A study by Zebra Technologies revealed that nearly 70 percent of retail decision makers surveyed are ready to make changes to adopt the Internet of Things (IoT), and 65 percent plan to invest in automation technologies for inventory management and planogram compliance by 2021.
According to the study, the continued rise of online shopping will challenge retailers to provide unprecedented levels of convenience to help drive customer loyalty. By 2021, 65 percent of retailers plan to explore innovative delivery services, such as delivering to workplaces, homes and even parked cars.
In addition, the study found that by 2021, nearly 80 percent of retailers will be able to customize the store visit for customers as a majority of them will know when a specific customer is in the store. This will be enabled through technology such as micro-locating, allowing retailers to capture more data, accuracy and customer insights.
The study also found:
- Retailers are looking to create a seamless shopper experience with 78 percent reporting that it is important or business-critical to integrate e-commerce and in-store experiences.
- To speed check-out lines, retailers are planning to invest in mobile devices, kiosks and tablets to increase payment options. 87 percent of retailers will deploy MPOS devices by 2021, enabling them to scan and accept credit or debit payments anywhere in the store.
- Seventy-three percent of retailers rate managing big data as important or business-critical to their operations. By 2021, at least 75 percent of retailers anticipate investing in predictive and software analytics for loss prevention and price optimization along with cameras and video analytics for operational purposes and improving the overall customer experience.
- According to the survey, the top sources of shopper dissatisfaction include inconsistent pricing between stores and the inability to find a desired item, whether it’s out of stock or misplaced within a store. 72 percent of retailers plan to fix these issues by reinventing their supply chains with real-time visibility enabled by automation, sensors and analytics.
- Fifty-seven percent of retailers believe automation will shape the industry by 2021 – helping retailers pack and ship orders, track inventory, check in-store inventory levels and assist customers in finding items.
Regional findings from the study include:
- Seventy-nine percent of North American retailers are investing in IoT technologies such as automated inventory verification and sensors on shelves.
- In Latin America, 85 percent of retailers plan to use technology to personalize and enhance the in-store experience.
- Seventy-nine percent of retailers in Asia-Pacific expect to support buy online, pick-up at a third-party location by 2021.
- Today, 36 percent of retailers in Europe know when specific customers are in a store but that number is expected to more than double by 2021.
Jeff Schmitz, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Zebra, said: “Every inch of the retail industry is changing, from the aisles of the warehouse to the shelves of the store, and retailers are driving this change in a race to better serve customers. The 2017 Retail Vision Study demonstrates that retailers are poised to meet and exceed customer expectations with new levels of personalization, speed and convenience. Zebra is committed to help retailers survive—and thrive—in this changing landscape by providing products and solutions that enable a successful omnichannel strategy with greater insights and visibility into store operations, associates, inventory and shipments.”