5 Ways Product Supply Shortages Are Affecting Businesses

It’s been tough on everyone.

How have product supply shortages affected businesses? originally appeared on Quora, the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Low product supplies have affected businesses in many ways. There have been shortages related to food, packaging, clothing, plastics, electronics, gas and more. It’s been tough on everyone- companies, employees and consumers alike.

Typically, we can get anything we want, whenever we want, so imagine our collective surprise when we suddenly can’t. In short, lower supply has caused:

* Customer Disatisfaction. When people go into a store looking for their favorite product and it’s not there, they can become frustrated as they are not used to having to wait. If you’re a business owner, arm your employees with suggested items in lieu of the one that is not available or information about when it will be in. This will help reduce customer dissapointment and mitigate the sting of the missing item(s).

* Higher Prices. When there is a short supply, prices go up. This sticker shock can cause shoppers to think twice before making purchases or send them looking around for alternatives. Again, equip your frontline employees with explanations about the rising prices so that they can share them with your customers. Transparency will help increase their empathy.

* Consumer Defection. If you don’t have it, someone else might. Short supplies can leave your customers scurrying for another source (one they might stick with once your supply picks up again). Do what you can to prevent that defection from taking place such as offering a discount on an alternative or holding/preordering the product for them to pick up at a later date.

* Longer Wait Times. Talk to anyone trying to furnish their home right now and they will tell you that there is a huge backlog on furniture orders. If you want it, you are going to have to wait for it. In our world of excess, this is something that takes a little getting used to. If you have employees who are dealing with customers in this situation, provide them with information and statistics related to industry-wide wait times so that customers will grasp how widespread the issues are.

* Critical Assessment Regarding Purchases. If customers do without an item for some time, they might decide that they don’t need it anymore. Make sure that you keep in touch with these customers and remind them of the many benefits associated with your product(s). That way, they will continue to consume it when supply picks up again.

This question originally appeared on Quora.

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