Nearly 70% of retail decision-makers are ready to make changes to adopt the Internet of Things (IoT). According to Zebra Technologies Corporation's 2017 Retail Vision Study, 65% of the same group surveyed plan to invest in automation technology for inventory management and planogram compliance by 2021.
As shopping continues to shift online, retailers are planning to help drive this channel and make the experience increasingly convenient for consumers. By 2021, 65% of retailers plan to explore innovative delivery services such as delivering to workplaces, homes and parked cars.
Also in the survey, almost 80% of respondents will be able to customize store visits for customers as a majority of them plan to know exactly when a customer is in a specific store through technology such as microlocationing.
The trend continues down the omnichannel path, and retailers are continuing to try and create a seamless shopping experience. Of those surveyed, 78% reported that integrated e-commerce with a brick-and-mortar experience is critical. Part of this experience is to speed up checkout; therefore, 87% of retailers plan to deploy mobile point-of-sale devices by 2021, enabling them to scan and accept payments anywhere in the store.
“IoT for retailers will enable visibility into their customers, inventory and other valued assets from the point of sale to the distribution center and beyond—empowering them to understand the evolving needs and preferences of their customers, master their inventory and discover new insights to transform operations and the retail supply chain," Tom Moore, North America retail and hospitality industry lead, Zebra Technologies, told FierceRetail.
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The increasing push for personalization means that retailers need to continue to harness and emphasize big data. In fact, at least 75% of those surveyed anticipate investing in predictive and software analytics for loss prevention and price optimization along with cameras and video analytics by 2021.
Automation is also a concern for those retailers surveyed. For example, the survey found that shopper dissatisfaction often stems from inconsistent pricing between stores and the inability to find an item, therefore, 72% of retailers plan to fix these issues by reinventing their supply chains with real-time visibility. In fact, automation will shape the industry by 2021, according to 57% of retailers, helping them to pack and ship orders, track inventory and assist customers in finding items.
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"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," said Jeff Schmitz, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Zebra. "The 2017 Retail Vision Study demonstrates that retailers are poised to meet and exceed customer expectations with new levels of personalization, speed and convenience."