Why Complete Delivery Fulfilment Matters to Consumers

February 2018

Our Survey Reveals Why Complete Delivery Fulfilment Matters to your Consumers

If you’ve ever tried to order items online and then find them out of stock, or you’ve placed an order only to see this arrive late because the company you buy from cannot deal with the demand, the chances are you’ll have been left feeling frustrated.

As a business owner, this is the last thing you’d want for your customers, and according to our research such instances of poor stock management can have a lasting effect on everything from a buyer’s initial emotions to their future shopping preferences.

These conclusions and others came from a survey we carried out that posed a number of questions to consumers to find out more about what stock issues they’ve encountered and the extent of their reactions.

Here are the questions we asked:

  • How often do you experience issues with stock when purchasing online?
  • Does being notified of low stock give you a sense of urgency to buy that day?
  • What is your initial emotional reaction when an item is out of stock?  
  • What action would you be most likely to take when an item you want is out of stock?
  • How many occasions where lack of stock has been the main issue would it take for you to avoid repeat custom with a retailer?  
  • Which type of retailer do you experience the most issues with?
  • After how many days would you wait for stock to be replenished before looking for an alternative?  
  • How likely would you be to accept an alternative suggestion?

The Main Findings from our Survey
Once we’d gathered our data we saw a number of key findings which overall suggested that having complete delivery fulfilment and ecommerce fulfilment is essential for businesses.

Firstly, a rather surprising 91% of people claimed to have experienced stock issues when shopping online in the past.

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 In addition to this, more than three quarters of those surveyed found that low stock levels gave them an increased sense of urgency to buy – and although this may have led to a sale, it’s fair to say that the added pressure wouldn’t necessarily create an enjoyable shopping experience.

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Overall, the emotional response to finding an item is out of stock was negative. The majority of us, 42%, claimed to feel frustrated, closely followed by 32% of us who feel annoyed.

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Following this, 51% of respondents would then shop elsewhere with only 18% being prepared to wait until their desired items are back in stock.

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What’s more, 18% of us would only be prepared to wait for 24 hours for new stock to appear. In addition to this, we discovered that if we had repeated issues with a company it would make over a quarter of us refuse to shop with them again.

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When it came down to which industries were the biggest offenders for stock issues, fashion was by far and away the worst with 43% of consumers claiming they had faced problems with this sector.

Lastly, it became apparent that we’re not a nation who like to be told what to do in the face of supply issues, as only 27% of respondents said they’d be likely to accept an alternative suggestion to their order.

Protecting Your Stock, Supply Chains and Sales
As aforementioned, the resounding finding here was that poor stock management from a business can quickly lead to customer dissatisfaction, frustration and ultimately a missed sales opportunity. What businesses should remember though is that whether it’s in-house delivery fulfilment or ecommerce fulfilment, Whistl have the services needed to help keep everything from stock, to deliveries and supply chains in check.

An added benefit of all this – aside from reducing stock management and consumer concerns – is that a business can then focus on improving in other areas, safe in the knowledge they have everything they need for fulfilment.

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