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The Visible Value Blog

Welcome to a place where you can connect and learn.

When you think Zebra, you may think of printers, but we're so much more than that. A leader in developing solutions that feature barcode, RFID and RTLS technologies, Zebra converts the physical into the digital to give assets, people and transactions a virtual voice. When you have more visibility, you can drive more value.

In this blog, we will:

  • Break down the basics of the Internet of Things (IoT) and how our connected world is making a big impact on how we work and play
  • Cover all the latest trends in visibility technology, like barcoding, RFID and RTLS, across many industries
  • Give you a closer look at the latest news and solutions from Zebra

If you're looking for something specific on the blog, you can narrow your experience by region, vertical or subject and by subscribing, you can be notified when we share new content.

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Mark Thomson

As Director of Retail Industry Solutions at Zebra, Mark works closely with retailers and hospitality providers to provide input on how to face the challenge of a new retail landscape, where customers are often more connected and informed than shop floor staff. Mark helps retailers focus on developing a vision for their retail business that aims to improve customer experience and drive business efficiencies. Mark is a recognised industry speaker at events such as World Retail Congress, Retail ME, Euroshop and more.

Recent Posts

Amazon Dash: Fad or Future?

Posted by Mark Thomson December 8, 2016 at 9:47 AM


It’s here! The button that does it all! Need Andrex toilet roll? It’s got you covered. Desperately hoping for a Nescafe refill, hope no longer! Amazon’s new ‘Dash’ buttons can sort your needs at quite literally the touch of a button. Why log on to a device when you can order your essentials in under a second?  


Topics: Retail, retail technology, Amazon Dash, Barcode Scanners

Big Data and the retail industry

Posted by Mark Thomson November 14, 2016 at 7:00 AM


There’s no doubt about it, the world of retail has evolved. Digital has taken over… or has it? While many of us choose to do significant amounts of our shopping online, how many actually prefer the experience? It turns out not all that many at all, in fact 90% of people would rather buy from a physical store – including myself if the mood takes me!  This is reflected in the fact that physical sales still account for 89% of all retail purchases (in the UK)[1].


Topics: Retail, Big Data, e-commerce

What does the future of retail hold?

Posted by Mark Thomson October 12, 2016 at 6:06 AM


Does anyone enjoy shopping for wedding gifts? When there isn’t a registry to follow, the pressure of searching high and low for a present that offers the class and practicality to meet ceremonial expectation is enough to make anyone skip out on the event altogether. Unfortunately, I found myself faced with this very problem. 


Topics: Retail, Future of Retail, e-commerce

Digitisation enables retailers to meet consumers' evolving needs

Posted by Mark Thomson August 15, 2016 at 3:30 AM


The UK retail sector will change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50.  The challenge for retailers to satisfy customers is now greater than ever. Customer loyalty is at an all-time low whilst expectations have never been higher. Retailers are now expected to provide an effective service across multiple channels whilst maintaining a sustainable cost model. At the same time, it’s imperative that your business is consistent in its processes across all channels from start to finish. Consumers expect the same experience whether in-store, online or via mobile.


Topics: EMEA, Retail, Loyalty, Internet of Things, Omni-channel

Customer Insight with One Store: Big Data

Posted by Mark Thomson January 22, 2016 at 4:09 AM


Now you can greet every customer personally as they walk into your store. You can see how they move, and when they linger longer in a particular aisle, you can nudge them to buy with a special offer, just for them. 

And you don't even have to be in the same town as the store they're shopping in. You can do it all with remote management of your in-store wireless, and real-time data analytics, reaching customers through their mobile devices.


Topics: Retail, EMEA, Omnichannel, Big Data, One Store

Delivering A Consistent Brand Experience Online And In-Store

Posted by Mark Thomson December 18, 2015 at 4:01 AM


It’s obvious that online shopping has transformed buying behaviour and customer expectations. Amazon in particular has been more influential than any other, serving up an ecosystem of unbiased product reviews and revolutionising delivery.

With this retailer you can see instantly if an item is in stock, and get an accurate view of how long it will take to get to you. Data collected also allows the retailer to personalise the experience and empower the customer through helpful sections such as ‘you may also like’, ‘frequently bought together’ and ‘customers who bought this item also bought’. These create cross-sell and up-sell opportunities for retailers, whilst giving customers information that helps them to feel more informed. 


Topics: Retail, EMEA, Omnichannel, One Store, Brand Experience

Tracking the History of Delivery

Posted by Mark Thomson July 21, 2015 at 5:37 AM


I’m old enough to remember the days when milk, bread, eggs and juice were brought to the front door on a daily basis. Now only businesses get that kind of service.

However, grocery deliveries from large supermarkets are increasingly popular, surging up 35% in 2014. It seems, many of us would rather avoid the hassle of marching around the supermarket. It also appears that everywhere I go I see a sign promoting ‘Click & Collect’, so I wonder if we are in the midst of a step change in retail delivery.


Topics: Retail, One Store, Online Purchase, Delivery, Inventory Management

Ten Steps in Building the Path to Purchase

Posted by Mark Thomson February 12, 2015 at 8:13 AM


The high street is dead...or is it? People still like to see, touch and try before they buy – and we live in an immediate world, where sometimes next day delivery isn’t good enough. Hence the on-going popularity of brick and mortar stores.

Customers are often thought to be driven by price alone. In reality, 83% of retailers say that shoppers can find a better deal elsewhere. So why do they still buy?


Topics: Mobility, Retail, Location Solutions, APAC, North America, Latin America, EMEA, Omnichannel

Your Customers See Products, Not Channels

Posted by Mark Thomson December 5, 2014 at 10:32 AM


Over the weekend I was in the market for a new iron.

It’s a family appliance in constant use, so I jumped in the car and drove down to my local tech retailer. After browsing the shelves and reading a few reviews on my phone, I found one with all the bells and whistles – at a reasonable price.

But there was a problem…the online price was much lower than the price in-store. I saw that they did price matching, so I picked up the iron, took it to the till and queued patiently. When it was my turn I smiled, produced the iron and asked if the store could match the price online. The response? A resounding no…the sales assistant informed me that the store couldn’t match an online price (not even its own), only another bricks-and-mortar shop nearby.


Topics: Retail, Visible Value Chain, APAC, North America, Latin America, EMEA, Omnichannel