Consumer expectations remain high despite supply chain delays, product shortages, and rising costs, leaving retailers focused more than ever on creating a seamless shopping and delivery experience, according to research from technology firm SOTI, released Monday.
SOTI, which provides mobile and IoT device management solutions to a wide range of businesses, published the research findings in its From Clicks to Ships: Navigating the Global Supply Chain Crisis 2022 report. The research aimed to reveal how consumer behaviors are changing due to the pandemic, increased inflation rates, and supply chain problems. The company surveyed 10,000 consumers in eight countries, including the United States.
Global economic concerns continue to pinch consumers worldwide. Among the report’s findings, more than half (52%) of U.S. consumers said items have become more expensive, and almost two thirds of shoppers (61%) said that one or more items they need are no longer available for immediate purchase. This has pushed consumers to settle for alternative products or turn to a different retailer to find items in stock, according to the report.
The research also found that pandemic-induced consumer buying practices are here to stay, with nearly three-quarters of respondents saying they will continue to buy online, with purchases either delivered or picked up in store.
When it comes to online buying in 2022, the research found that: 57% of respondents are less likely to order an item that requires shipping from overseas than a year ago; 56% find shipping time the most frustrating aspect of ordering online; 49% expect same-day in-store pickup for any item they order online; 42% say they will look elsewhere if delivery or pickup of an item is more than two days; 42% say they are buying more online and having purchases delivered directly to them.
The trends place a growing emphasis on the need for supply chain agility and a seamless customer experience, according to SOTI.
“Retailers need to find a way to accelerate innovation and implement technology to communicate with consumers and partners, while also taking into consideration the fact that we’re still very much in a state of flux,” Shash Anand, vice president of product strategy at SOTI, said in a statement announcing the research. “This places a premium on the need for flexibility and scalability.”
Transparency and visibility are key as well. Nearly 70% of respondents said they expect to know where their order is within the delivery process at all times, and 64% said they are likely to do repeat business with brands that can deliver goods the fastest. Nearly 50% said they’d be more likely to do business with retailers that offer multiple return points, the research also found.
Consumers from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, Sweden, France, and Australia participated in the report.