Zebra Technologies Reveals Five Retail Technology Trends



CONTACT:  Michelle Meek
+1 312 873 3424
[email protected]

Vernon Hills, Ill. Nov. 13, 2007 -- The past year has seen retailers making significant progress in developing technology for a variety of operations including customer-facing applications, mobile services and wireless solutions.  Rather than disinvest, retailers in 2008 will continue to build on these advances.  Whether it's in the supply chain or on the sales floor, these technology innovations will help retailers stay competitive by streamlining operations, increasing customer satisfaction and providing security benefits.  As is to be expected, upfront investments will need to be made.  But, retail executives that are on the forefront of these new technologies will soon see the long-term advantages.

Zebra Technologies (NASDAQ: ZBRA), a global leader in specialty printing and automatic identification solutions, has taken a look at five trends that retailers should be thinking about in 2008.  While these are not necessarily "new," they will be taking on more urgency in the coming year. 

1. Self-Service Demand Will Increase: As self-service technology matures, features such as Web access, content and transactional capabilities, custom kiosk software and advanced, "bullet-proof" printing capabilities will be the norm. The result will be a greater demand for self-service solutions as consumers become increasingly comfortable with the technology and its many benefits.  In 2008, retailers will be looking for self-service machines that enable them to deliver a more customized shopping experience and enhance the customer's experience.  In particular, high-end electronic retailers, car dealers and grocery stores will be taking advantage of some of the innovative self-service applications that are increasingly becoming available.

2. Mobile POS Will Expand: In the coming year, retailers will further develop their mobile point-of-sale applications.  These applications have proven in-store benefits, especially for specialty stores looking to reduce wait time and eliminate congestion.  Retailers looking to extend their reach beyond the storefront can use portable point-of-sale technology to bring products to customers in a variety of locations, including sidewalk sales, special events, and more.

3. Wireless Security Will Be Implemented: A leading priority for many retailers will be complying with the 12 major Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements.  In 2007, retailers were setting their compliance plans in place.  The coming year will find many retailers in the implementation phase.  As part of this process, it's important to remember that if a single networked device is non-compliant, the entire network and the retail information systems behind it are all non-compliant. Retailers need to take into consideration the entire network, including peripherals.

4. RFID Technology Will Improve: As RFID technology continues to advance and prices begin to drop, retailers will be looking at new ways to implement RFID technology into their operations.  One anticipated area of growth is in the grocery store supply chain.  Being able to track and trace perishable items such as meat, produce and prepared foods will prove beneficial for grocers looking to put the freshest food on the store shelf. 

5. In-Store Shelf and Rack Signage Will Go Wireless: The need to re-price goods on the shelf has always been a challenge, especially for discount stores that frequently make changes.  Wireless technology can greatly improve the process, and now systems are in place that simplify implementation and lower the costs involved.  Retailers looking to execute "price optimization" can now effectively do so in the store using mobile printing solutions.  As a result, in-store labels will more accurately reflect actual product and pricing information and changes will be validated with the host system and updated in real time.

While technology is not the key to success, it is an important component.  Retailers need to carefully consider each one of these trends, as well as the challenges and benefits associated with them.

To learn more about Zebra Technologies, please visit www.zebra.com. 

For an opportunity to see Zebra solutions in action, please visit Zebra in New York City January 13--16, 2008, where the company will be exhibiting at booth #2213 at the National Retail Federation's (NRF's) 97th Annual Convention and Expo.

About Zebra Technologies
Zebra Technologies Corporation helps companies identify, locate and track assets, transactions and people with on-demand specialty digital printing and automatic identification solutions. In more than 100 countries around the world, more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies use innovative and reliable Zebra printers, supplies, RFID products and software to increase productivity, improve quality, lower costs, and deliver better customer service. Information about Zebra and Zebra-brand products can be found at http://www.zebra.com.



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