A new survey has revealed that in the last three months 43% of consumers have been impacted by supply chain disruptions and 47% think brands can be doing more to prevent them.
In March 2023 supply chain software company 7bridges conducted research with independent market research consultancy Censuswide, with 2,010 UK consumers aged 16+ polled. The Are supply chain disruptions sending customers into the hands of your competitors? report found on average UK consumers were unable to get hold of a specific item 1.66 times per month. For 22% this was once a week and over half reported this monthly.
“In today’s world where we are so used to having everything at the drop of a hat, the frequency, whilst not surprising, will cause problems as consumers are less forgiving,” the report said.
It also highlighted the impact supply chain disruption has on prices, finding that 20% of consumers had to pay more because a specific brand wasn’t available.
“With the current cost of living crisis, consumers are being more careful with how and where they spend their money. If they are regularly having to spend more due to stock issues, they may decide to shop elsewhere permanently,” the report warned.
It found 39% of shoppers would be less likely to return to a brand which used supply chain issues as a reason for shortages. But almost half of the respondents said they will try and shop with the brands they are loyal to, but if shortages are present they will look elsewhere. While 16% said they will likely shop with different brands altogether.
The research also looked at which areas of the UK are hit hardest by supply chain disruption. Scotland and Northern Ireland are the most affected geographies, with London coming in third. These three areas are above the national average of 43%.
Northern Ireland is 10% higher than the national average in fact. This is likely due to Brexit and increased shipping costs since the UK exited the EU, the report suggested. In December 2022, it was reported that Northern Ireland manufacturers had over £1.2bn worth of goods sitting in warehouses awaiting completion due to missing parts and materials.