Whether you work in supply chain, marketing, sales, finance or customer service, a casual mention of the term “out-of-stock” can send shivers down your spine, erupting massive goose pimples on every limb.
OOS is a terrifying, anxiety-inducing horror story. While it is difficult to nail down the true monetary loss of OOS, your business (and your distributors) may be losing thousands, hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in potential profit.
Now, that’s just the business end of this all-too-common in-store situation; consumers also suffer from OOS issues. The last scenario you want for your target customer is to visit the drug store on a quick errand only to find that the product they intended to purchase was out of stock. If the intended purchase was a repurchase, your customer is forced to make a hasty, in-store decision whether to purchase a competitive product or to go in search of a location with available stock. Odds are that your customer browses the aisles for a comparable product, making a temporary or permanent shift to your competition. The result: a lost customer and a tainted reputation.
Whether OOS breaks down at the store level or upstream at the distribution center, the consumer pays no mind. The customer experience in-store is very black and white: they either find what they need, or they are disappointed with an empty shelf; the “why” is of little relevance in this scenario. As a result, monitoring OOS among all of your distribution locations is imperative to ensure a positive CX for your existing customers and potential customers.
A Quick Refresh: What is CX?
Customer experience (CX) is the customer’s emotional response to the totality of all touchpoints they have with your brand through the sales cycle. These touchpoints include the research phase, in-store browsing, check-out, product use and more. In order to increase customer retention and gain market share, it is imperative to achieve an overwhelmingly positive CX.
How OOS Monitoring Can Improve Your CX
With vast options available for every category of goods, consumers are more impatient than ever before. Brand loyalty is on the decline and seamless customer experience is an expectation rather than a perk. More than 49% of shoppers will purchase a substitute product if their preferred product is unavailable and 39% of shoppers will leave empty-handed.
The customer’s experience in-store sets the tone for their experience with your brand: a positive experience in-store can qualm a timid consumer while a negative experience in-store can taint a mediocre product experience. Monitoring OOS can improve your CX in the following ways:
Ensure Product Availability
The most basic contribution of OOS monitoring is, of course, making sure the product is on the shelf when your customer visits the store. Monitoring OOS allows your brand to quickly respond to empty shelves.
Play the Rebound
Just as your brand can lose out on sales to the competition as a result of empty shelves, your brand can gain sales from competition’s lack of inventory. Monitoring OOS ensures your brand is available for customers who are in search of alternative products when their preferred product is out of stock.
OOS Monitoring with Premise
Premise’s crowdsourcing technology uses a robust, innovative mobile application to collect real-time data from an extensive network of Contributors around the globe. These Local Contributors provide an unbiased, unique perspective that allows them to collect extremely granular data and glean valuable consumer and competitive insight on a local level.
Are you interested in learning more about how Premise can help you monitor OOS using crowdsourced data? Visit https://www.premise.com/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to help you become more data-driven.