The supply chain delays and disruptions of the past year and a half are negatively affecting Americans’ lives, and many say they are fearful the situation will never end, according to a study of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers by enterprise software vendor Oracle, released today.
Worries about more delivery delays, product shortages, and disruptions are worsening across the nation due to the rise of the Covid-19 Delta variant, and people are looking to brands to help settle their concerns, according to the report.
“These insights paint a clear picture that the ongoing global supply chain issues are impacting many Americans,” Jon Chorley, group vice president of supply chain management product strategy and chief sustainability officer at Oracle, said in a statement Wednesday. “Ultimately, the supply chain is where brand promises are either met or broken. Organizations that are able to provide the supply chain efficiency and transparency that customers expect will be rewarded with greater customer loyalty and accelerated business growth.”
A majority of respondents (87%) said they have been negatively affected by supply chain issues over the past year, with many saying they have been unable to purchase certain items due to shortages (60%), forced to cancel orders due to delays (51%), and even rationing essential items out of fear of running out (40%). What’s more, 43% of people admitted that they’ve blamed missed gifts for special occasions on supply chain issues and that they have hurt people they care about as a result (17%).
The study also found that Americans are increasingly worried that supply chain disruptions will continue to affect their futures, with many seeing “no end in sight,” according to the report’s authors. More than 80% of people said they are concerned that ongoing supply chain disruptions will “ruin their life plans, such as birthdays, holidays, trips, and purchasing necessary items like school supplies,” and 77% said those concerns are rising in light of the Covid-19 delta variant. More than 90% of people said they plan to change their buying behavior moving forward, including buying in bulk and stocking up on items (49%), purchasing gifts earlier to allow for delays (45%), and paying closer attention to global shortages of items they regularly use (40%).
The study’s third key take-away speaks directly to shippers: organizations that don’t prioritize their supply chains risk declines in customer loyalty and revenue, according to the research. Most respondents (84%) said delays would cause them to cancel their order, and 80% said delays or shortages would even cause them to stop buying from a brand entirely. And although 91% of consumers said they understand that supply chains are complex, 94% said they want more support from brands to help ease their worries. Among those wants: more regular updates about shipping status (63%), more transparency about inventory (59%) and potential supply chain issues (54%), and refunds (56%) or discounts (52%) if items are delayed or cancelled.