Fluent Commerce releases the findings of the Global State of the Industry survey. The survey reveals retailers are struggling to maintain trust with customers because of persistent sales cancellations spurred by poor inventory visibility.
While customer trust used to center almost exclusively on payment security, customers today rely on retailers to communicate honestly and accurately on product descriptions, pricing, and availability. More importantly, customers want to know if products are available when they purchase them and when their products will arrive.
"Neither retailers nor customers find it acceptable to cancel orders," says Nicola Kinsella, SVP of Global Marketing at Fluent Commerce. "However, without a clear view of inventory across all sales channels, it's hard to know what is truly available. Retailers are sometimes themselves surprised and are forced to do the unthinkable. To close the gap between demand and revenue, retailers and brands need accurate, unified views of inventory data."
- According to the survey, 38.6% of retailers cancel at least 1 of 10 orders, disappointing 10% of their customers on a regular basis.
- Only 6% of retailers and brands have a canceled order rate of less than 1%. 72% of retailers and direct to consumer brands want to reduce cancellations but are challenged by inaccurate inventory data.
- 58% of retailers and direct to consumer brands have less than 80% inventory accuracy. Most retailers are challenged by outdated data from POS and ERP systems, legacy system integration issues or siloed inventory views.
- The top 7% of retailers surveyed are sending inventory updates every five minutes or less. Some of them conduct live calls rather than relying on cached data, particularly for high velocity SKUs. And 80% of retailers and direct to consumer brands believe it is important to improve inventory availability data on the product pages and search results.