Skip to content

Study Finds 81% of In-Store Shoppers Experienced Stock-outs in Past Year

 The following article is from

Global Study Found 81 Percent of In-Store Shoppers Experienced Stock-out In Past Year

Christine Kerr

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Digitally Connecting With Millennials

Retailers need to take steps to prevent out-of-stocks to keep shoppers happy.

Eight in 10 adults have experienced out-of-stock products in-store over the past year, according to a new study from GT Nexus, while 65 percent of online shoppers had the same experience.  The survey found that out-of-stocks have a significant price for retailers, since 30 percent of shoppers reported experience frequent in-store stock outs, and 57 percent of disappointed consumers blamed the retailer or manufacturer when the products they desired were not available.

The survey was conducted by YouGov and GT Nexus, and polled more than 5,000 U.S., British, German, and French shoppers. Among the study’s findings:

  • Three-quarters of all U.S. adults have suffered from in-store stock-outs over the past 12 months;
  • 38 percent of U.S. shoppers experienced in-store out-of-stocks and 26 percent found online out-of-stocks  either often or very often;
  • One-third of frustrated U.S. in-store customers blamed retailers for product unavailability;
  • 58 percent of frustrated  U.S. in-store shoppers became lost sales, with shoppers buying elsewhere or not at all;
  • 65 percent of frustrated U.S. online shoppers became lost sales.

“This study shines a spotlight on a global inventory crisis that is frustrating consumers, and impacting the bottom line of retailers,” explained Kurt Cavano, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at GT Nexus. “In today’s competitive environment it is hard enough to get the attention of consumers, but winning them and then losing them due to stock-out is very damaging. IT raises the question to retailers that, ‘If you can’t execute well on omnichannel, maybe you shouldn’t offer it at all.’”

As this article from Innovative Retail Technologies highlights, “Omni-channel commerce is forcing retailers to develop new distributed order management and inventory visibility systems and to transform their fulfillment and returns processes and systems to support new channels and strategies.”  Filling different order types from multiple distribution points, and keeping products stocked either in-store or online, is become an increasingly difficult challenge.

Cavano asserted, “Retailers need end-to-end supply chain visibility to execute in this environment. This means connecting all of the players in your supply chain, inside and outside your four walls, creating a true multi-enterprise supply chain. Do this well, and you can effectively and profitably meet consumer demands. Do this poorly, and you won’t be around much longer.”

Back To Top