Retailers eager to embrace IoT, automation high on investment list

March 16, 2017

Retailers are hungry for Internet of Things technology with 70 percent of decision makers ready to make changes to adopt IoT and 65 percent planning to invest in automation for inventory management by 2021.

Such technologies, according to Zebra Technology's 2017 Retail Vision study, will provide new levels of personalization, speed and convenience for consumers.

"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," Jeff Schmitz, senior VP and CMO, said in a press release.

"The 2017 Retail Vision Study demonstrates that retailers are poised to meet and exceed customer expectations with new levels of personalization, speed and convenience," he said.

Those 65 percent getting ready for automation tech are also banking on the technology for planogram compliance by 2021, according to the release.

The study reveals 79 percent of North American retailers are investing in IoT for sensors on shelves as well as automated inventory.

Here are additional findings from the study:

  • The continued rise of online shopping will challenge retailers to provide unprecedented levels of convenience to help drive customer loyalty. By 2021, 65 percent of retailers plan to explore innovative delivery services, such as delivering to workplaces, homes and even parked cars.
  • By 2021, nearly 80 percent 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 looking to create a seamless shopper experience with 78 percent reporting it is important or business-critical to integrate e-commerce and in-store experiences.
  • Retailers are planning to invest in mobile devices, kiosks and tablets to increase payment options; 87 percent of retailers will deploy mobile point-of-sale (MPOS) devices by 2021.
  • Fifty seven percent believe automation will shape the industry by 2021 by helping retailers pack and ship orders, track inventory, check in-store inventory levels and assist customers in finding items.

Topics: Customer Experience, Customer Service, Internet of Things


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