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Two-thirds of shop assistants want tablets to improve service

Retail staff think they could improve service if they were equipped with tablet devices

Two-thirds of retail staff believe tablet devices would help them give better service.
Two-thirds of retail staff believe tablet devices would help them give better service.

Two-thirds of shop assistants believe they could give better customer service if they were equipped with tablet devices.

According to a survey conducted on behalf of Zebra Technologies Corporation, retail staff feel understaffed and overworked and say they lack time to help shoppers. Twenty-eight percent of assistants feel it is difficult to get information to shoppers, although they know that shoppers see the value in better technology services, with three-quarters saying want a better shopping experience supported by technology.

At the same time, half of all shoppers surveyed believe they are better connected via their smartphones than store staff.

Retailers are investing in edge technologies to combat this gap. Nearly 60% of retailers plan to increase their spend on handheld mobile computers by more than six percent, and more than one-in-five retailers (21%) plan to spend greater than 10 % on rugged tablets over the next three years.

Meanwhile, only 13% of surveyed shoppers completely trust retailers to protect their personal data, the lowest level of trust among 10 different industries. Seventy-three percent 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 fulfillment challenges, they also need to provide a more trusted, personalized 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% of retail decision makers - compared to 49% of store associates - agree that staff checkout areas are becoming less necessary due to new technologies that can automate checkout. Also, more than one-half of retail decision makers (52%) are converting point-of-sale (POS) space to self-checkout, and 62% are transforming it for online order pickup.

Zebra's 11th annual Global Shopper Study surveyed approximately 4,725 shoppers, 1,225 retail associates and 430 decision makers from North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, on their attitudes, opinions, and expectations of retail.

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