Revisiting the 2022 SOTI Retail Industry Report From Clicks to Ships: Navigating the Global Supply Chain Crisis 2022

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In the retail industry, it’s the perfect time to look back at the year that was.

The supply chain crisis dominated the news cycle – not to mention the thoughts and worries of retailers worldwide. Customers, too, were impacted by late deliveries or empty shelves. According to the SOTI retail industry report From Clicks to Ships: Navigating the Global Supply Chain Crisis 2022, released in January 2022:

  • 57% of customers couldn’t buy the items they wanted or had to settle for alternatives

  • 53% said shipping was the most frustrating part of the retail experience

  • 72% were more likely to utilize BOPIS (buy online and pick up in store) for their shopping needs

But the world was (and still is) emerging from COVID-19, the greatest global public health crisis many of us will ever see. It was understandable that the supply chain would be impacted and 91% of people were somewhat sympathetic to the fact the crisis – and supply chain management as a whole – was a complex issue.

What Does Next Year Have in Store?

If now is a good time to look back at 2022 in retail, it’s also a good time to look ahead, especially with the busy holiday shopping season in full swing.

In 2023, shoppers may not be so tolerant of delays in the retail supply chain. In From Clicks to Ships: Navigating the Global Supply Chain Crisis 2022, 36% of consumers said they’d go elsewhere if they had to wait more than two days for delivery. When you consider just how disruptive the supply chain crisis was – and somewhat still is – to retail, 36% is somewhat of a low number.

Here are some other findings from the SOTI 2022 retail industry report:

  • Only 34% of customers said delivery times were slower than usual

  • Only 35% said the items they wanted to purchase were not available at all

However, if the supply chain crisis is still in effect throughout the month of December and into January, it’s not unreasonable to expect those numbers to increase.

Will shoppers be as patient in 2023 as they were in 2022? Find out in the upcoming SOTI 2023 Retail Report (Coming in January 2023), a year-over-year comparison from the 2022 report.

What is Technology’s Role?

The 2022 SOTI retail industry report identified two important technology trends to help retailers deliver superior customer experiences despite the supply chain crisis:

  • Prolonging Battery Life: Customers like self-service tools such as handheld scanners. They let them shop faster and it limits interactions with store associates. Scanners which are unavailable or fail mid-shift due to poor battery life result in a poor customer experience.

  • Printer Management: Anytime a printer goes down – at the self-serve checkout, the warehouse or on the delivery truck – impacts how and when goods arrive at a retail location or the customer’s front door.

During the height of the supply chain crisis, 82% of people were worried it would ruin not just their retail shopping experience, but their life plans. Also, as evidenced in From Clicks to Ships: Navigating the Global Supply Chain Crisis 2022, 52% of consumers were less likely to purchase items that require shipping from abroad than they were before the pandemic.

In 2022, the supply chain crisis forced consumers to change their shopping habits and behaviors and retailers adapted to these changes through technology. From the SOTI retail report:

  • 42% of consumers increased the amount of online buying and having purchases delivered directly to them

  • 72% were more likely to use BOPIS (buy online and pick-up in-store)

  • 61% shopped with brands who can deliver goods the fastest

Consumers already adjusted to the supply chain crisis once and it’s highly unlikely they will adjust again. Therefore, in 2023 it’s up to retailers to continue to leverage technology to ensure goods arrive on time, are available in-store and to deliver premium shopping experiences.

How Will Consumer Expectations Change for 2023? Find Out in the Next SOTI Retail Industry Report

What are consumers looking for from retailers in 2023? Is it more technology to make shopping faster and easier? Is it greater visibility into the real-time status of their purchases? Are consumers going to “pick sides” – online shopping vs. in-store shopping? Or are they looking for better hybrid retail experiences?

The SOTI 2023 Retail Report – coming in January 2023 – will look at how consumer attitudes have evolved since the SOTI 2022 Retail Report. It will also provide insights on what retailers can do to ensure customers’ evolving needs are continuously being met through the use of new and innovative technology.