Australians Already Holiday Shopping to Avoid the Supply Chain Grinch

Supply Chain Report

New Oracle survey finds shoppers are nervous about high prices, out-of-stock items, and delivery delays

As if a pandemic wasn’t enough, a new Oracle Retail survey shows that shoppers are worried that supply chain and delivery delays will wreak havoc on the holidays. In response, 37% of consumers in Australia have already started or plan to start holiday shopping early. Of the respondents, 21% are shopping in-store in the hopes of securing the perfect gifts. Others are taking an easier path, with 33% of people (especially Millennials at 39%) noting they will buy more gift cards this year.

“While supply chain issues are front page news, consumers will still judge retailers based on their ability to deliver the goods they are seeking this holiday season,” said Cherie Ryan, VP and Regional Managing Director, Oracle ANZ. “Accountability will be the name of the game. Retailers must have clear visibility into their inventory globally to ensure that they can get customers the products they want as quickly as possible and provide complete transparency in the delivery process. The more information the better will help consumers feel confident in and loved by their favourite brands.”

The survey polled 5,728 global consumers, including 520 in Australia in September 2021. The Untold Insights survey asked consumers about how their pandemic shopping habits and plans for holiday shopping. Unwrap your complimentary copy of the report.

Supply chain woes
Gift givers are worried they will be left holding an empty box as products may not be available or will take too long to arrive:

·       23% of respondents are concerned that gifts won’t be delivered on time

·       20% are worried the products they want won’t be in stock

·       19% of respondents worry that the products they want will be more expensive due to scarcity

Santa’s sleigh on delay
Sixty-six percent of respondents will have gifts delivered to their home, but many are worried shipping times won’t meet their expectations and will be late – if they arrive at all. To ease their concerns, 60% of respondents say granular tracking of deliver status is very important.

·       30% of respondents say fast delivery determines who they order from. Five percent of consumers expect same day delivery, 17% 1–2-day delivery, and 39% 3–5-day delivery.

·       34% are most concerned that holiday gifts will arrive later than anticipated.

·       31% of people fear the unknown and are concerned they won’t know where orders are or if they will be late.

·       27% worry gifts won’t arrive at all.

If the package finally does arrive, 28% of people are worried it may be stolen by porch pirates!

In-stock or out of luck
Despite the challenges, being able to get their hands on the products they want—when they want—will be a key factor in how shoppers judge retailers this season:

·       41% say that out-of-stock items constitute a bad shopping experience; 37% say unexpected delays of receipt of goods or services will make for a bad shopping experience

·       43% say they are attracted to brands/companies based on product availability

·       31% won’t wait for a retailer to restock before they go somewhere else

Despite the draw of the sale, many consumers are not willing to wait for store holidays to get what they need. Just 14% of shoppers said they would participate in Prime Day’s; Cyber Monday came in at 19%.

Get gift cards for your loved ones
Gift cards remained a top contender for what people plan to buy more of this year:

·       33% plan to buy more gift cards (Gift cards were the most desired gift among all age groups, especially Gen X with more than half citing gift cards are what they would most like to receive)

·       22% plan to buy more beauty products

·       22% plan to buy more home goods

Getting real on returns
They may tell you the love the gift, but half of Gen Z are really planning to return it.  And these return interactions raise the stakes for retailers: 42% of respondents said a bad returns experience means they won’t shop with the offending retailer again. (Gen X were the least forgiving, with 50% citing a bad returns experience would prevent them from shopping with a retailer again.)

·       30% of people plan to make some returns (50% for Gen Z)

·       16% plan to return half to all their gifts (27% for Millennials)

Delta not denting holiday shopping
Aussies seem less concerned about the pandemic, with more shoppers opting to buy in-store this year:

·       29% of consumers plan to shop mostly in-store, up from 15% in 2020; 44% plan to shop both in-store and online, up from 35% last year.

·       76% feel comfortable shopping in an outdoor setting, while 75% feel comfortable shopping at an in-door mall.

·       When asked what makes they feel most comfortable to get out and shop, 27% said requirements of proof of vaccination; 16% said mask mandates; 12% said vaccinated employees. 

To learn more about how Oracle Retail is helping its customers have a happy holiday season, visit: www.oracle.com/retail

Matthew Giannelis

Secondary editor and executive officer at Tech Business News. Contracting as an IT support engineer for 20 years Matthew has a passion for sharing his knowledge of the technology industry. He's also an advocate for global cyber security matters.

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