Nearly 70% of retail decision makers surveyed in the 2017 Retail Vision Study said they are ready to make changes to adopt the Internet of Things (IoT) in an effort to enhance the shopping experience.

“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, explained Jeff Schmitz, chief marketing officer of Zebra Technologies Corp., author of the study.

And by 2021, 65% plan to invest in automation technologies for inventory management and planogram compliance by 2021.

Highlights from the survey include:

  • The continued rise of online shopping will challenge retailers to provide unprecedented levels of convenience to help drive customer loyalty. By 2021, 65% of retailers plan to explore innovative delivery services, such as delivering to workplaces, homes and even parked cars.
  • By 2021, nearly 80% 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. This will be enabled through technology such as  micro-locating, allowing retailers to capture more data, accuracy and customer insights.
  • Retailers are looking to create a seamless shopper experience with 78% reporting that it is important or business-critical to integrate e-commerce and in-store experiences.
  • To speed check-out lines, retailers are planning to invest in mobile devices, kiosks and tablets to increase payment options. 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.
  • Seventy-three percent 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.
  • According to the survey, the top sources of shopper dissatisfaction include inconsistent pricing between stores and the inability to find a desired item, whether it’s out of stock or misplaced within a store. 72% of retailers plan to fix these issues by reinventing their supply chains with real-time visibility enabled by automation, sensors and analytics.
  • Fifty-seven percent of retailers believe automation will shape the industry by 2021 – helping retailers pack and ship orders, track inventory, check in-store inventory levels and assist customers in finding items.