Monday, July 22, 2024

Supply chain issues leaving customers frustrated

Supply chain issues continue to impact Australians, affecting both their shopping behaviour and mood, finds new research by Toluna.

According to the consumer intelligence platform, “most” Australians surveyed (73%) have recently experienced product shortages because of supply chain issues.

In stores, shoppers continue to experience empty shelves (88%) and buying limits (66%). Online shoppers, on the other hand, are experiencing delivery delays (50%) and brand unavailability (51%).

Grocery stores appear to be the most affected, says Toluna, with 85% of respondents citing availability issues. However, shoppers also report having experienced product shortages in clothing and footwear retailers (19%), homewares (16%), and electrical stores (14%).

According to two-thirds of respondents (64%), fresh meat is proving the most difficult item to source. Pantry products (44%), fresh fruit and vegetables (40%), and household cleaning products (33%) are also difficult to find.

When it came to online shopping, 47% of respondents said they were willing to go back to in-store shopping due to products being temporarily unavailable online.

Brand loyalty and changing behaviours 

When their preferred brand is unavailable, 77% of the Australians surveyed said they are willing to substitute for a new brand. This, says Toluna, may pose an issue for long-term brand loyalty.

Across the various categories, respondents were happiest to switch to a different brand of chilled dairy (54%), household cleaning products (49%), or alcohol (44%) when their preferred brand was unavailable. However, they are more likely to shop around in search of their favourite fresh meat (40%), pet food (40%), or baby products (35%).

In addition to brand switching, 50% of respondents are also now shopping in other locations, such as local butchers or farmers markets, that are less impacted by supply chain issues. 43% buy extra of the products they need once they come back in stock, and 20% are stockpiling products such as canned goods, paracetamol, and toilet paper to boost supplies.

Stressed out and in prep mode

More than just an inconvenience, says Toluna, the supply chain issues are affecting shoppers’ moods.

67% of respondents feel disappointed and frustrated when they see empty shelves and missing products. For some, it can make them feel stressed (35%), anxious (36%), or even angry (27%).

Australians are also preparing themselves in case they get sick and have to isolate.

30% of respondents have created a ‘Covid kit’ filled with medicines they may need if they get sick. 26% are ensuring they have enough pre-prepared food in the fridge, so they don’t need to cook if they’re feeling unwell.

27% of respondents are also ensuring they have a supply of rapid antigen tests (RAT) available on hand if they need.

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