Revealed: 60% of retailers accelerate technology spending plans due to Covid-19


November 24, 2020 | By RetailME Bureau

The 13th annual Global Shopper Study, conducted by Zebra Technologies Corporation, has revealed that shoppers are increasingly placing orders online, resulting in a 60% surge in e-commerce orders in the last three months.

With more than one-fifth of shoppers returning an item purchased online, 57% of store associates are feeling significantly challenged by these returns. Out-of-stocks also remain a challenge and 41% of shoppers say this is the  op reason for leaving stores without a purchase. This is followed by long checkout lines (32%) and an inability to find items (31%) both representing a marked increase from last year.

Growth in mobile ordering

Retailers have seen a dramatic increase in the need for convenience and efficiency as the pandemic has catapulted shoppers’ usage and affinity for mobile ordering and smart-checkout solutions. Seventy-two percent of shoppers used mobile ordering and 82% of those shoppers are highly likely to continue using it. Millennials (88%) and Gen X (79%) shoppers were the primary users of mobile ordering but nearly half of Boomers (47%) used it too, and 74% of them are likely to continue using it in the future. Sixty-four percent of shoppers believe more retailers need to offer mobile ordering while the vast majority of decision-makers (90%) and store associates (83%) agree mobile ordering would help meet customer expectations.

Smart checkout 

Approximately half (47%) of the surveyed shoppers have interacted with self-checkouts in the last six months and more than six-in-10 (63%) shoppers agree self-checkout solutions provide an improved customer experience. While agreement is highest among Millennials at 73%, 66% of Gen X shoppers and 50% of Boomers have also realized an improved customer experience from self-checkout solutions in the last year. Meanwhile, 86% of retail decision-makers and 71% of store associates agree self-checkouts improve the customer experience. Almost nine-in-10 decision-makers and more than seven-in-10 associates believe self-checkouts freed employees up to do higher priority tasks and better serve customers while helping meet health and safety mandates and protocols.

Safety now part of in-store experience

Consumer confidence can be increased when precautions or safety measures are put into place. Currently, there is a sizable trust gap between retail decision-makers, shoppers and associates when it comes to health and safety. While approximately 90% of decision-makers think shoppers and associates trust them to make health and safety a priority, only 65% of shoppers and 77% of associates agree. Nearly two-thirds (67%) of shoppers are concerned with surface sanitation or social exposure in stores, and 59% of shoppers prefer stores with contactless payment options. Seven-in-10 associates say social distancing/contact tracing apps would allow them to provide a better customer experience.

“Our study found that shoppers’ in-store and online satisfaction significantly declined this year due to out-of-stocks, product variety, online delivery cost and timing and returns,” said Jeff Schmitz, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Office, Zebra Technologies. “Retailers are aware that success hinges on elevating the shopper experience and investments in analytics, mobile ordering and smart checkout will provide a more seamless and satisfying omnichannel experience.”

Zebra’s 13th annual Global Shopper Study included approximately 4,175 shoppers, 577 retail associates and 412 retail executives from North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East who were interviewed in August – September 2020 by Azure Knowledge Corporation.

Zebra is a technology solutions provider with 10,000 partners across 100 countries that empowers the front line in retail/ecommerce, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, healthcare and the public sector.

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