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Zebra Study: Out-of-Stock Items Led 86% of APAC Millennials to Abandon In-Store Purchases
February 14, 2020 News


Zebra Technologies Corporation , an innovator at the edge of the enterprise with solutions and partners that enable businesses to gain a performance edge, revealed the results of its 2020 APAC Shopper Study, the industry’s only market tracker that analyses the attitudinal behaviour of shoppers, retail associates and retail executives, and examines the retail and technology trends impacting shoppers’ purchasing behaviour.

86% of surveyed millennial shoppers and more than half (56%) of Gen X shoppers indicated they shopped in a store and left without a purchase only to end up buying the item online, while only 25% for Boomers. The top reason as to why these shoppers leave without a purchase is because items are out of stock.

Shoppers often start shopping before entering a store. Customers expect that items they saw online are in-stock – achieving what’s hardest for e-commerce to deliver – instant gratification. Price is a top priority for shoppers, when it comes to brick-and-mortar purchasing. Almost three in ten (29%) of shoppers surveyed report leaving a store because the price is not the same as the one they saw online.

On the other hand, a new retail reality created by e-commerce shows consumers expect unlimited returns. The returns experience continues to remain a source of shopper discontent and represents a perception gap between retailers and shoppers. Retail executives believe that 80% of shoppers are satisfied with returns, but only 57% are.

About 81% of retail executives agree managing returns of online orders is a significant challenge. Also, 51% of retail executives have started or are planning to upgrade their returns management technologies in the next five years. Stores are doubling as distribution centres, fulfilling online orders to streamline processes and move services closer to end-customers.

“Our study shows that while better services will help retain current shoppers and attract new ones, retailers need to make sure they have the basics right when it comes to product availability, ease of finding products, returns and exchanges,” said George Pepes, APAC Vertical Solutions Lead, Healthcare and Retail, Zebra Technologies. “To win with shoppers today, retailers must deliver the seamless, multi-channel experience that customers expect and leverage technology to provide more personalized services for managing inventory and building smarter operations.”

Retailers are working hard to implement the advancements shoppers have come to expect from the online shopping experience. A majority (63%) of shoppers believe that associates using handheld computers with built-in scanners can improve the shopping experience. Nearly half of associates report in store mobile devices help them provide a better shopping experience by enabling them to: find correct prices (48 percent), answer questions (46 percent) and save customers’ time (42 percent).

The future of retail belongs to the digital natives who expect technology-enabled experiences. The likelihood of shoppers using in store technology services:

  • Sixty-three percent of shoppers are likely to use video touchscreen to locate items, check prices, receive promotions and scan barcodes
  • Fifty-nine percent of shoppers are likely to use location-based coupons sent based on a shopper’s in store location
  • Fifty-eight percent of shoppers are likely to use auto checkout services where they can leave a store without stopping to pay for items

“Brick-and-mortar stores in Southeast Asia have not only withstood the digitalization of retail, they have also become more influential in shoppers’ purchasing decisions,” said Fang-How, Lim, Regional Director for Southeast Asia, Zebra Technologies. “The reality is that there is no one-size-fits-all technology architecture that will work for every retailer. There are, however, a set of real-time technologies that have proven to be most impactful when it comes to improving fulfillment speed and accuracy. As leading retailers adopt technology to enhance shopper experience, Zebra has introduced a slew of new products to meet this growing demand, including the EC30 mobile computer, ZD200 Series desktop printer and MP7000 grocery scanner scale. In today’s on-demand economy, having visibility over price changes or product location, and the right tools to act instantly can significantly improve consumers’ online and offline shopping experiences.”

Retailers need to deliver on the most basic need – convenience – by prioritising expanded fulfilment capabilities such as third-party logistics (3PL), while also taking care to build innovation into the core of their business, in order to elevate the shopper experience and keep customers coming back.