What consumers want from retail technology: The best of both worlds

by | May 26, 2017 | Public Relations

When it comes to ecommerce vs. in-store shopping, today’s consumers want the best of both worlds—they’re influenced by both digital and human engagement. Eighty-four percent of shoppers expect retailers to successfully utilize technological features to improve their shopping experience, and 62 percent are motivated by an initial human greeting upon entering the store, according to new research from experiential retail marketing firm Interactions.

The firm recently released its new Retail Perceptions study focusing on consumers’ desire for a strong technology presence coupled with the familiarity of human interaction during a shopping experience. The study, What Shoppers Want from Retail Technology, surveyed more than 1,000 adult shoppers to further understand how to successfully integrate human and computerized interactions into a shopper’s retail journey.

“Consumers want both digital and human interfaces today. They desire the integration of technology into their shopping experience, but nothing can truly replace the accessibility of a traditional store associate,” said Bharat Rupani, president of Interactions, in a news release. “The key for retailers is to balance human interaction with technology to streamline and compliment the consumer’s overall retail journey.”

While consumers may require an in-person associate for guidance during their retail experience, they are also eager to fully integrate themselves into the technological advancements happening in the retail space. These advancements include:

Targeted notifications

Shoppers’ behaviors can be influenced by ongoing communication from retailers. Nearly 60 percent of consumers spend more money at stores that send mobile notifications, which can be received while they shop or while they’re at home. Retailers have the opportunity to influence purchase decisions through a consistent stream of communication, leading to unplanned purchases and motivation to visit a physical store or website.

Customizable products

Anticipated technological advancements such as personalization and 3D printing have made consumers eager to create their own customized products in a shorter time frame. Ninety-five percent of shoppers are looking forward to purchasing products created through 3D printing and nearly 80 percent of shoppers say they are inclined to spend more at a retailer that can help create their own products through 3D printing.

Efficiency and human interaction

Consumers want human interaction balanced with technological advancements to enhance the retail experience. Only 10 percent of shoppers want to interact with a store associate as part of the checkout process providing retailers the opportunity to employ alternative, more automated checkout methods. At the same time, over 60 percent want to be greeted in-store by an associate.

“It’s no longer an option, today’s retailers must invest in technological advances to provide shoppers with the seamless retail experience they desire,” said Rekha Ramesh, senior vice president of global IT and digital at Interactions parent company Daymon, in the release. “For retailers who need to prioritize where to invest, faster, more automated alternative checkout methods followed closely by targeted notifications are good points of entry.”

Download the complete study here.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter