O 15th Annual Study of Global Buyers of Zebra Technologies confirms that shoppers are returning to shopping in stores in numbers similar to those seen before the pandemic. They have also adopted self-service habits as they increasingly use do-it-yourself (DIY) technology in stores, allowing business associates more time on the floor to help shoppers.
The annual report highlights changes in consumers, retail associates (frontline retail staff) and decision makers among retailers over the 15 years the survey has been conducted.
Aiming for a mobile-centric retail experience
Among shoppers surveyed in Asia-Pacific (APAC), 68% say inflation has caused them to delay purchases (compared to 75% globally). However, they are still returning to stores. However, the majority of buyers (76% Global, 68% APAC) want to get in and out as quickly as possible. They’re also willing to help make that happen with their growing affinity for self-service technology.
Preference for a traditional check-out staffed by a store associate has similarly declined (51% in APAC).
This trend towards using self-checkouts is now echoing among APAC retailers, with 79% finding that staffed checkouts are less necessary, while 53% have converted store space to self-service areas and 52% offers contactless options.
Purchase of devices
Overall, shoppers are ready for technological advances, with about eight in 10 expecting retailers to have the latest technology.
Among APAC shoppers, 46% of respondents opted for cashless payment methods. Half of APAC respondents prefer to pay with a mobile device or smartphone.
Consumers also continue to rely on their smartphones during shopping trips; This year’s usage indicates price sensitivity, with more than half of respondents looking for sales, special offers or coupons (48% in APAC), in line with a good majority of shoppers (67% in APAC) concerned about having that reduce spending to get to the end of the month. to know
Consumers expect a seamless experience when shopping. Seven in 10 prefer to shop both in-store and online, favoring online retailers that also offer brick-and-mortar locations. Convenience is king for fulfillment: Most shoppers (73% in APAC) prefer the option to have items delivered and opt for retailers that offer in-store or curbside pickup (64% in APAC).
The same is true for reverse logistics: about 77% in APAC prioritize their spending with retailers that offer easy returns. Around 49% of retailers surveyed in APAC are converting space in their stores to order picking, supporting consumer fulfillment preferences.
Mobile ordering continues to rise, with about eight in 10 shoppers and nine in 10 millennials using it, and about seven in 10 shoppers want more retailers to offer these services.
“With the convergence of retail channels today, retailers must step up to meet the renewed expectations of shoppers and ensure a seamless experience across their offline and online platforms,” he said. George PepesAPAC vertical solutions lead retail and healthcare at Zebra Technologies.
“Furthermore, as the retail industry moves into the future of fulfillment, it is more important than ever that retailers empower associates with the right technology to better perform their tasks.”
While 79% of global shoppers (76% in APAC) are concerned about inflationary price increases for everyday staples, they aren’t necessarily leaving stores without the items they wanted because of the price. Retail associates cited out-of-stock complaints as their top frustration (43% globally, 38% in APAC).
In APAC, the proportion of shoppers not completing their intended purchase order is lower overall (64%), with reasons including out-of-stock products (44%) or finding better deals elsewhere (27%).
Retailers are painfully aware of such motives; 80% recognize maintaining real-time visibility into stock-outs as a major challenge, requiring better inventory management tools for accuracy and availability (84% in APAC).
Taking advantage of the workforce
Shoppers, retail partners and retail decision makers generally agree that shoppers have a better experience when retail associates use the latest technology to help them.
Faced with labor shortages: 74% of retail partners surveyed in APAC and 82% of retail decision makers agree that stores that leverage retail technology and devices mobile also attract and retain more retail partners.
To further improve the shopping experience, more than eight in 10 retailers surveyed plan to enable more retail partners or seasonal staff to help customers choose and fulfill orders online for the 2022 holiday season.
This also addresses another challenge cited by 73% of retailers surveyed in APAC: improving online fulfillment efficiency and spend (71%).
“To keep up with the ever-evolving retail landscape, retailers must embrace intelligent automation and transform the way they integrate technology into their operations. Retailers must also recognize that associates are an important point of contact for achieve long-term customer loyalty,” he said. Christanto SuryadarmaVP of Southeast Asia (SEA) Sales for Zebra Technologies Asia Pacific.
“By equipping retail associates with the right technologies and processes, retailers will be well prepared to respond to shopper needs and deliver on demand effectively.”