- With shoppers concerned about desired items running out, a new Adobe report found that out-of-stock messages have increased by 250% in October compared to January 2020. When comparing October 2021 to October 2019, out-of-stocks notifications have increased by 325%.
- Adobe also found that consumers have begun their shopping early, with shoppers spending $72.4 billion in October 2021, an 8% increase from last year. That growth was driven by increased sales in toys (up 50% compared to September 2021), groceries (up 34%), video games (up 20%) and gift cards (up 20%).
- Despite early shopping, discounts for products this year have declined relative to last year, according to Adobe. Electronics discounts are at 8.7%, down from 13.2% in 2020; sporting goods are at 2.8%, compared to 11.2% last year; and appliances are at 4.6%, compared to 10.2% in 2020.
Adobe's report affirms many consumers' anxieties regarding products going out of stock this holiday season due to COVID-19 supply chain disruptions. According to a report from Deloitte released last month, 75% of survey respondents indicated that they were concerned about items running out of stock, which is why they decided to shop earlier this year.
Many retailers and brands are also afraid they won't have products transported to stores in time for the fast-approaching holiday season. In response, some retailers have taken steps to keep inventory in stock. In September, Lowe's announced that it had ordered more goods via its suppliers than usual ahead of the holidays to ensure that it had enough high-velocity items. Walmart has chartered ships, redirected shipments to ports with more room and rerouted inland shipments, while Target has hired more staff and is moving half of its containers at congested ports in the evenings.
"With over 2 billion out-of-stock messages last month, consumers are beginning to understand the real impact of the supply chain challenges," Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights, said in the report. "Some have begun to adjust their holiday strategy accordingly, with parents shopping for toys earlier and some settling for gift cards this season. For those who have not yet started their holiday shopping, they will need to be prepared to be flexible."