Study: Empty shelves result in loyalty loss

A recent poll from Galleria Retail Technology Solutions revealed customer opinions regarding retail shortcomings during the holiday season.

A recent poll from Galleria Retail Technology Solutions revealed customer opinions regarding retail shortcomings during the holiday season.

Researchers found that empty or lacking shelves act as a major detriment to customer satisfaction and loyalty, as 68 percent of respondents stated that they'd avoid shopping at that store in the future if its shelves were barren.

Additional reasons customers stated they'd bypass a retail store include long checkout lines (64 percent), if a desired item was out of stock (63 percent) and difficulty finding said item (62 percent).

"(With the holiday season upcoming), retailers need to note that making sure their shelves are fully stocked is critical when it comes to retaining loyal customers," said Bryan Eckhoff, Galleria's executive vice president of sales and account management for North America. "Out-of-stocks can force consumers to migrate from a particular store, risking the loss of the value of an entire shopper's basket, not just one product.

Eckhoff added that consistently being out of stock can result in a permanent customer loss - and it costs five times more to add a new consumer than it does to retain an existing one.

According to National Retail Federation data, Americans spent approximately $52 billion during Thanksgiving weekend, NPR reports.