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Zebra Survey Finds Two-Thirds of Retail Store Associates Believe They Can Provide Better Customer Service with Tablets

Our client Zebra Technologies revealed the results of its 11th annual Global Shopper Study, analyzing the attitudes, opinions, and expectations of shoppers, retail associates and retail decision makers. The results show that two-thirds (66%) of surveyed associates believe that if they are equipped with tablets, they could provide better customer service and improve the shopping experience.

55% of surveyed retail store associates agree that their company is understaffed, and nearly one-half (49%) feel overworked.  Store associates cite frustration with their inability to assist customers as 42% find they have little time to help shoppers because of pressure to get other tasks completed. Another 28% claim that it’s difficult to get information to help shoppers. Most surveyed retail decision makers (83%) and store associates (74%) concur that shoppers can have a better experience with technology-equipped sales associates.

Nearly 80% of retail decision makers – compared to 49% of store associates – agree that staff checkout areas are becoming less necessary due to new technologies that can automate checkout. Also, more than one-half of retail decision makers (52%) are converting point-of-sale (POS) space to self-checkout, and 62% are transforming it for online order pickup.



  • 62% of retail associates view their employer more positively if provided with a mobile device for work-related activities.
  • Nearly half (49%) of retail associates say that mobile point of sale devices help them do their job better.

Europe and the Middle East

  • 74% of decision makers agree that increased e-commerce is driving more interest in fulfillment solutions and warehouse investments.
  • More than three-quarters (76%) of retail decision makers agree that accepting and/or managing returns of online orders is a significant challenge.

Latin America

  • Both shoppers (59%) and store associates (67%) believe that shoppers are better connected to consumer information than store associates.
  • 99% of retail IT decision-makers believe they need better inventory management tools to ensure accuracy.

North America

  • 11% of shoppers completely trust retailers to protect their personal data, the lowest level of trust in any surveyed vertical industry, including healthcare, financial institutions and technology companies.
  • Nearly seven in 10 store associates (68%) reported that electronic shelf-labels would have a positive impact on the customer experience, and 54% of surveyed shoppers are likely to read them.