The Adobe Digital Experience Index, based on real transactions, finds a huge out-of-stock effect.
Problems with the supply chain were always going to have an effect on 2021’s holiday shopping season. New data from Adobe gives some idea of what the scale of the effect is likely to be as consumers look to kick off their holiday shopping early.
In October, shoppers saw two billion out-of-stock messages, a rise of 250% over a comparable pre-pandemic period (January 2020) and a staggering rise of 325% compared with October 2019. The electronics category is hardest hit, followed by jewelry, apparel, home and garden, and pet products.
An 8% growth in consumer spending YoY is evidence that consumers are shopping earlier, and brands have been reaching out with earlier deals and discounts. Curbside pick-up stayed steady with last October, while there has been a small increase in expedited shipping requests.
Why we care. First, this is real transaction data rather than data about consumer intentions gathered from surveys. Adobe has access to over one trillion visits to U.S. retail sites.
Second, as we’ve been saying for at least a year, the supply chain crisis has the capacity to wreck the customer experience. Late fulfilment on orders is to be expected, but the early surge in out-of-stock inventory means customer journeys ending before a purchase is made. The challenge to marketers? Be empathetic, be transparent and be honest. You can’t fix the supply chain; you can try to ameliorate how bad your customers feel.