86 per cent of APAC retailers looking to increase investment in intelligent automation by 2022, says, 12th Annual APAC Shoppers Study by Zebra Technologies. With the businesses reopening and rebuilding from the COVID-19 pandemic, the resiliency of retailers and supply chains are being tested more now than ever before. One monumental shift relates to the concept of ‘economy at home’, which addresses the way consumers have completely changed their shopping habits.
To meet rising customer expectations, retailers need to rethink the safety of the customer journey, whether it is in store or via delivery. Click-and-collect, or buy online, pick-up in store (BOPIS), are becoming preferred methods of shopping, with 55% of consumers requesting more retailers to offer mobile ordering options. This is forcing businesses to rethink their fulfillment strategies given that only 36 per cent of respondents agreed that their stores are equipped to fulfil web orders. The study expects this trend to continue, while retailers implement additional solutions that minimize in-store contact and improve customer convenience at the same time.
“COVID-19 has significantly altered the retail sector, forcing both essential and non-essential retailers to assess their Omni channel fulfilment capabilities and quickly adapt their operating models in a matter of days – some implementing changes within hours,” said Deep Agarwal, Regional Sales Director of India, Zebra Technologies. “We’re seeing how retailers are transforming ‘dark stores’ to serve as temporary distribution facilities inside their establishments. Retailers should prioritize the expansion of click-and-collect service offerings and invest in technologies that increase shopping capacity and speed. This reduces in-store traffic and aids in social distancing efforts, while providing retailers with inventory visibility across every corner of the shop floor.”