One of the challenges of shopping in shops is that they can only carry limited inventory and for that reason rarely offer full product range or depth of stock. We know that for many younger buyers, shops are increasingly becoming places to browse products rather than buy them. One might assume that this is with the intention of buying the same product elsewhere at a cheaper price (75% of Millennials reported doing so). However, Zebra’s recent Global Shopper survey reveals that the primary reason for leaving and then buying online (39%) is that the item that they came to purchase was out of stock. Not such a problem for brands with online distribution but a problem for retailers who might find that the sale goes elsewhere. Better inventory management is one solution to this; whereas facilitating in-store online purchases is another. Technology can help both. In a retail environment where the role of the store is become more nuanced, securing the sale (by whatever channel) is still of paramount importance. Self checkout is becoming the preferred way to deal with this (58% agreeing). A significant majority of retailers (81%) are seeing positive ROI on investments in this area, and they also agree (87%) that this frees up sales associates to add value to the customer experience. Arming salespeople with the latest mobile tech was also thought to help convert sales (73%), especially if that provides the opportunity to complete the sale using these anywhere in the store, rather than just at a till.