- Zebra Technology's tenth annual shopper survey found 44% of customers are unsatisfied with retail staff accessibility and customer service due to a lack of technology, out of stocks, or rising delivery expectations.
- Overall, the study found retailers must continue to adapt to multi-channel shopping habits: 58% of North American shoppers said they have "show-roomed," looking at products in-store to buy online; and 53% of respondents said they were dissatisfied with retailers' return and exchange process.
- Investment in technology may help improve these ratings, however. About 57% of respondents said they appreciate it when store associates use tablets, and although 70% of shoppers faced out-of-stock problems, retailers were able to recover 60% of these sales through alternative fulfillment options, such as ship from store.
Zebra's survey of 7,500 of shoppers worldwide helps quantify the rise of consumer expectations by measuring satisfaction with the industry. The results reveal retailers still have a long way to go.
The study "provides deeper insight into two key themes — customer satisfaction and fulfillment," Tom Moore, Zebra Technologies' industry lead for retail and hospitality told Supply Chain Dive. "Retail customers want a variety of fulfillment options and two-thirds of shoppers prefer next-or same-day delivery, indicating that fulfillment requirements are significantly growing in expectation and creating heightened shopping engagement complexity."
indeed, the results show consumers are not just looking to buy items online or in-store, but a mixture of both, and they expect store associates to be able to provide the information they want immediately, too.
Out of stocks are not a problem 60% of the time if retailers can ship the item directly to a customer's home later. Of course, it would be great if the shopper knew the item would be out of stock in the first place. On-demand SKU-level visibility is expected today, which explains why so many shoppers explicitly appreciated the use of tablets or other such technology in-store.
"Zebra conducts the shopper study to gain a holistic view of retail and to better understand how to aid customers during this transformational time in the industry," said Moore. The conclusion, so far, is that customer expectations are evolving more quickly than retailers can adapt.