An Oracle study of 5,700 consumers found that one-fifth of respondents (20%) are going to buy extra gifts, just in case an order isn’t delivered by Christmas or is canceled altogether.
Among millennials, that figure jumps to 44%.
More than half of shoppers (52%) have already started their holiday shopping or plan to start sooner over concerns about supply-chain problems and delivery delays, according to this latest holiday data.
“Retailers must have clear visibility into their inventory, a realistic timeline for the fulfillment, and a plan to communicate clearly throughout the order and delivery processes,” said Mike Webster, senior vice president at Oracle Retail /zigman2/quotes/202180826/composite ORCL -1.09% , in a statement.
“Through transparency and execution, retailers can earn trust with their customers and build the potential for future loyalty.”
Consumers seem to be heeding the warnings of experts and others who have advised shoppers to snap up the items on their wish lists as soon as they can.
Moreover, there are worries that, even with the extreme measures being taken by major companies like Walmart Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207374728/composite WMT -2.48% and Target Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207799045/composite TGT -1.41% , who have leased ships to get merchandise where it needs to be, there will still be shortages and hiccups.
Retailers have already begun to announce holiday promotion plans to motivate shoppers, with some like Target’s Deal Days taking place in October, and Kohl’s Corp. /zigman2/quotes/210414114/composite KSS -5.66% trying to take some of the pressure off of the last-mile delivery part of the supply chain by offering perks for customer use of in-store pickup.
Convey by project44, a company that specializes in the logistics tied to the final leg of the delivery process, suggests that customers take advantage of in-store options, but it warns that even a trip to the store won’t solve the problem of empty shelves.
Even the government has intervened , though there could still be major hiccups.
“The current supply-chain constraints are not something the federal government can step in and solve quickly,” said Shanton Wilcox, U.S. lead of manufacturing for PA Consulting.
Wilcox also highlighted other hurdles that shoppers and retailers have to prepare for during the holiday shopping season, such as bad weather. With the supply chain already stretched thin, a blizzard that shuts down airports or slows trucks would represent a further challenge.
The SPDR S&P Retail ETF /zigman2/quotes/206947004/composite XRT -3.33% has gained 45.2% to date in 2021, while the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.18% is up nearly 22% for the period.