Zebra Technologies, which specializes in automating retail and warehouse operations, has come out with its ‘2017 Retail Vision Study’ revealing the fact that retailers expect sales to increasingly move from brick-and-mortar stores to online channels, which would lead to synergies between the physical and online platforms. This body of research analyzes the technology trends shaping the future of the global retail industry and enhancing the shopping experience. The paper uncovers the current challenges and untapped opportunities for retailers, and reveals the industry’s plan to adopt more Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
“The retail industry is experiencing a convergence of the physical and online worlds – which we call ‘phygital’. Shoppers today are technology-savvy and have high expectations for a digital and connected shopping experience, creating both challenges and opportunities for retailers vying for sales on all platforms. As the omni-channel approach picks up steam, implementing the right visibility technologies from the warehouse to the storefront is instrumental in fulfilling orders, scheduling for fast deliveries, and personalizing the experience for different shoppers”, says Deep Agarwal, Regional Sales Director – India, Zebra Technologies APAC.
Key pointers of the Retail Vision Study 2017
• The continued rise of online shopping will further build the momentum for an omni-channel retail format, challenging retailers to provide unprecedented levels of convenience to drive customer loyalty. In Asia Pacific, 88 percent of retailers expect to support buy-online, pick-up in store within the next four years to further increase omni-channel shopping.
• By 2021, nearly 76 percent of retailers in APAC 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-locationing, allowing retailers to capture more data, accuracy and customer insights.
• Retailers are looking to create a seamless shopper experience with 76 percent of APAC respondents reporting that it is important or business-critical to integrate e-commerce and in-store experiences.
• To speed up checkout lines, retailers are planning to invest in mobile devices, kiosks and tablets to increase payment options. In APAC, 86 percent of retailers will deploy mobile point-of-sale (MPOS) devices by 2021, enabling them to scan and accept credit or debit payments anywhere in the store.
• Seventy-two percent of retailers in APAC rate managing big data as important or business-critical to their operations. Many of them anticipate investing in predictive analytics, software analytics for loss prevention and price optimization, and cameras and video analytics for operational purposes and the 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. 73 percent of retailers plan to fix these issues by reinventing their supply chains with real-time visibility enabled by automation, sensors and analytics.
Coinciding with the release of the Retail Vision Study 2017, Zebra Technologies has launched TC5 Series touch mobile computers, and the DS2200 and DS8100 series handheld 2D scanners in India. The new devices would help retailers increase productivity in front-of-store, back-of-store, distribution centers, warehouses, and deliveries, giving shoppers an enhanced omni-channel shopping experience.
The TC5 offers robust enterprise functionality and durability that would ensure that it can withstand the rigors of field mobility duties.TC5 Series also provides the operational ease of support for a better total cost of ownership (TCO), as well as the fastest, most dependable wireless connections inside or out on the field. To ensure seamless integration, increased productivity and secure operations, the TC5 Series is supported by Zebra’s Mobility DNA, the industry’s most comprehensive suite of application security, development tools and mobile end-user apps.
At the same time, the DS8100 enables retailers to increase productivity of cashiers to shorten queues at checkout, as its superior scanning range enables cashiers to easily scan items in customers’ shopping carts without leaving the register. In addition, the high-performance DS8100 instantly captures the most problematic barcodes including dense, poorly printed, dirty or damaged, as well as electronic barcodes on dimly lit displays.
Wayne Harper, Senior TechnicalDirector, Asia Pacific, Zebra Technologies, says, “Zebra continues to deliver innovative products and solutions that address the exacting needs of our customers. For example, the new TC5 Series combines the user-friendliness of a consumer mobile device together with the high performance of an enterprise-grade computer, allowing the staff to start generating ROI with minimal training – in the retail store, warehouse, factory, or out on the field. The DS2200 and DS8100 scanners are designed to accelerate the checkout process and deliver a seamless shopping experience in retail. The cost-effective DS2200 also helps small- to mid-sized retailers transition smoothly from 1D to 2D.”