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Thailand: Retailers see scope to boost shopping experience: survey

TWO-THIRDS of retail associates told a recent survey that they could provide better customer services and improve the shopping experience if they were equipped with tablets while customers seek a personalised shopping experience with more control over their personal data.

The survey, by Zebra Technologies Corporation, analysed the attitudes, opinions, and expectations of shoppers, retail associates and retail decision-makers in its 11th annual Global Shopper Study.

Zebra positions itself as “an innovator at the edge of the enterprise with solutions and partners that enable businesses to gain a performance edge”.

The survey results, released yesterday, also found that 55 per cent of surveyed retail-store associates agree that their companies were understaffed, while nearly 50 per cent) feel overworked.

Store associates reported being frustrated by their inability to assist customers, with 42 per cent of respondents revealing that they were left with little time to help shoppers because of pressure to get other tasks completed.

Another 28 per cent claimed that it was difficult to get information to help shoppers. Most surveyed retail decision-makers (83 per cent) and store associates (74 per cent) concur that shoppers can have a better experience with technology-equipped sales associates.

Meanwhile, only 13 per cent of surveyed shoppers completely trust retailers to protect their personal data, the lowest level of trust among 10 different industries. Around 73 per cent of surveyed shoppers prefer flexibility to control how their personal information is used.

“Our study reveals shopper expectations are on the rise,” said Jeff Schmitz, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Zebra Technologies. “While retailers are addressing fulfilment challenges, they also need to provide a more trusted, personalised shopping experience that gives customers what they want, when, where and how they want it.”

The study also identified diverging expectations on the impact of automation between retailers and store associates. Nearly 80 per cent of retail decision-makers – compared to 49 per cent of store associates – agree that staff checkout areas are becoming less necessary due to new technologies that can automate checkout.

Also, the majority of retail decision-makers (52 per cent) are converting point-of-sale space to self-checkout, and 62 per cent are transforming it for online order pickup.

More than 51 per cent of shoppers believe they are better connected with their smartphones than are store associates. Retailers are investing in leading edge technologies to combat this gap. Nearly 60 per cent of retailers plan to increase their spending on handheld mobile computers by more than six per cent, and more than one-in-five retailers (21 per cent) plan to spend more than 10 per cent on rugged tablets over the next three years.

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Economy/30363933