Smart tech to ensure personalisation for shoppers: Report

March 10, 2017 - United States Of America

Nearly 70 per cent of retail decision makers are ready to make changes to adopt the Internet of Things (IoT), and 65 per cent plan to invest in automation technologies for inventory management and planogram compliance by 2021, says a recent report. By 2021, 80 per cent of retailers will also be able to customise the store visit for customers.

The 2017 Retail Vision Study conducted by Zebra Technologies Corporation, a global leader in providing solutions and services, says that the continued rise of online shopping will challenge retailers to provide unprecedented levels of convenience to help drive customer loyalty. By 2021, 65 per cent of retailers plan to explore innovative delivery services, such as delivering to workplaces, homes and even parked cars.

The report notes that about 78 per cent of the retailers feel that it is important or business-critical to integrate e-commerce and in-store experiences. Retailers are planning to invest in mobile devices, kiosks and tablets to increase payment options. Close to 87 per cent 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.

By 2021, at least 75 per cent of retailers anticipate investing in predictive and software analytics for loss prevention and price optimisation 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 is out of stock or misplaced within a store. About 72 per cent of retailers plan to fix these issues by reinventing their supply chains with real-time visibility enabled by automation, sensors and analytics. 

Close to 57 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.

"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 personalisation, speed and convenience," said Jeff Schmitz, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Zebra.

As per the regional findings of the report, 79 per cent of North American retailers are investing in IoT technologies such as automated inventory verification and sensors on shelves. In Latin America, 85 per cent of retailers plan to use technology to personalise and enhance the in-store experience. Currently, 36 per cent of retailers in Europe know when specific customers are in a store but that number is expected to more than double by 2021. (KD)