Supply Chain Issues & How To Communicate Them To Your Customers

In this blog we discuss the current supply chain shortages nationwide, caused by none other than the life changing virus in all aspects, covid19. 

A supply chain, in its most basic form, refers to all of the procedures in place to see a product through its entire life cycle, from manufacturing to shipping to delivery. And if one component is delayed or disrupted, it will have an impact on the rest of the procedure.

Several factors contributed to supply chain disruptions during the pandemic.

Among the factors are:

  • Inability to respond to growing demand for specific products
  • Shipping companies will have fewer containers in circulation, resulting in less freight space on ships.
  • Factories are closing as a result of COVID-19's effects.
  • Transportation and warehousing have labour shortages, with many employees isolating at any given time.
  • Travel restrictions, border closures, and limited travel options — all of these issues were particularly acute in Australia.


How can retailers respond?

For all e-commerce purchases, customers have grown to anticipate lightning-fast delivery. However, because many products are manufactured in other countries, some businesses have found themselves vying with global merchants for factory space, raw materials, and cargo ship slots.

This is where we're seeing Australian retailers get innovative in their approaches to dealing with these issues. Here is an example that has particularly stood out to us: 

Coles Supermarket is now working on a new platform that will serve as a one-stop shop for Australian and international vendors. The platform will operate as the main point of contact for suppliers, using Salesforce technologies such as Marketing Cloud, Salesforce Content Management System, and Knowledge Base, effectively making it easier for them to collaborate with the supermarket. Coles will be able to better adapt to the changing needs of its supplier network as a result of this shift.

However, it's not just COVID-19 that's causing supply chain problems. Key weather catastrophes, inflation, and geopolitical crises are all major factors to delays in the larger context. Because we can expect unpredictability and delays to continue well into the future, it's critical for all firms to use real-time data and automation to react faster and keep communications on schedule.

Here are some pointers for each stage of the purchasing process.

Before transaction commences: 

Before a consumer makes a purchase, you must ensure that they are aware of the possibility of shipping delays and stock shortages. You can achieve this in a variety of ways, including:

  • Update the homepage of your website to reflect current shipping delays.
  • For each item, include an estimate of how long it will take to arrive.
  • Make any necessary changes to your FAQ and shipping pages to reflect any delays.
  • Proactively communicate ordering deadlines in the run-up to seasonal shopping times like Christmas or Valentine's Day to guarantee customers that their purchases will arrive on time.
  • Avoid presenting things that are out of stock if you are suffering supply shortages. If this isn't possible, recommend similar things that are currently available.


At the point of sale

  • Include a warning about probable delays at the checkout (before any purchases are completed).
  • For any inconvenience, offer an incentive or discount, such as free shipping to their houses or deferring payment until the package is delivered.
  • You can recommend a subscription for the item, depending on the product, so they don't have to worry about it going out of stock in the future.

After the sale

It's critical to strike the correct balance when communicating. You must keep your customers updated, but you do not want to bombard them with insignificant information. This is where customer personalisation comes in to ensure that your communications are relevant, timely, and thoughtful.

  • Include a shipment delay disclaimer as part of the order confirmation.
  • Allow customers to verify the status of their orders using self-service tools.
  • If your consumer is looking for a specific brand that is out of stock, provide them another option.
  • Reward the consumer with something linked to the goods, such as a one-of-a-kind service experience or educational opportunity, if the item is delayed longer than expected.
  • Make certain that no follow-up emails (such as product feedback emails) are sent while the customer is still waiting.


After the item has been received

Thank them for their patience when their order arrives. Consider giving a discount code or a gift card for future purchases if the delay was severe.

If they have questions, be present on other platforms - social media moderators can assist you in meeting customers where they are. 

Consider solutions like self-service portals or chatbots that allow clients to address problems on their own.

For any sales or stock enquiries be sure to contact us at