As the widespread supply chain crisis continues to disrupt the retail industry, consumers are being forced to change their shopping habits and buy local for speed and availability, new research from SOTI has found.

One in four (40%) Australian consumers say they have recently experienced one or more items not being available or have had to purchase alternatives when their preferred product was not available. Likewise, 70% said they have had to go to different retailers to find items in stock. Further, 69% of shoppers said items they wanted to purchase have not been available at all.

Compounding these supply issues, 74% said they feel delivery times have been slower than usual, and more than half (61%) said that the shipping and delivery time is the most frustrating aspect of ordering online.

In fact, close to one-third (32%) of Australian consumers said that if the delivery or pick up of an item takes longer than two days, they will look elsewhere. Meanwhile, with deliveries from outside Australia now taking longer to arrive, 60% of Australian consumers have changed their habits, saying they are now less likely to order an item that requires shipping from overseas than they were a year ago.

SOTI vice president of sales for Australia and New Zealand, Michael Dysonbelieves the onus is now on retailers to adapt to these behaviours and match up with consumer preferences.

“Brands and retailers are being forced to pause and think again about how they approach customer relationships and go-to-market strategies in response to these issues,” he said.

“They need to have insightful data at their fingertips to cater to these consumer preferences and combat consumer impatience, while considering that we’re still very much in a state of fluctuation. There is now a premium on the flexibility that allows brands to provide the best possible customer experience, no matter how or where customers shop.”