Catering to Consumers’ Demand for a Speedy In-Store Experience

Due to the global pandemic, this year has experienced acceleration across the retail industry in ways no predictions came close to capturing, from unprecedented shifts in consumer behaviors to new standards in-store. According to a new shopper survey from Zebra Technologies, today’s shoppers are leaving stores empty-handed due to finding items out-of-stock, long checkout lines, and an inability to find what they are looking for. Notably, today’s shopper is prioritizing safety, speed and convenience above all, preferring retailers who offer easy returns and online retailers who have a brick-and-mortar location. With so many changes and new needs for retailers, the largest retail acceleration in the pandemic may be in technology investments. Here, Rob Armstrong, vice president of portfolio marketing at Zebra Technologies, discusses consumer trends, retail’s heightened need for predictive technology, and why he predicts retail will continue to invest. WWD: How has predictive technology become vital for retailers especially given the current environment in the pandemic? Rob Armstrong: According to our 13th annual Global Shopper Study, the pandemic accelerated technology spending plans for six-in-10 retailers. The pandemic has only further exacerbated the need of retailers to have up-to-date labor forecasting and workforce scheduling technologies that can predict customer demand at a given location

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