• 70% of retail decision makers globally are ready to adopt the Internet of Things to improve customer experiences.
  • 73% of retailers rate managing big data as important or business-critical to their operations.
  • 78% of retailers say it is important or business-critical to integrate e-commerce and in-store experiences, so an omnichannel experience is delivered to every customer.
  • 87% 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.
  • 90% of retailers will implement buy online, pickup in store by 2021.

These and many other fascinating insights are from Zebra 2017 Retail Vision Study (12 pp., opt-in) released this month. The study’s methodology includes interviews with nearly 1,700 retail decision makers from North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. The respondents represent a wide spectrum of retail segments, including specialty stores, department stores, apparel merchants, supermarkets, electronics, home improvement and drugstore chains. Interviews were completed in 2016 by online research partners Research Now and Qualtrics. Please see page 11 of the study for additional details regarding the methodology.

Key insights from the study include the following:

  • By 2021, retailers are planning investments in Internet Of Things (70%), machine learning/cognitive computing (68%) and automation (57%). Orchestrating these diverse technologies to provide a more responsive, real-time customer experience is the goal retailers want to achieve in the next five years. Relying on the Internet of Things to bring greater visibility into supply chain operations to alleviate out-of-stocks and optimize selections based on customer preferences is the goal. Machine learnings’ predictive strengths as a technology are being used to solve supply chain constraints challenges, better personalize customer experiences and improve inventory management. Automation has a wide variety of uses in retail including inventory tracking, enabling higher levels of customer service and managing inventory levels locally more effectively.

  • 70% of retail decision makers globally are ready to adopt the Internet of Things to improve customer experiences. 79% of North American retailers are investing in IoT technologies such as automated inventory verification and sensors on shelves. One of the key areas retailers are addressing is supply chain performance. 72% plan to reinvent their supply chain with real-time visibility enabled by automation, sensors, and analytics based on Internet of Things technologies. The graphic below provides an overview of retailer’s investment plans by 2021. IoT will play an increasingly important role in security across all operations, in addition to supply chains, and enabling customer experiences and location-based marketing.

  • By 2021, nearly 79% of retailers will be able to customize the store visit for customers as a majority of them will know when a specific customer is in the store. Retailers are predicted to pilot micro-locationing technologies in the next four years and eventually adopt them in their main retailing operations. Retailers are scrambling to keep up with the technology preferences of Millennials who have now eclipsed Baby Boomers as the world’s largest shopping group and who will be 75% of the global workforce by 2025. Zebra believes that this group born between 1980 and 1995 mark the first generation of digital natives who use technology as second nature and have high expectations for responsiveness through all online channels. IoT locationing technology is planned across a wide variety of applications by 2021 to improve store operations, optimize the customer experience and ensure responsiveness.

  • Superior omnichannel support requires 90% inventory accuracy or greater to enable consistently excellent customer experiences. Eight out of ten customers use their smartphones while shopping as in-store shopping assistants, making omnichannel integration essential for the future success of any retailer. 78% rate the importance of integrating e-commerce and in-store experiences as important/business critical. The following graphic illustrates how omnichannel conversion and fulfillment are expected to grow in the next four years.

  • 73% of retailers rate managing big data as important or business-critical to their operations. By 2021, at least 75% of retailers anticipate investing in predictive and software analytics for loss prevention and price optimization along with cameras and video analytics for operational purposes and improving the overall customer experience. Market-basket analysis, customer segmentation and centralized customer data and intelligence are the top tech initiatives retailers are prioritizing


Original article here.