Zebra: Retailers compelled to go digital

Zebra: Retailers compelled to go digital

Retailers and manufacturers are being compelled to embrace hand-held mobile computing devices and real-time data analytics to bring the online-to-offline experience to digital users, says a US-based tracking and printing technologies firm.

Mr Bianculli says the omnichannel format can capture more customers.

"The growth of online shopping is a huge opportunity for the omnichannel retail format to raise the bar and challenge retailers to provide greater convenience and drive customer loyalty," Tom Bianculli, chief technology of Zebra Technologies, told the Bangkok Post.

According to Zebra's Retail Vision Study in 2017, 88% of Asia-Pacific retailers would offer a "buy online, pick up in-store" option by 2021.

Asia-Pacific retailers will be able to use micro-location technology to know when particular customers are in the store and use the opportunity to get data and customer insights to tailor the shopping experience and engagement model.

Other notable opportunities are the deployment of mobile point-of-sale (MPOS) systems that enable retailers to scan items, process payments and print receipts anywhere in the store. MPOS is expected to be used by 86% of Asia-Pacific retailers by 2021.

Mr Bianculli said hand-held devices have integrated bar-code scanners, enabling workers to take inventory accurately and remove guesswork from stock levels, avoiding out-of-stock situations -- a major source of consumer dissatisfaction.

To capitalise on these needs, Zebra has introduced a range of cost-effective rugged mobile devices for SMEs in the retail sector to replace paper-based workflow, as well as new TC5 series mobile computers that can streamline supply chain services.

Zebra also provides an omnichannel shopping experience, giving customers the convenience of buying online and picking up at the store.

Mr Bianculli said supply chains in Thailand this year will begin aggressively deploying solutions that connect the physical and digital spheres to enhance visibility and mobilise actionable insights to create better customer experiences, drive operational efficiencies and create new business models.

Thailand's import and export industries are rising significantly, making it opportune for suppliers and manufacturers to embrace the digital transformation to become more intelligent, efficient and cost-effective and take full advantage of expansion opportunities.

The 3A pillars (analytics, automation and artificial intelligence) give suppliers highly efficient ways to track people, processes and assets to improve the supply chain and personalise the customer experience.

Real-time data and analytics software are some other key drivers for growth within Thai businesses.

Real-time location systems (RTLS) and monitoring on the manufacturing floor enable supply chains to collect critical data about assets, including location, stage and conditions in real time to allow organisations to gain actionable insights.

According to the Zebra Manufacturing Vision Study, just 8% of manufacturers in Asia-Pacific have real-time monitoring throughout the entire manufacturing process.

That said, 35% of them expect to add this capability within the next five years.

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