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Self-serve drives seven in 10 shoppers’ improved satisfaction with retail associates

Self-serve drives seven in 10 shoppers’ improved satisfaction with retail associates

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Zebra Technologies Corporation, an innovator at the front line of business with solutions and partners that deliver a performance edge, released the findings of its 15th Annual Global Shopper Study which confirms shoppers are returning to shop in stores in similar numbers seen prior to the pandemic. They have also embraced self-serve habits as they increasingly use do-it-yoursel” (DIY) technology in stores, allowing more associates more time on the floor to help shoppers.

While nearly 75% of shoppers said inflation has caused them to delay purchases, they’re still returning to stores, but most (76%) want to get in and out as quickly as possible. And they’re willing to help make that happen with their growing affinity for self-serve technology. Shopper interaction across self-serve solutions continues to rise with nearly half of shoppers citing they have used self-checkouts, and almost four in 10 used cashless payment methods.

Forty-three percent of shoppers surveyed prefer paying with a mobile device/smartphone (+23pp since 2019) and half prefer self-checkout (up +19pp since 2019) as preference for a traditional check-out register staffed by a person has declined (-20pp since 2019). A majority of retailers (77%) believe staffed checkouts are becoming less necessary with automation technology, and nearly half are readying their stores, converting traditional check-out spaces to self-serve and contactless options.

Consumers also continue to rely on their smartphones during shopping trips; this year’s usage indicates price sensitivity as over half of those surveyed are checking for sales, specials or coupons, aligning with 68% who are concerned about having to reduce spending to make ends meet.

Shoppers’ ‘Everything Experience’

Consumers expect a seamless experience however they shop. Seven in 10 prefer shopping both in-store and online as well as favour online retailers that also offer brick-and-mortar locations. Convenience is king for fulfilment: most shoppers (75%) prefer the option to have items delivered and 64% opt for retailers who offer in-store or kerbside pick-up. The same is true for reverse logistics: eight in 10 shoppers prioritise their spending with retailers that offer easy returns.

“Shoppers don’t see channels, they see one shopping experience however they shop,” said Matthew Guiste, Retail Industry Lead, Zebra Technologies. “The days of siloed, omnichannel operations are out of step with how people shop today. A unified commerce approach can help retailers meet shoppers how they shop online, in-store, social, mobile or any combination-and improve their overall experience.”

While nearly eight in 10 shoppers are concerned about inflationary price increases on everyday essentials, they’re not necessarily leaving stores without the items they wanted due to price. Associates expressed out of stock complaints is their number one frustration. A whopping 76% of shoppers leave without the items they intended to purchase with 49% blaming out of stocks. Retailers are painfully aware; 80% acknowledge maintaining real-time visibility of out of stocks is a significant challenge, and they need better inventory management tools for accuracy and availability.

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