Only of 40%
Shoppers Completely Trust
Retailers to Fulfill Orders
November 4, 2021
Zebra Technologies released
the findings of its 14th Annual Global Shopper Study, confirming there
is a large trust gap between shoppers and retailers. More than half of
decision-makers surveyed (55%) believe they are completely trusted to
fulfill online orders as promised, but only 38% of shoppers indicate
complete trust in retailers. Even retail associates are wary of their
employers’ capabilities, with only 51% completely trusting their
employer’s ability to deliver or fulfill customers’ online/mobile orders
as promised. To improve this level of trust, retail decision-makers are
increasingly embracing solutions that elevate the contributions of
front-line staff and improve how inventory is planned and executed in
stores and the broader supply chain.
Consumers Returning to Stores but Not to Pre-Pandemic Shopping Behaviors
Though two-thirds of shoppers plan to return to brick-and-mortar
locations in the coming months, most (73%) want to get in and out of
stores quickly. Sixty-five percent are still worried about exposure to
others, and not as many trust retailers to adhere to health and safety
mandates or protocols in stores as they did in 2020. Some shoppers don’t
even want to go in a store to make a purchase.
Nearly three-quarters (73%) would prefer to have items delivered to them
rather than pick up orders at the store or other location. And over
three-quarters (77%) say they have placed a mobile order, with over half
of Boomers taking advantage of mobile commerce (m-commerce) options.
Thirty-five percent of Boomers also say they have used mobile apps for
grocery or food delivery specifically.
Interestingly, shoppers are also researching product pricing (50%)
online before they leave home. And nearly one-third are checking store
inventory before they leave home, while only 19% were doing so in 2019.
New Omnichannel Shopping Behaviors Taking Hold in Brick-and-Mortar
About one-third of consumers say they use their mobile devices to lookup
competitive prices or browse online websites for products during
shopping trips. More than 70% confirm they have recently left stores
without all the items they wanted, with nearly half citing out-of-stocks
as the reason for not making an in-store purchase.
Consequently, 58% of shoppers say it’s faster to lookup information on
their smartphones than ask associates for help, and the majority of
associates (64%) agree, leaving retailers unaware of when in-store
customers are contemplating m-commerce purchases, possibly with
competitors. More than 25% of surveyed shoppers have placed
click-and-collect m-commerce orders while out shopping, with some even
completing mobile orders for home delivery.
Eighty-four percent of retail decision-makers know this “do-it-yourself”
(DIY) trend is taking hold, and many are taking a closer look at how
technology can be utilized to meet customers’ expectations and save
sales. That’s good news considering a majority of shoppers don’t want to
spend their money with another retailer. More than six-in-10 say they
would be willing to purchase out-of-stock items before leaving the store
if they could pick those items up at another one of the retailer’s
nearby stores or the items could be shipped to their homes.
“Consumers appreciate the convenience of click-and-collect and home
delivery options, especially as retailers have added new fulfillment
options and incentivized m-commerce transactions,” said Bill Inzeo,
Global Retail Technology Strategist, Zebra Technologies. “Many retailers
have adjusted processes to account for the popularity of these new
retail experiences, and their perspective on the importance of
technology is changing.”
Retailers Making Online Order Processing and Fulfillment More Efficient
retail channels blending more than ever, over three-quarters of
decision-makers say increasing the efficiency of online order processing
and fulfillment is a priority. Nearly nine-in-10 decision-makers confirm
their company is now looking at ways to improve in-store pick and pack
as well as warehouse fulfillment. Over one-third of decision-makers are
now converting store space into designated pickup and returns locations,
which could help divert traffic away from a central customer service
“Even a single out-of-stock could drive an in-store customer to abandon
their entire cart on the spot if they can place a mobile pickup order
elsewhere and get everything they need,” explained Inzeo. “Therefore,
associates need to be equipped with mobile devices and applications that
enable them to help shoppers complete their in-store purchases using
alternative fulfillment options.”
With labor shortages and associate satisfaction also impacting retail
store execution, most decision-makers say they plan to deploy workforce
and task management software in the next year. This is positive feedback
considering 70% of associates view their employers more positively when
they are provided with technology. And over 80% say they could provide a
better customer experience if they had mobile computers and barcode
scanners in hand. Retail associates also believe analytics will help
them have better daily experiences and prefer to manage their tasks and
schedules using mobile apps and devices.
Asia Pacific (APAC)
- APAC saw the
second highest jump in shoppers using mobile ordering year over
year (81% in 2021 versus 72% in 2020), but the region’s retail
decision-makers aren’t seeing mobile ordering activity at the
same rate as decision-makers in other regions.
seven-in-10 APAC shoppers surveyed agree they have a better
shopping experience when associates use the latest technology to
percent of European survey respondents say they have used mobile
- Only 59% of
European survey respondents plan on shopping more often in
stores as the pandemic recedes, the lowest score compared to
American shoppers are embracing m-commerce. Nine-in-10 say they
have placed a mobile order, and eight-in-10 say they’ve used a
mobile app for grocery or food delivery.
- Eighty percent
of retail associates in Latin America agree shoppers can find
information faster on their smartphones than if they ask an
associate for help, the highest compared to other regions.
- North America
saw more shoppers using mobile ordering year over year (68% in
2021 versus 58% in 2020), but the region still ranks last in
mobile ordering. More shoppers said they used mobile apps for
grocery or food delivery (51% in 2021 versus 36% in 2020).
Eight-in-10 North American shoppers prefer retailers that offer
easy returns. However, only six-in-10 retail associates say
their companies are highly experienced with online returns and
believe their process is very streamlined.