What the Global Supply Chain Crisis Means for Your Digital Strategy

As industry analysts anticipate the strongest Cyber Season in history, many retailers and marketers are bracing themselves for a logistical nightmare as the Global Supply Chain Crisis continues. With its effects rippling across industries from traditional retailers to Social Media platforms, this Supply Chain Crisis has revealed just how vulnerable and outdated the current model is.

The largest wrench thrown in the global supply chain has been COVID-19, which has interrupted factory work, wreaked havoc on the labor force, and added additional logistical challenges to an already overburdened system. Another macro-level trend that is affecting suppliers’ ability to deliver is the sharp increase in demand over the last few months, driven by a strong economy. This increase is normal for retailers around this time as shoppers complete most of their holiday shopping. However, with the influx of cash from the unprecedented government stimulus and tapered consumer spending, retailers are now struggling to deliver enough products to keep up with demand. The result? Higher prices, shipping delays, and empty shelves (or the online equivalent: out-of-stock items).

In response, many marketers are turning down the dial on their digital ad spend leading up to the holiday season. But with pressure to deliver on year-over-year targets, how can marketers continue to drive revenue in the face of more uncertainty? We’ve got you covered. Check out our strategies for navigating this tricky environment below.

Driving Revenue With Supply Chain Issues

Leverage Hero Strategies

With all the uncertainty that the Supply Chain Crisis presents, you’ll want to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your marketing spend. Even though consumer demand is outpacing supply, marketers need to have the right strategies in place to get results and, most importantly, do so efficiently.

consumers worried about supply chain issues

With 3 out of 4 consumers worried about getting their goods in time for the holiday, over-communication about the status of items within your online store will set you apart from competitors in the space. And the results prove it.  Wunderkind’s inventory-based modules, including Low in Stock, Back in Stock, and Price Drop, have seen an uptick in performance due to the salience of this type of messaging. For one big box, omnichannel retailer, we’ve seen open rates for Back in Stock messaging jump from 26% in August to nearly 41% in October, a leading indicator of the relevance of these messages. A fast-fashion retailer has also seen similar jumps for their Low in Stock messaging, jumping from a 28% average in August to over 35% in October. These messages are automated, clearing bandwidth for marketing teams to spend time crafting robust branded campaigns, while offloading these tried-and-tested winning tactics.

Performance of product stock marketing messages

Powered by superior identification and a lookback window as far as 180 days from the time a site visitor has last viewed an item, Wunderkind’s catalog modules are also uniquely equipped to help recover lost revenue by retargeting customers at the time your delayed product comes back into stock.

Lastly, Wunderkind’s Price Drop modules help you move inventory without eroding your brand since we will selectively target only your site visitors who have already expressed interest in these items.

In a recent conversation with Wunderkind, Andrea Moore, SVP of NEST New York, had the following to say on the impact of the supply chain on brands: “With product scarce for some, we may see brands become less promotional during this season than in previous years because they don’t have the number of units to support it.” But, as you can see here, the goal is not to become less promotional across the board, but rather to become more strategic in the ways you market your product suite.

supply chain worrying

Getting There Early is Key

Many retailers are planning to start their sales earlier than ever before this year because of the challenges presented by the crisis they’re facing. As Moore says, “The reality is brands have products that are stuck on containers and FedEx will be challenged to deliver this year in a way we haven’t seen before.” Simply put, retailers are feeling a lot of uncertainty and looking to hedge their bets.

Additionally, with many first-time buyers being introduced to your brand during the holidays, it’s critically important to ensure that you can get your goods at the doorsteps of these households. Even more critically, they need to arrive in time for their individual days of celebration to avoid souring potential affinity to your brand. Moore’s advice for retailers looking to minimize this risk during Cyber Season is to reconsider when you end the shipping cutoff: “I’m usually the first person who wants to push the shipping cutoff until the absolute last minute but I don’t think that’s going to be wise this year. If you can activate your sale in early November, then I would say go for it.”

First-Party Data is King when Dealing with Supply Chain Issues

Uncertainty is the new norm. It’s unlikely that the current supply chain issues affecting retailers are going to subside anytime soon, at least for the next year. In some ways, this could be a positive for retailers, as it could lead to supply chain innovations that should have happened years ago.

In the meantime, marketers should take this opportunity to reevaluate budgets to ensure they’re investing in channels that will deliver results in times of uncertainty. While traditional paid channels offer flexibility to boost spending during busy seasons, the returns from these channels, particularly Facebook, have not scaled with their increasing costs—especially in the face of privacy changes introduced by Apple and during the bid-heavy end of year. Attribution has also been thrown out of whack, making it harder for marketers to justify the investment as they deal with increasing pressure from their finance teams.

Look to companies that can help you leverage your own data to drive marketing success. For example, unlike other paid channels, Wunderkind isn’t reliant on cookies. Instead, we help you grow and activate your first-party data to re-engage users and drive revenue when other channels fall short. We achieve this by working with your team to scale the channels that work best for your customers and your business, ensuring that you build relationships that last. For the majority of our clients, this typically leads to a 20-50% higher ROAS than traditional marketing channels, allowing them to maintain revenue targets while saving some budget that can be used to reduce their supply chain and inventory risk. If you’re not already leveraging a first-party data strategy, we highly recommend it so you can be more resilient in these times of uncertainty.

Interested in learning more about how you can continue to drive revenue for your business with highly-relevant one-to-one messaging? Reach out to a Wunderkind rep today.


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Trey Jackson

Trey Jackson is on the Product Marketing team at Wunderkind, which he joined after working for two years on the Customer Success team. Trey is passionate about writing about the latest trends in the eCommerce industry and working with our customers to build out the future of Wunderkind’s product suite. A native Californian, Trey spends most of his free time on the beach, on his road bike, or wrapped up with a cat reading a book