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Online Shoppers Hit with “Out of Stock” Notices as Holidays Approach

Electronics and jewelry had the highest out-of-stock levels in October.

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Online shoppers have been receiving lots of “out of stock” messages lately.

In October, consumers saw more than 2 billion such messages across a range of product categories, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, which provides a look into U.S. e-commerce by analyzing direct consumer transactions online.

The number of online out-of-stock messages was up 250 percent from a pre-pandemic period, January 2020. And it was up 325 percent compared with October 2019.

Of the 18 categories tracked by Adobe, electronics had the highest out-of-stock levels. That was followed by jewelry, apparel, home and garden, and pet products.

“With over 2 billion out-of-stock messages last month, consumers are beginning to understand the real impact of the supply chain challenges,” said Taylor Schreiner, Director of Adobe Digital Insights. “Some have begun to adjust their holiday strategy accordingly, with parents shopping for toys earlier and some settling for gift cards this season. For those who have not yet started their holiday shopping, they will need to be prepared to be flexible.”

The Adobe Digital Economy Index examines more than 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs and 18 product categories.

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