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By 3 July 2020 | Categories: feature articles

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By Fatima Khota, Category Head POS, Rectron

In our always-on world, it is no surprise that customers expect an on-demand economy, counting on companies to fulfil their product demand and service requirements immediately. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend, except that now customers are seeking products and services within a low-touch economy to mitigate health risks. To provide customers with the best possible shopping experience, retailers should take advantage of technology solutions to create seamless customer engagement.

Aiming to delight

It may be ‘business unusual’ but customers still expect to be delighted with interactions that are convenient and relevant to their buying journey. Your customers interact with an omnichannel world and to harness your retail edge, your organisation should use cross-channel content strategies to satisfy their user experience. Rather than working in parallel, communication channels and their supporting resources should be designed and orchestrated to cooperate with one another.

Delivering value in-store and beyond

A key to resetting retail is elevating your customer experience by giving them the convenience and value they expect, both in-store and beyond with the right technology. This helps build customer loyalty through real-time interactions. Besides building loyalty, using automation to optimise inventory is also a retail imperative. Retail businesses run on the front lines, so capturing real-time data and acting smartly upon it gives your operation a true edge. From product lookup and collaboration to order fulfilment and loss prevention, using tools such as Zebra Technology’s retail fulfilment solutions has now become a retail business essential to enable your front line to work better, smarter, and faster.

Smarter and faster

Within the traditional retail environment, arming associates with devices has become increasingly important. This doesn’t need to be the case – over 70% of store associates believe they could improve the shopper experience with handheld mobile computers and scanners. Zebra’s staff enablement devices give associates real-time mobile access to inventory information and task management so that they’re able to respond to customers’ queries immediately. While retailers have made positive strides in this area, Zebra Technologies’ 2019 Shopper Study defines some key areas of improvement retailers need to be ready for to meet the rising shopper expectations of today and tomorrow, underscoring the critical role technology continues to play in meeting the challenge of the ecommerce-driven economy.

The power of end-to-end retail partnerships

It is important to realise that retail decision-makers face challenges other than budget in deploying technology, including the management of new technologies, the existence of legacy systems and the training of in-store staff. While a ‘customer first’ mentality remains the top driver for technology investment, this is closely followed by reducing operating costs, managing inventory, and generating revenue. Products like Zebra’s inventory management system make it easier than ever to master your inventory, and importantly, enable omnichannel strategies.

Finding the right technology partner

Technology makes retail better and easier, helping you to harness the power of your retail edge. Zebra Technologies caters for advanced retail solutions addressing the optimisation of self-service, in-store journey intelligence, compliance, and price management. They have also identified the need to address warehousing efficiencies and their solutions are user friendly, with set-up fully supported. Zebra Technologies offers retailers an entire ecosystem of solutions—hardware, software, supplies and services—empowering retailers to elevate their customer experience, optimise their inventory and build stronger retail operations.

Exceeding customer expectations in an on-demand, low touch economy is both possible and essential, using technology as an enabler. Rectron, a leading distributor for Zebra in South Africa, is equipped with both tools and resources to take your retail experience to the next level.

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