As out-of-stocks continue to plague both retailers and customers, a majority of shoppers in the U.S. (81%) indicate they want to be notified when an item they like is back in-stock, a new survey from AI provider Lucidworks found.
In March, Lucidworks surveyed 401 U.S. adults and 402 U.K. adults who shop online for groceries at least once a month for its report, Shoppers Stay Hungry Online: Groceries on the Internet in 2022. In contrast, 76% of U.K. shoppers want to be notified when an item is in-stock.
“Supply chain hiccups and labor shortages have severely impacted the availability of produce, meat and packaged products during the pandemic. Out-of-stock rates are close to three times higher than normal and nearly half of shoppers will go elsewhere if they can’t find what they want,” the report said. “Relevant recommendations and proactive notifications can keep shoppers from clicking elsewhere.”
Shoppers also expressed a desire to know when an item has limited availability: Fifty-six percent of U.S. shoppers and 39% of U.K. shoppers said knowing a grocery item is low-in-stock online will influence their purchase decision, with 83% of those shoppers in the States and 75% of those shoppers in the U.K. saying they’d be more likely to buy that item.
“Proactive alerts via email, text message or app notification are a great way to make sure shoppers get what they need,” Lucidworks said in its report. It warned, however, that “a generic text message to shoppers’ phones with an irrelevant recommendation isn’t the fix. Smart applications that use machine learning and AI make the difference between a recommendation that leaves a shopper scratching their head in confusion and instead serves a recommendation that leaves them wondering how you read their mind.”
Nearly one-third (30%) of shoppers in the U.S. and U.K. said they will stay on the same grocery website or app to look for a substitute if they can’t find the specific item they were originally looking for, the survey found. Only 10% of U.S. shoppers and 15% of U.K. shoppers said they will rarely buy a substitute if they went grocery shopping with one specific item in mind. When that happens, most shoppers will look elsewhere.
Lucidworks found that 53% of U.S. shoppers and 41% of U.K. shoppers will go to a different store or use another grocery app if they can't find a product online at their usual grocer.
Other findings from the survey include:
- 40% of U.S. shoppers and 78% of U.K. shoppers buy their groceries online directly from a grocer's website (as opposed to a third-party app or a combination of direct and third-party app).
- 53% of U.S. shoppers and 83% of U.K. shoppers prefer to have groceries delivered to their home after purchasing them online (as opposed to picking them up in-store).
- 60% of U.S. shoppers and 57% of U.K. shoppers say that frequently or every time they shop for groceries online they find that the item they're looking for is out-of-stock or unavailable.
San Francisco-based Lucidworks’ Lucidworks Connected Experience Cloud platform helps companies create personalized search, browse and discovery experiences.