Nearly Three-Quarters of U.S. Shoppers Want Real-Time Inventory Updates

U.S. consumers expect to know, when they go to make a purchase, whether or not the items they want will be in stock, PYMNTS Intelligence reveals, and they are looking for real-time digital inventory updates from retailers to meet this demand.

By the Numbers

click and mortar, features, consumer preferences

The PYMNTS Intelligence report “2024 Global Digital Shopping Index: U.S. Edition,” created in collaboration with Visa Acceptance Solutions, drew from a study of more than 2,400 United States consumers to understand, among other matters, the omnichannel features they expect from their retail journeys.

The study found that one of the most expected Click-and-Mortar™ capabilities (i.e., ones that integrate digital convenience into real-world spaces) was real-time inventory. The study found that 73% of consumers expect of-the-moment digitally updated inventory when making retail purchases.

“All merchants in the U.S. would benefit from adding or publicizing features that provide digitally updated inventory in real time,” the study noted.

A Deeper Dive

Indeed, just a few years ago, retailers were getting a firsthand look at how surprise out-of-stocks could compromise consumer loyalty.

Solution providers are stepping up to offer retailers tools to address this need. For instance, Akash Gupta, CEO of GreyOrange, noted in an interview with PYMNTS earlier this year that the company is investing in building out gStore, its app geared toward omnichannel and in-store fulfillment activities.

“We’re orchestrating end-to-end networks,” he told PYMNTS, “to ensure you have the right inventory in the right place.”

It starts further back on the supply chain. Gather AI announced in March that it had raised $17 million to scale its computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered warehouse inventory monitoring capabilities using autonomous technologies.

Retailers, for their part, want to implement these features. The 2022 PYMNTS Intelligence study “Big Retail’s Innovation Mandate: Convenience and Personalization,” found that 68% of automotive merchants, 61% of grocery merchants, 50% of general retailers and 42% of convenience stores and pharmacies plan to provide automatic real-time inventory checks that allow consumers to view in-store stock information.