Consumers: No Patience For Supply Chain Fails
Seventy-eight percent of consumers want to receive updates on the status of their orders when purchasing goods, and they won’t hesitate to switch brands if supply chain performance fails to meet their expectations, according to a global survey conducted by YouGov and sponsored by Infor, a provider of industry-specific cloud applications. The survey polled 6,285 consumers in France, Germany, the UK, and the United States.
According to consumers surveyed, estimated time of arrival (49 percent) and real-time location information (29 percent) are most important to know when waiting for a purchase to be delivered at home or to a pickup location.
Survey results suggest that consumers are more likely to switch brands related to their day-to-day needs, including groceries (59%), household products (53%), fashion/footwear (40%), and health & beauty products (37%). However, even in product categories such as high-tech (35%), furniture (32%) and automotive (19%), consumers indicate that they would switch brands if supply chain performance faltered.
Infor had sponsored a similar YouGov survey in 2016. "At that time, among millennials (18-34), fashion was rated the number one product category," says Greg Kefer, vice president of marketing for the Infor GT Nexus Commerce Network. "Now, we see categories such as food and beverage and consumer products rank ahead of fashion, with high-tech not far behind.
"This is an indication that consumer expectations are on the rise across product categories," he adds.
"In our business, supply chain visibility is frequently cited as a foundational element of innovation and transformation," Kefer notes. "Companies must be able to ‘see’ across the vastness of their global supply chains, so they can identify gaps and make improvements."
However, in a recent GEODIS survey of 623 supply chain executives, only six percent of companies believe they’ve achieved full supply chain visibility.
In working with customers, Infor has found that next-day or even same-day delivery of goods is becoming the expectation for consumers, not the exception.
And, as the YouGov survey suggests, this expectation goes beyond e-commerce/retail into other industries.
"Consumers can now get very granular information about product status and location, and they increasingly are associating supply chain performance with brand preference," Kefer says.
In fact, the YouGov survey reveals that nearly half (48%) of consumers say they know what the "supply chain" is. Awareness of the supply chain was particularly high in the UK (77 percent) and the United States (58 percent)—markets typically characterized by retail/service-centric economies.
Companies that sell to other businesses must face the reality that their customers also are consumers who see firsthand supply chain innovation—or lack of—when shopping online or on their mobile devices.
Consumers now expect a supply chain visibility solution as part of the brand experience.