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Kristen Baker

Staying well ahead of the pack in the retail market

If you’re a reseller in the retail environment, you probably already know this, but it bears repeating: shoppers’ expectations continue to rise exponentially, and it can be extremely difficult to keep up. They want a better and better customer experience, and they’re willing to shop wherever they find it. That’s why it’s key that the retailers to whom you sell continue investing in their physical stores—in addition to improving their online presence.

Looking at past retail trends informs how to achieve retail growth in the future—and that future starts now. The 2017 Zebra Shopper Survey* uncovered some things retailers—and those who sell them their solutions—need to consider, as they move into this brave new sales world. Consider the following:

1. Rising shopper expectations continue to outpace retailer in-store technology investments as a majority of millennial shoppers perceive that they are more connected than store associates.
2. Shoppers want faster delivery, but many aren’t willing to pay for it.
3. Retail customers want a variety of fulfillment options.
4. The use of tablets in stores is improving the shopper experience.
5. Out-of-stocks continue to plague retailers.

For now, let’s take a look at only #1 above. Because this survey found that many young shoppers think they’re better connected than a store’s sales associates, it’s essential that those associates have the tech tools they need—in order to be better equipped to serve customers and increase store revenue. When retailers select the right, up-to-date technology for their salespeople, they receive a valuable and much-needed look into product information, inventory, and fulfillment options—all of which bring the online experience into the brick-and-mortar store.

We’ve looked at the past. Now, let’s take a look into the future. According to Jeff Schmitz**, there are three current supply-chain trends to consider, so keep these top of mind in 2018, and beyond:

1. Embrace the “on-demand” economy by leveraging the “3As”—Analytics, Automation, and Artificial Intelligence.
2. Rely on critical, real-time data and analytics software to gain visibility for the best next action.
3. Optimize locationing technology for better visibility into smart decision-making.

And, speaking of smart, Zebra products purchased through ScanSource can help your customer’s retail business become as smart as the world in which we live and work. The information-gathering solutions we build together—including hardware, software, and services—allow retailers to simplify operations, know more about their businesses and customers, and help their workers succeed in an increasingly data-driven environment. Plus, by helping their end customers, ScanSource resellers get help growing their business, too. Contact me, Kristen Baker, for more information about how ScanSource can help YOU win more business, starting today!