Anyone in retail — or any industry for that matter — has likely heard about the Great Supply Chain Disruption. This newly minted term refers to problems rippling across the supply chain, or the networks responsible for manufacturing, transporting, and distributing products around the world, as a result of the pandemic.

Labor shortages, limited materials, and container traffic jams at major ports mean that manufacturers and distributors cannot produce or supply as much as they did pre-pandemic. As a result, thousands of businesses are experiencing delays, product shortages, and rising costs — and brick and mortar retailers are no exception.

Up against industry giants like Walmart and Amazon, traditional stores face unique challenges to stock their shelves and meet customer demand — especially with holiday season on the horizon. The key to weathering the supply chain storm? Replacing panic with preparedness. Let’s find out how.

Keep customers in the loop

Imagine walking into your local grocery store, armed with your holiday shopping list, only to find that all your favorite products aren’t in stock. Now, you need to look elsewhere to find your cranberry sauce and stuffing ingredients — whether that’s online or at another retailer.

This moment of defeat is easily avoidable with better communication — and in the digital age, connecting with consumers is easier than ever. One answer? Targeted push notifications that inform customers about what’s in stock, how much is left, and when they can expect more before they enter the door — so they can be prepared when they do.

Deliver a targeted experience

In the same way customers value communication, especially if they are going to experience delays or shortages, they also crave a personalized shopping experiencethat understands their precise needs.

Push notifications — personalized to customers’ grocery list and previously purchased items —  remind shoppers that they are valued as unique individuals. During the holidays, push notifications can also build excitement about an upcoming product release, feature sales and other special offers, issue new product alerts, reward loyal customers for qualifying purchases, run contest giveaways, encourage last-minute shoppers, retarget shoppers who left without making a purchase, or give personalized discounts based on shopping history.

But delivering a targeted experience goes beyond push notifications. It’s about creating a seamless shopping experience that understands customer needs and delivers on them — even amidst a global pandemic. A Swiftly-powered retail media network offers you built-in in-market targeting that will help revolutionize the online and in-store shopping experience. By harnessing the power of AI, Swiftly will show your shoppers personalized ads for the products they need in real time — bolstering sales and building brand loyalty — and providing them with the information they need to shop more efficiently.

Build partnerships with brands

Now more than ever, retailers and brands need to work together to offer their customers a targeted experience that pushes them towards products that are on shelf or can be delivered. No customer wants to be notified that their favorite brand of ice cream is available, only to find an empty refrigerator at their local grocery store.

Building lasting relationships with customers begins with smooth internal operations. Open a line of communication between yourself and the brands you work with, so you can better inform your customers about inventory and product deliveries.

Support customers during this time

While the pandemic’s effects on the supply chain will likely continue for months to come, all hope is not lost for brick and mortar retailers. The key to success? Preparation, communication, and collaboration.

A Swiftly-powered app can support you with this trifecta. It allows you to offer loyalty programs, sponsored searches for products that are available, customer targeting to make sure the right customers see the right products, the ability to make lists and save searches, and product recommendations focused on products with inventory. Not only will this improve customer loyalty, but it will increase lifetime value and basket size, decrease churn, and increase the number of customers coming through your doors.

Bolster your operations amidst the Great Supply Chain Disruption. Contact Swiftly today.