Retailers eye IoT, AI and automation to boost growth: Study

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Retailers in the Asia-Pacific region are fast adopting Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and automation strategies to boost growth, a new study has said.
Retailer are moving from brick-and-mortar stores to online channels, which would lead to synergies between the physical and online platforms, said the study titled “2017 Retail Vision Study” released on Tuesday by Zebra Technologies Corporation, a global leader in providing solutions and services to enterprises.
Zebra also announced the availability of its new TC5 Series touch mobile computers, and the DS2200 and DS8100 series hand-held 2D scanners in India.
The new devices will help retailers increase productivity in front-of-store, back-of-store, distribution centres, warehouses, and deliveries, giving shoppers an enhanced omni-channel shopping experience.
“The retail industry is experiencing a convergence of the physical and online worlds – which we call ‘phygital’. Shoppers today are technology-savvy and have high expectations for a digital and connected shopping experience, creating both challenges and opportunities for retailers vying for sales on all platforms,” explained Regional Sales Director – India, Zebra Technologies APAC, Deep Agarwal.
As the Omnichannel approach picks up steam, implementing the right visibility technologies from the warehouse to the storefront is instrumental in fulfilling orders, scheduling for fast deliveries, and personalizing the experience for different shoppers.
“Zebra is committed to helping customers strive in the dynamic retail landscape by bringing to them technology that facilitates a successful omni-channel transition and offers increased visibility into their operations, associates, inventory, and shipments,” Agarwal added.
According to the findings, in Asia Pacific, 88 per cent of retailers expect to support buy online, pick-up in store within the next four years to further increase omni-channel shopping.
By 2021, nearly 76 per cent of retailers in APAC will be able to customise the store visit for customers as a majority of them will know when a specific customer is in the store.
“In APAC, 86 per cent of retailers will deploy mobile point-of-sale (MPOS) devices by 2021, enabling them to scan and accept credit or debit payments anywhere in the store,” the study noted.

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