Retailers lag behind with in-store stock data

A majority (61 per cent) of retailers are lagging behind in providing online updates of in-store stock, according to new research.

A YouGov survey of 2,000 consumers and 140 high street retailers with more than 30 physical stores in the UK for retail management solutions provider Cybertill, found that stock level and availability is not currently displayed on 61 per cent of websites, despite 42 per cent of adults In the UK saying they would like to be able to see this information.

This visibility is likely to be particularly important to mobile and last minute shoppers, as the popularity of omnichannel shopping - incorporating online and bricks and mortar options - grows among shoppers of all ages.

However, despite the growth of mobile shopping, 73 per cent of consumers still value physical stores for the immediacy of getting a product and not having to wait for delivery, according to the survey.

More than a third (36 per cent) of retailers show stock availability by store, and of those, 18 per cent show exact item quantities by store.

A further 87 per cent of retailers don’t offer mobile users a ‘find near me’ geolocation option, while when it comes to delivery, only 16 per cent of retailers offer same day collection. However, 72 per cent of those also offer an exact ‘available from’ time prior to checking out online.

Ian Tomlinson, founder and chief executive of Cybertill, said: “Inventory management is a key component to omnichannel success, more specifically, real-time, multi-location stock control that is accurate and customer-facing, such as displayed on the front end of websites, apps, or shelf-edge labels.”

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