Out-of-stock products increased 172% from pre-pandemic levels

New York (CNN) – If you were shopping online in late summer, you’ve likely received an unfortunate message: the product you are looking for is not available.

Products were out of stock online 24% more of the time in August than the previous year in the 18 product categories tracked by Adobe Analytics, according to a report released Wednesday by the company. When compared to January 2020 – before reports of the spread of covid-19 in the United States emerged – the increase was even greater: 172%.

Adobe’s report analyzed more than 1 billion online visits to the majority of the top 100 US web retailers. Out-of-stock data was collected from merchants using Adobe Analytics products to track purchases. .

“We’ve never seen it so high in the 10 years we’ve been doing this report. It’s a record,” Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights, said of the August figures.

Schreiner noted that “buyers are feeling the shock. They won’t necessarily find what they’re looking for all the time.”

Adobe did not break down the increases by category or provide gross figures for unavailable products. But of the 18 categories, Schreiner said clothing currently shows the highest levels, followed by sporting goods, baby products, electronics and pet products.

While consumer appetite for shopping remains strong, retailers have struggled with a number of difficulties in the supply chain, including hundreds of thousands of unloaded containers with goods stuck on ships that cannot dock in ports.

The problems have raised concerns about not being able to get enough merchandise to stores in time for the holiday season. Some retailers have already said that expect to offer fewer discounts and deals due to a smaller inventory.

“What this tells us is that consumers should make two lists for their Christmas shopping,” Schreiner said. “One is a list of items that they know they can ship ahead of time and other items that they don’t necessarily care about the brand, but that they will buy when they get the best discount.”

Buyers are indicating that they are anxious about the low availability of products. A new Deloitte consumer survey on Wednesday showed that three in four consumers are concerned about out-of-stock situations when shopping, especially electronics and toys, and start shopping earlier this year. The Deloitte survey was conducted of 4,315 consumers online between September 7-14.

Despite these challenges for retailers, Adobe still expects Christmas season online sales in the United States to reach $ 207 billion from November 1 to December 31, an increase of 10% from 2020.

Consumer impact: supply chain crises 2:05

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