A large trust gap between shoppers and retailers: Study

Only four-in-10 shoppers completely trust retailers to fulfill orders as promised.

Key APAC Takeaways:

  • APAC saw the second highest jump in shoppers using mobile ordering year over year (81% in 2021 versus 72% in 2020), but the region’s retail decision-makers aren’t seeing mobile ordering activity at the same rate as decision-makers in other regions.
  • Nearly seven-in-10 APAC shoppers surveyed agree they have a better shopping experience when associates use the latest technology to assist them.

There is a large trust gap between shoppers and retailers and more than half of decision-makers surveyed (55%) believe they are completely trusted to fulfill online orders as promised, but only 38% of shoppers indicate complete trust in retailers.

Even retail associates are wary of their employers’ capabilities, with only 51% completely trusting their employer’s ability to deliver or fulfill customers’ online/mobile orders as promised. 

This was revealed in a study by Zebra Technologies Corporation, a business solutions provider (14th Annual Global Shopper Study).

Consumers Returning to Stores but Not to Pre-Pandemic Shopping Behaviours

The report said that though two-thirds of shoppers plan to return to brick-and-mortar locations in the coming months, most (73%) want to get in and out of stores quickly. Sixty-five percent are still worried about exposure to others, and not as many trust retailers to adhere to health and safety mandates or protocols in stores as they did in 2020. Some shoppers don’t even want to go into a store to make a purchase.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) would prefer to have items delivered to them rather than pick up orders at the store or other location. And over three-quarters (77%) say they have placed a mobile order, with over half of Boomers taking advantage of mobile commerce (m-commerce) options. Thirty-five percent of Boomers also say they have used mobile apps for grocery or food delivery specifically.

Interestingly, shoppers are also researching product pricing (50%) online before they leave home. And nearly one-third are checking store inventory before they leave home, while only 19% were doing so in 2019.

New Omnichannel Shopping Behaviours Taking Hold in Brick-and-Mortar Stores

About one-third of consumers say they use their mobile devices to lookup competitive prices or browse online websites for products during shopping trips. More than 70% confirm they have recently left stores without all the items they wanted, with nearly half citing out-of-stocks as the reason for not making an in-store purchase.

Consequently, 58% of shoppers say it’s faster to lookup information on their smartphones than ask associates for help, and the majority of associates (64%) agree, leaving retailers unaware of when in-store customers are contemplating m-commerce purchases, possibly with competitors. More than 25% of surveyed shoppers have placed click-and-collect m-commerce orders while out shopping, with some even completing mobile orders for home delivery.

Eighty-four percent of retail decision-makers know this “do-it-yourself” (DIY) trend is taking hold, and many are taking a closer look at how technology can be utilized to meet customers’ expectations and save sales.

“The ongoing pandemic has resulted in an exponential rise in demand for click-and-collect and home delivery options, especially as retailers begin to add new fulfillment options and incentivize m-commerce transactions,” said Christanto Suryadarma, Southeast Asia (SEA) Sales Vice President, Zebra Technologies Asia Pacific. “To adapt to these changes in consumer behaviours, many retailers have adjusted their processes and relooked at their perspectives on the importance of technology.”

Retailers Making Online Order Processing and Fulfillment More Efficient

With retail channels blending more than ever, over three-quarters of decision-makers say increasing the efficiency of online order processing and fulfillment is a priority. Nearly nine-in-10 decision-makers confirm their company is now looking at ways to improve in-store pick and pack as well as warehouse fulfillment. 

“The convenience of mobile pickup orders is such that customers can easily abandon their carts while shopping in-store in favor of fulfilling their orders elsewhere,” said George Pepes, APAC Vertical Solutions Lead, Healthcare and Retail, Zebra Technologies Asia Pacific. “This underlines the need for in-store associates to be equipped with mobile devices and applications that enable them to help shoppers complete their in-store purchases using alternative fulfillment options.”

Zebra’s 14th Annual Global Shopper Study surveyed over 5,000 shoppers, store associates and retail decision-makers globally to gauge the opinions and expectations on today’s shopper experience, technology usage and fulfillment in June – July 2021 by Azure Knowledge Corporation.