Retail & E-Commerce
Early Bird Holiday Shoppers Are Already Reporting Supply Chain Challenges
Morning Consult’s holiday tracking data indicates that retailers’ incentives to shop early are working, pushing consumers to start buying gifts earlier this year. But many of those early bird shoppers are already encountering significant supply chain issues. As more consumers start their holiday shopping and more stores roll out early Black Friday deals, expect extraordinarily intense pressure to compete on both product price and availability.
The early bird may not even get the worm this holiday season. Roughly half of all proactive shoppers report that they’re already feeling the supply chain squeeze.
Younger Consumers Are Experiencing the Greatest Supply Chain Impact
Those figures increase among the country’s youngest shoppers: A staggering 70 percent of millennials and Gen Z adults who have started their holiday shopping report that a product they wanted to purchase in a store was out of stock. One-third of those young early bird shoppers say this has happened multiple times as they’ve begun their holiday shopping.
Half of U.S. Consumers Have Started Their Holiday Shopping
Despite growing scarcity concerns, only half of American consumers have started their holiday shopping, and relatively few are close to finishing. Product supply will get worse before it gets better. In the United Kingdom, consumer confidence took a tumble due to supply issues.
Now, it’s all about setting expectations and minimizing backlash.
Brands need to ensure that shipping timelines are visible early on in the purchasing process and help customers filter for items that can ship quickly. When customers do face those inevitable delays, retailers must also pay extra attention to the post-purchase experience and provide transparent updates.
Retailers can also incentivize consumers to shift their gift purchasing forward this year via early bird deals, which have already seen success: In the same week that Amazon and Target launched early holiday promotions, Morning Consult’s weekly holiday trend polling saw an increase in U.S. consumers who said they’ve started shopping. Targeting incentives based on predicted behavior, inventory availability, fulfillment channel choices and shipping speed can help retailers stay ahead and in the green this season.
Claire Tassin is the lead retail & e-commerce analyst on the Industry Intelligence team, where she conducts research, authors analyst notes and advises leaders in the retail & e-commerce industry on how to apply insights to make better business decisions. Before joining Morning Consult, Claire was an analyst at Gartner, where she conducted research on shifting consumer behaviors and expectations, as well as trends and technology relevant to marketing leaders in the retail sector. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. For speaking opportunities and booking requests, please email [email protected].