Retail tech ‘driving up consumer expectations’
Written by Hannah McGrath
Innovations in retail technology are having a sizeable impact on the customer shopping experience, according to a new study, with 66 per cent saying that tech had improved their in-store experience.
A survey of 2,926 consumers for the National Retail Federation (NRF) in the US found that retail technology is driving improvements in online shopping, according to 80 per cent of respondents, while the mobile shopping experience had been bolstered for 63 per cent.
The survey showed that consumers are also embracing retailers’ investment in point of sale technology.
A total of 89 per cent said they have tried self-checkout and 63 per cent were satisfied with their experience, followed by mobile payment, which had been tried by 57 per cent with 69 per cent satisfied, and Click and Collect on 71 per cent with 67 per cent satisfied.
When it came to interest in emerging retail technologies, 36 per cent said they would like to use a voice assistant as part of their shopping experience, followed by social shopping (29 per cent), in-app store navigation (56 per cent), visual search (60 per cent), virtual reality (54 per cent), augmented reality (54 per cent), virtual fit technology (54 per cent) and smart dressing room technology (57 per cent).
More than half (55 per cent) consumers are now looking to technology to show them if a product is in stock or available, while 49 per cent use it to compare prices or reviews, and 47 per cent said it makes it easier for them to find a product or location.
According to a 2019 report from NRF and IBM, intelligent automation - the marriage of artificial intelligence with automation - is reaching critical mass.
“By 2021, an estimated 80 percent of retail and CPG executives expect to be using intelligent automation in areas from supply chain and product design to customer acquisition and retention,” stated the NRF. “Consumers’ choices in term of where, how and why they buy are redefining retail and creating a new playbook for the industry.”