February 7, 2015
We met Team Zebra at NRF 2015 about a month ago and have been collecting information on the company’s initiatives from the market as well. At NRF, the company’s booth was in the form of an actual retail store setup. What they were trying to portray at NRF was Zebra Commerce. We got exclusive insights on Zebra Commerce from Todd Berner, VP of Retail Solutions and Nick D'Alessio, Retail Global Practice Lead.
Zebra Technologies had acquired Motorola Solutions’ Enterprise Business for $3.45 billion in October last year. This has further helped Zebra in coming up with more effective POS devices. Juliann Larimer, Chief Marketing Officer at Zebra Technologies, explained: Zebra and the former Motorola Solutions Enterprise Business have a long and rich heritage of leadership and innovation in the retail industry. We are excited to come together at NRF 2015 and showcase how retailers can differentiate themselves by enhancing the omni-channel experience with new solutions that can help retailers reduce costs, improve associate effectiveness and increase shopper satisfaction.
One of the primary offerings that Zebra Commerce showcases is mobile assisted selling. Expanding on the theme The Experience is Everything, Zebra showcased new solutions at NRF that can help retailers create personalized experiences that connect with shoppers, enable associates to deliver the experiences that turn shoppers into buyers, and can be deployed effectively with minimal IT support. PD40 was one particular product that was highlighted.
The Zebra PD40 mobile payment solution supports mobile payments anywhere in the store using virtually any type of payment card – magnetic stripe and the new EMV (Chip-and-PIN) - to safely and securely process transactions. The PCI-compliant PD40 links to Zebra’s Android mobile computers via secure Bluetooth® and can provide an easy-to-use one-handed solution that can help with line busting – empowering store associates to check customers out faster and deliver a better shopping experience.
Here is an illustration of the PD40 device:
Zebra is promoting the PD40 as a rugged device which is actually something that retailers need. It cannot be damaged easily which makes it perfect for sales people to carry around without having to worry whether it’s fragile or not. PD40 is an ideal product offering for day-to-day retail operations.
Another device that Zebra has developed as part of the retail mobility experience is MC40. The MC40 brings in enterprise-class durability, security and a comprehensive set of features including advanced bar code scanning, push-to-talk and an integrated magnetic stripe reader. Sales Associates can look up the answer to practically any product question on this handheld mobile computer, present product comparisons to help with a buying decision, place an order for next day delivery or in-store pick-up and ring up a sale — all without ever walking away from the customer. As the illustration of the device below shows, customers can get in-depth product details such as current inventory situation, variations of the products available for sale, etc.
Besides the hardware, Zebra is also working on the software stack which includes effective POS data management using JDA/Oracle. Their retail solution includes the Payment-Ready Enterprise Mobility Developers Kit (EMDK), a powerful tool that takes the complexities out of developing payment applications. With the EMDK, developers can create payment applications that can run on the Zebra mobile devices.