. It is causing retailers to miss out on almost one billion pounds worth of sales each month.

Of course, what this all means is that High Street retailers are actually putting consumers off shopping in-store and turning them towards online and mobile channels.

According to Venda, "over a third (38%) of shoppers would automatically look for the products they wanted on a retailer's website if they are not available in bricks and mortar stores" and, worse still, that "almost half of UK consumers (48%) said they would turn to competitor websites when they can't find goods when out shopping".

So, how does a retailer tackle the problem of stock deficiencies?

- Shop assisted sales: 42% of consumers would still purchase the product from a retailer if a shop assistant was able to check product availability at a nearby store;

- 44% would continue with a purchase if items unavailable in-store could be ordered and delivered to an address of their choice;

- In-store technology such as 'click and collect' would be used by 27% of survey respondents;

- 34% would use in-store kiosks to make a purchase and have items delivered to home.

"In a climate of tough trading, retailers need to go back to basics and re-evaluate core aspects of their businesses operations," says Eric Abensur, Group CEO, Venda. "Although promotional activities and flash sales have helped retailers boost bottom lines in recent months, focusing on these strategies should be in line with optimizing stock management and order fulfillment. Stock management systems that only marginally work are costing retailers millions of pounds worth of sales, which if captured, could be considered as the saving grace of the High Street."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: ecommerce, High Street, in-store technology, mcommerce, retail, stock management, UK

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