Zebra shopper survey reveals heightened fulfillment requirements

10th annual study shows two-thirds of shoppers prefer next- or same-day delivery as retailers work to bring the online experience into the physical store.

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Zebra Technologies Corporation, a market leader in rugged mobile computers, barcode scanners and barcode printers, has revealed the results of its 2017 Global Shopper Study, the 10th annual survey analyzing shopper satisfaction and retail technology trends.

The survey indicates shoppers want faster delivery, but many aren’t willing to pay for it. While 66% of shoppers want next-day or same-day delivery and 37% prefer same-day or sooner, 27% would not want to pay for shipping at any speed.

Retail customers want a variety of fulfillment options. 80% of those surveyed purchase items in-store and either take them home or ship from store to home. Shoppers are also taking advantage of other fulfillment options, such as buy online - ship to home (64%), buy online – pick up in-store (34%) and buy online- ship to alternative location (15%).

Out-of-stocks continue to plague retailers. When shopping in-store, 70% of shoppers have left without purchasing what they were seeking. However, when it comes to out-of-stock issues, retailers can recover six in 10 incidents with discounts or alternative fulfillment options, such as ship to home.

“The results of the 2017 Shopper Study indicate consumers around the world believe that retailers have come a long way over the past decade to enhance the in-store shopping experience, but shopper expectations continue to rise at an exponential rate,” said Jeff Schmitz, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Zebra Technologies. “Retailers continue to invest in their physical stores; we see this with an increasing overall store count and growth in convenience and mass merchant retail. Sales associates armed with the right technology tools are better equipped to serve customers and increase revenue by providing the visibility and actionable insight into product information, inventory and fulfillment options that bring the online experience into the physical store.”

The use of tablets in stores is improving the shopper experience.  More than half of surveyed shoppers believe technology is improving the shopping experience with 57% specifically citing store associates using tablets.

The research also revealed that while 44% of surveyed shoppers are still not satisfied with staff availability and customer service, overall shopper satisfaction has significantly improved since the study’s inception a decade ago.

While four in 10 shoppers surveyed in Zebra’s tenth annual retail survey cited being better connected to consumer information than store associates, more than half believe store associates armed with the latest technology improve the overall shopping experience. And although 44% of in-store and 53% of online shoppers remain not satisfied with the returns/exchange process, 62% of those surveyed appreciated associates’ use of handheld mobile devices in-store.

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. When asked about how well-connected they are with consumer information, 53% of millennial shoppers believe they are better connected than store associates - compared to 32% of Gen X shoppers and 15% of boomer shoppers.

Regional findings

  • Fifty-eight percent of North American shoppers said they have “show-roomed,” or looked at items in a store and purchased them online.
  • In Europe and the Middle East, 64% of shoppers would be willing to purchase more merchandise if they received better customer service and 52% value retailers who use technology to make the shopping experience more efficient.
  • Nearly one-half (48%) of Latin American shoppers trust sharing personal data with retailers. Moreover, retailers rank low on the list of institutions that shoppers trust with personal data.
  • In Asia-Pacific, 32% of shoppers would prefer to go to a retail store to pick up items purchased online or through mobile channels.
  • More than half of shoppers in both Asia-Pacific and Europe are interested in Wi-Fi and location-based in-store services such as mobile coupons.


Zebra’s 10th annual shopper study reflects input from nearly 7,500 shoppers from North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East who were interviewed in September 2017 by online research partner Qualtrics.


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