Retailers need to invest in technology that enables them to maintain high levels of stock availability to meet the demands of UK consumers, according to an Oracle Retail survey.
A total of 90 percent of consumers surveyed said that they would not wait for a product to come into stock and will shop elsewhere, revealing that price is no longer king for customers.
Retailers must therefore accommodate this trend by integrating demand forecasting, planning, merchandising, supply chain, marketing and commerce capabilities across all points of customer interaction, Oracle's New Retail Democracy’s report stated.
Sarah Taylor, senior director, Oracle Retail, EMEA, said that the results heralded a “big call to action – availability always is now essential”.
She added that Morrisons, John Lewis and Arcadia Group were competing successfully with Amazon by innovating to streamline their supply chain and using technology to retain customers, examples of which included giving sales assistants iPads to bring processing systems to the shop floor.
“Consumers in the UK are amongst the most informed shoppers in the world today, so their expectations of the information, service and experience revealed in this research identifies what retailers must do to bring real value to consumers and encourage their loyalty,” said Taylor.
Over half of UK shoppers surveyed buy directly from a brand, higher than the global average of 43 percent, a figure that emphasises the importance for retailers to enrich consumer engagement through science-based retail analytics tools Taylor said. Retailers like John Lewis have successfully counteracted this by opening up specialisms and developing their own brands.
The survey also revealed that 61 percent of respondents highlighted the importance of “Individual Retail,” meaning every interaction with a retailer should be relevant to the consumer based on their interests, requirements and purchase history.
Further, 72 percent of consumers consider the adoption of new technologies important to their retail experiences and are using multiple touch points, including tablets, click and collect and mobile devices to complete their shopping journeys.
Oracle commissioned the survey in December 2013 to explore the shopping habits of 4,500 consumers from Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, South Korea, the UK and USA.