Retailers of all sizes plan investments in mobile printing as top 2016 spending priority – with reliability, durability, ease-of-integration and price-to-value at top of list of ‘must-haves’

WESTMINSTER, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New survey research from Innovative Retail Technologies (IRT) revealed that retailers plan investments in mobile print technology as a key 2016 spending priority, with advanced functionality and interoperability cited as the top drivers of retailers’ demand. The survey, sponsored by Brother Mobile Solutions, Inc. (BMS), a unit of Brother International Corporation, included more than 100 retailers from large chains to small independents, focusing on in-store operations, as well as warehouse, supply chain and direct-store-delivery.

The new research, builds on an earlier IRT survey of more than 500 retailers to determine the retail industry’s tech spending priorities for 2016. That survey revealed that printers were the top in-store hardware investment planned, closely trailed by mobile and traditional POS hardware.

According to David Crist, president of Brother Mobile Solutions, “The new research highlights the mobile printing capabilities that retailers consider most important as they make decisions on where to invest. They’re seeking technology innovations that can support associates as they engage with customers anywhere in the store, or to implement pricing optimization strategies in the move toward real-time pricing. The retail industry is evolving quickly, leveraging best-in-class printing functionality and interoperability to improve the shopping experience, build loyalty and, ultimately, boost retail revenues.”

Broad Segment of Retail Surveyed

The Retail Survey drew responses from a broad segment of retail businesses, with over 30 percent coming from electronics/computer/cellular/office supply merchants, grocery, mass merchants, and department store operators. Other participants included apparel, footwear and home goods retailers, drug and convenience stores, book, music and video merchants, and sellers of retail services, such as beauty salons, health clubs and florists.

The retail job titles of the respondents included owner, CEO, VP of IT, CIO, COO, merchandise managers, e-Commerce, loss prevention and marketing managers.

More than half of respondents indicated that their organizations planned to invest in mobile printers this year, with 43 percent planning to invest in mobile POS hardware and more than 30 percent saying they would invest in non-POS enabled devices for store associates.

Top Performance Criteria

Asked which performance features are most important to the mobile printer purchase decision:

  • Reliability – cited by two-thirds of the overall sample
  • Durability – cited by 60 percent
  • Speed – cited by just over half

Among large retailers, those with more than 500 stores, speed was the top priority at 91 percent, followed by reliability at 75 percent. In addition, size and weight were cited as key by 46 and 42 percent of the respondents respectively, with half of these indicating that they preferred small, lightweight printers that can be conveniently carried on a belt clip.

Connectivity Options Top of Mind

Asked which connectivity options and accessories are most desired, Bluetooth, WiFi, spare batteries, and chargers led the open-ended response count. Those retailers with more than 50 stores show a preference for USB charging options (68 percent). And, while cost ranks high for the sampling as a whole, the larger merchants indicated that ease of integration is a top buying criteria, compared to 43 percent of the entire sample.

Erin Harris, Editor in Chief of IRT notes: “Our 2016 Tech Spending Survey and the subsequent Mobile Printer Survey illustrates healthy adoption of mobile printers across a wide spectrum of retail segments and sizes. As the mobile device trend moves in the ‘all-in-one’ direction at the behest of retail end users, next-generation mobile printers will continue to play a pivotal role in enabling that evolution.”

For more information about Brother Mobile Solutions’ advanced mobile printers for retail, please visit

To read the summary by IRT visit:

About Brother Mobile Solutions

Brother Mobile Solutions, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Brother International Corporation, provides innovative mobile printing and industrial labeling solutions to field workforces and mobile enterprises. Brother International Corporation and its subsidiaries employ over 1,100 people in the Americas. For more information about Brother Mobile Solutions and its products, call (800) 543-6144, or visit


Brother Mobile Solutions, Inc.
Mary Howard
[email protected]

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