The Inconvenience of Out-Of-Stock
More than any other retail vertical, convenience is meant to ensure that customers have what they want when they want it. The irony of “Out-of-Stock” in a “Convenience” store is undeniable.
Out-of-stock (OOS) is a problem that plagues retailers of every type. On average, a typical retailer’s OOS is 8.3%. That means that any individual shopper with an average basket size of 10 items has a 42% likelihood of experiencing OOS on a given visit. This can have dire consequences, as the average customer is willing to go to a competitor after just 2.3 negative shopping experiences.
Of all the retail verticals that exist, c-stores face the greatest challenge from OOS due to the nature of their fundamental purpose – to provide convenience for customers.
Yet, according to Carbonview Research, 39% of c-store shoppers experience OOS scenarios when going to their local store. This leads to a number of consequences:
- Lower Customer Satisfaction: 41%of shoppers who did not encounter an out-of-stock were satisfied with their last c-store shopping experience vs. 23%who did experience an OOS
- Reduced Customer Loyalty: 29% of customers who experienced OOS decided not to shop at that establishment for a short time; 3% said they stopped shopping at the establishment altogether
- Lost Sales: 21% of shoppers who had a list of items ended up purchasing none of the products if they found that even one of them was not available
Worst of all, when your customers are experiencing OOS, they are taking their dollars to a competitor who is benefiting from not only having the product your store didn’t, but being able to sell them additional products.
A big problem like this calls for a powerful solution. Retailers need a 360-degree view of inventory – including product in the warehouse, what is on the shelves, and what is leaving the store. On top of that, they need to know when a product is approaching OOS and what to do at each step of the product’s journey.
The solution is a Real-Time Store Operations Platform that can process data from inventory systems, point of sale, electronic shelf labels, and other systems in the store ecosystem, and then provide store managers and associates with actionable alerts. Here are the real-time actions from one integration scenario:
- Notification to a Store Manager to reorder a product because inventory is low
- Notification to a Store Associate when an item needs to be replenished on the shelf
This sort of a solution doesn’t simply send your employees a report about OOS, it tells them what to do the moment inventory is low. Most importantly, it helps
your stores provide the best possible customer experience by ensuring that the right product is always in stock at the right time when customers come to the store.
To learn more about solutions that can provide the full 360-degree view of your store’s inventory and ensure that you can avoid the challenges associated with OOS, please see our latest news about partnerships to help your store avoid OOS.