Shoppers Favor Stores That Have Technology

Retail

As of Friday, January 12, 2018

Shoppers may be letting their fingers do the walking by snapping up fashions online, but a recent survey shows that consumers are willing to hit the stores if time-saving technology is involved.

That was the conclusion of a survey by Soti, a Canadian company that provides mobile and IoT (the Internet of Things) device-management solutions.

According to the survey of consumer shopping habits, 76 percent of those who participated said they have a better in-store experience when retail sales associates are armed with technology. In addition, 67 percent of respondents said they like this because they are able to save time.

“The in-store technology experience is no longer in its infancy and if retailers aren’t utilizing these innovations they are putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage,” said Carl Rodrigues, chief executive and president of Soti.

Consumers had a better experience when technology was integrated, whether it was through self-service kiosks or salespeople using mobile technology on the sales floor. “However, consumers don’t want technology because it provides a ‘cool’ or ‘wow’ factor. They favor mobile technologies that save time,” Rodrigues added.

The survey found that 66 percent of shoppers prefer self-service technology over interacting with a sales associate. When it comes to self-service technology, self-checkout is the preferred way to go with 53 percent of people opting for it. More than 20 percent said they like to use digital kiosks to check prices.

Rodrigues said that until now self-checkout has been prevalent among big-box retailers, but that could change. “In 2018, we expect smaller retailers to adopt more of these technologies to meet shopper demands as innovation on mobility management provides the opportunity for retailers of all sizes to transform the way they operate,” he said.

In another area, goods delivered through technology was gaining acceptance. Some 60 percent of consumers surveyed said they would be very or somewhat comfortable with new shipping methods offered by retailers. Drone delivery was accepted by 29 percent while autonomous-vehicle deliveries were favored by 28 percent.

“There is still a whopping 40 percent of consumers who have yet to embrace these innovations within the supply chain,” Rod­rigues said. “This indicates that it is incumbent upon innovative retailers to develop consumer trust and familiarize their customer base with the benefits of these new delivery methods.”