Submit Content Become a member
Staff Writers


Findings of the Zebra Technologies 16th Annual Global Shopper Study confirmed retailers are feeling the squeeze, particularly with managing online returns and reducing theft or fraud.


The study, which surveyed over 4,200 shoppers, store associates, and retail decision-makers globally, found that 74% of retailers in APAC agree minimising theft/fraud is a significant challenge and that the ability to forecast demand is also important to their organisation (89%).


According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), retailers lost US$112 billion due to theft/fraud in 2022, up from nearly US$94 billion in 2021. The study indicates 40% of APAC retailers believe better monitoring could help drive profitability, causing many to consider  loss prevention analytics (55% in APAC) and demand planning and forecasting (61% in APAC) by 2026.


Coupled with the increase in theft, retailers are also experiencing an increase in customer returns. Around seven in 10 global and APAC retailers say the pressure is mounting to improve the efficiency and expense of managing online orders, returns, and the fulfilment process. Six in ten retailers say they will upgrade their returns management technology by 2026. In APAC, more retailers are in the process of upgrading at 74%, 12% higher than global retailers surveyed.

“Retailers are increasingly investing in technology to reduce shrinkage and manage returns,” said Brett Newstead, director of Sales for ANZ, Zebra Technologies. “Consumers today have higher expectations about availability and returning items more frequently, so retailers face heightened costs tied to inventory tracking, reverse logistics, and a surge in return volumes”.


Retailers are tapping technology to help manage returns with 68% in APAC saying they plan to deploy reverse logistics technology by 2026 to better manage fulfilment pressures. 32% of APAC retailers think charging a fee for online orders from frequent returners could potentially improve the overall profitability of online orders.


Consumers Dialling into Digital Checkouts

Since 2020, the number of shoppers who favour digital payment applications have increased substantially. Those preferring pay/checkout anywhere in-store almost doubled from 15% to 26%, mobile payments jumped from 33% to 50% and “just walk-out” to avoid a long checkout line doubled from 14% to 30%. In APAC, shoppers who preferred pay/checkout anywhere jumped from 16% to 28%, opted for mobile payments went from 46% to 58% and walked out due to long queues soared from 17% to 33%. Meanwhile, more than 4-in-10 (48% globally) of consumers opt for self-checkouts, with three quarters (75% globally) saying it helps improve their experience. This is also true for 45% and 74% of APAC shoppers respectively.


These figures provide a clear signal that consumers want to settle their shopping experience quickly. Unsurprisingly, most retailers agree self-checkouts deliver value. In fact, eight in 10 of them agree the investment in self-checkouts is paying off (87% globally, 88% in APAC), as this technology allows associates to work on higher value tasks and improves the customer experience. However, around eight-in-10 of retail decision-makers and associates agree store shrinkage and theft is a major issue with self-checkouts. These sentiments are similarly echoed in APAC by 85% of decision-makers and 79% of associates.

Rate article from Staff Writers: