Eighty-six percent of surveyed millennial shoppers and more than half (56 percent) of Gen X shoppers indicated they shopped in a store and left without a purchase only to end up buying the item online, compared to only 25 percent of Boomers. Shoppers indicate out-of-stock items as the top reason for leaving without a purchase, according to Zebra Technologies Corporation.
Shopping often starts before customers enter a store. Customers expect that items they saw online are in-stock – achieving what’s hardest for e-commerce to deliver – instant gratification. When it comes to brick-and-mortar purchasing, price is a top priority for shoppers. Almost three in ten (29 percent) of shoppers surveyed report leaving a store because the price did not match the one found online.
On the flip side, e-commerce has created a new retail reality where consumers expect unlimited returns. The returns experience continues to remain a source of shopper discontent and represents a perception gap between retailers and shoppers. Retail executives believe that 80 percent of shoppers are satisfied with returns, but only 57 percent are.
It is no surprise that 81 percent of retail executives agree managing returns of online orders is a significant challenge. About 51 percent of retail executives have started or are planning to upgrade their returns management technologies in the next five years. Stores are doubling as distribution centers, fulfilling online orders to streamline processes and move services closer to end-customers.
“Our study shows that while better services will help retain current shoppers and attract new ones, retailers need to make sure they have the basics right when it comes to product availability, ease of finding products, returns and exchanges,” said George Pepes, APAC Vertical Solutions Lead, Healthcare and Retail, Zebra Technologies. “To win with shoppers today, retailers must deliver the seamless, multi-channel experience that customers expect and leverage technology to provide more personalized services for managing inventory and building smarter operations.”
Retailers are working hard to implement the advancements shoppers have come to expect from the online shopping experience. A majority (63 percent) of shoppers believe that associates using handheld computers with built-in scanners can improve the shopping experience. Nearly half of associates report in store mobile devices help them provide a better shopping experience by enabling them to: find correct prices (48 percent), answer questions (46 percent) and save customers’ time (42 percent).
The future of retail belongs to the digital natives who expect technology-enabled experiences. The likelihood of shoppers using in store technology services:
Sixty-three percent of shoppers are likely to use video touchscreen to locate items, check prices, receive promotions and scan barcodes
Fifty-nine percent of shoppers are likely to use location-based coupons sent based on a shopper’s in store location
Fifty-eight percent of shoppers are likely to use auto checkout services where they can leave a store without stopping to pay for items
“The physical store in India has not succumbed to the digitalization of retail. It has actually become more influential in shoppers’ purchasing decisions,” said Deep Agarwal, Regional Sales Director of India, Zebra Technologies. The truth is that there isn’t a single technology architecture that will work best for every retailer. There are, however, a set of real-time technologies that have proven time and again to be most impactful when it comes to improving fulfillment speed and accuracy. In today’s on-demand economy, knowing when to make a seemingly small change to a price tag or product location, and having the tools to execute instantly can make the biggest difference when it comes to consumers’ satisfaction with their online and offline shopping experiences.“
To elevate the shopper experience and keep customers coming back, retailers need to deliver on the most basic needs, while also taking care to build innovation into the core of their business. Zebra has introduced new products to meet this growing demand, namely; – EC30, the right-priced mobile device to bring a new level of efficiency and accuracy to core everyday tasks; ZQ120, the value-priced mobile receipt and label printer; DS4608-SR, a general purpose scanner suitable for use on items of all sizes.