Global: How are purchase behaviors changing in response to supply shortages?
October 25th, 2022, Hoang Nguyen

Global: How are purchase behaviors changing in response to supply shortages?

Shipping delays, material and container shortages and manufacturing challenges have led to ongoing supply chain slowdowns and inflation-fueled cost increases in recent years. Today’s supply chain issues are global in nature, upsetting a broad range of industries and having significant effects on businesses and customers.

To gauge the impact of recent disruptions in inventory and product availability, YouGov polled 19,000 consumers from 18 global markets to understand how they’ve adapted their shopping behaviors.

Across the world, close to a quarter (23%) of global consumers say they have been unable to find a product that they needed to buy between May and August. The data reveals that some regions are more likely to notice product shortages than others, specifically people who live in Australia (39%), the US (38%), Great Britain (37%), Canada (31%) and Mexico (25%).

The research also addresses consumer reactions to price volatility due to supply chain disruptions and limited inventory as well as the lengths consumers are willing to go to in order to get the products they need most.

What emerges are three key changes to purchase behaviors:

  • Prices have creeped up and some people are buying less. In the cases where people can find what they need, 31% of global consumers say they didn’t buy a product because it had gone up in price.
  • Switching brands to get what they need. A fifth (21%) of consumers in our poll say they changed the store or brand they usually shop with in order to get the products they want. Some consumers are also becoming savvier to avoid paying higher prices. A quarter (25%) indicate they use price comparison sites because the product they need has become too expensive.
  • Shopping via several channels and stores to get what they need. For those must-have items that consumers are not willing to give up, consumers are willing to put in the extra effort or alter the way they typically buy things to complete their shopping list. A third (34%) of global consumers indicate they've visited multiple different retailers to find what they need and close to a fifth (18%) say they’ve switched to buying things in-person when they typically buy them online (and vice-versa).

Get in touch to discover how people’s buying habits are changing in your country.

Explore our living data – for free.

Make smarter business decisions with better intelligence. Understand exactly what your audience is thinking by leveraging our panel of 20 million+ members. Speak with us today.

Discover more retail content here

Want to run your own research? Start building a survey now