More than half of Britons are anxious over the much-anticipated food shortage this Christmas, says a new research claiming that most Britons have come across food shortage in the form of sparser store shelves in recent months.
According to a research by services provider Ensono, based on the responses of 2,000 respondents, 71 per cent have noticed stock shortages in recent months.
The research also found that online shopping has become much more firmly established, with only 57 per cent planning to buy in-store in future, down from 78 per cent before the pandemic.
Despite this, 84 per cent said that retailers had done well to maintain stock levels through the pandemic.
Simon Ratcliffe, principal consultant at Ensono, said: “Over the last 18 months, retailers have faced a ‘perfect storm’ of challenges, including lockdowns, unprecedented consumer demand, and a complex web of global supply chain disruption.
“In many ways they have risen to the challenge, keeping inventories stocked and becoming an invaluable source of stability for consumers.
“With customers fearful of shortages this Christmas, retailers need to deliver a consistent and reliable customer experience for shoppers – both online and in-store.
Customer loyalty is currently very fluid, so grocers who can navigate this period successfully have a great chance to build a loyal cohort of customers into the new year, he said.
Ratcliffe added that technology was likely to be crucial for managing the “new era of retail”.
“The pandemic has pushed more customers than ever before to shop online, making investment in a strong digital offering essential for grocers,” he said.
“This begins with customer-facing services, building applications suited to customers hungry for engaging and convenient multi-device access to retailers’ service.
“It then extends into a company’s back-end technology, tapping into the flexibility and scalability offered by public cloud.
“Indeed, in a world of supply chain disruption, the high-capacity and reliable mainframe systems continue to serve grocers well in key areas like inventory management.”