Zebra set to take your retail shopping experience to a new level

Zebra set to take your retail shopping experience to a new level article image

The retail store of the future will use ground breaking new technology to significantly enhance your shopping experience.

Retailers will know when specific customers have entered the store, where they are in the store, send employees to assist them and perhaps send promotional offers direct to their smartphone.

These are just a few of the exciting new ideas currently on the drawing board of Zebra Technologies, a global leader in tracking and computer printing technologies.

At a media launch in Sydney yesterday the company revealed the results of its 2017 Retail Vision Study.

The study analyses the technology trends shaping the future of the global retail industry and enhancing the shopping experience.

Nearly 1,700 retail decision-makers across various retail segments, including specialty stores, department stores, apparel merchants, supermarkets, electronics, home improvement and pharmaceutical chains, took part in the survey.

The study uncovered the current challenges and untapped opportunities for retailers, and revealed the industry’s plan to adopt more Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

Despite the rise of e-commerce, the physical stores still draw a significant shopping crowd. In fact, 91% of all retail sales are still being generated in brick-and-mortar stores.

In Asia Pacific (APAC), retailers expect sales to increasingly move from brick-and-mortar stores to online channels, which would lead to synergies between the physical and online platforms – with Australia leading the way in many cases.

More location-based services

According to the Retail Vision Study, 75% of the respondents expect to use more location-based services in their stores by 2021.

This will enable retailers to customise store visits for customers as they will know when a specific customer is in the store.

This will be done through technology such as micro-locationing, allowing retailers to capture more data, accuracy and customer insights. In Australia, a major liquor chain is already implementing geo-locationing across three stores in NSW with plans to roll out wider.

This means store staff can get packages ready and waiting as they see customers enter the carpark.

Across Australia, retailers are currently working to create the same look and feel for customers both online and in store to provide a seamless shopper experience.

Faster check-out lines

To speed up checkout lines, retailers are investing in mobile devices, kiosks and tablets to increase payment options. In APAC, 86 percent of retailers will deploy mobile point-of-sale (MPOS) devices, enabling them to scan and accept credit or debit payments anywhere in the store.

Seventy-two percent of retailers in APAC rate managing big data as important or business-critical to their operations. Many of them anticipate investing in predictive analytics, software analytics for loss prevention and price optimisation, and cameras and video analytics for operational purposes and the customer experience.

According to the survey, the top sources of shopper dissatisfaction include the inability to find a desired item, whether it’s out of stock or misplaced within a store. 

Across the region, 73 percent of retailers plan to fix these issues by reinventing their supply chains with real-time visibility enabled by automation, sensors and analytics.

The study found the top drivers for retailers wanting to invest in new technology include:

  • Enhance the customer experience
  • Generate revenue
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Keep pace with competition
  • Improve inventory management

Retailers are now focussing on technology-savvy millennials who will comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2025.

And about 68% of respondents will significantly increase their adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies by 2021 in a bid to enhance supply chain visibility and expand revenue opportunities.

There is a big push towards incorporating more mobile devices in the retail environment, as mobility is proven to boost worker productivity and performance, save time, and enhance customer experience.

Mobile point of sale devices

The survey showed 86% of respondents are considering using mobile point-of-sale devices to scan and accept credit or debit payments anywhere in the store.

And 84% will take up handheld mobile computers with scanners to read barcodes for pricing and availability, while 86% are making plans to use tablets to engage with shoppers and provide more detailed product information.

Retailers that incorporate data analytics into their business operations are poised to generate an estimated 5% productivity gain than their counterparts.

More than two-thirds of retailers surveyed (72%) think managing and making sense of big data is crucial for business operations. 

New touch mobile computers and scanners

At the launch Zebra unveiled its new TC5 Series touch mobile computers, and the DS2200 and DS8100 series handheld 2D scanners in Australia.

The new devices will help retailers increase productivity in front-of-store, back-of-store, distribution centres, warehouses, and deliveries, giving shoppers an enhanced “omni-channel” shopping experience.

Wayne Harper, ‎Senior Technical Director, Asia Pacific, Zebra Technologies said the new TC5 Series combines the user-friendliness of a consumer mobile device together with the high performance of an enterprise-grade computer.

Staff can use the new equipment with minimal training – in retail stores, warehouses, factories, or in the field.

Seamless shopping experience 

“The DS2200 and DS8100 scanners are designed to accelerate the checkout process and deliver a seamless shopping experience in retail,” Mr Harper said.

The cost-effective DS2200 also helps small to mid-sized retailers transition smoothly from 1D to 2D.ZebraDS8100 series scanner

“The retail industry is grasping innovation and identifying the possibilities of applying technology to business operations,” said Mr Harper.

“Australian retailers are keen to reach customers in a way that puts them at the forefront of innovation adoption.

“With this in mind, Zebra continues to deliver innovative products and solutions that address the exacting needs of our customers.” 

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