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US consumers want convenient shopping experience

Jan '19
US consumers want convenient shopping experience
US consumers want a more convenient shopping experience with less human interaction and more mobile technology and in-store innovation than ever before, according to SOTI's Annual Connected Retailer Survey. Most consumers think that retailers using more mobile technology (both self-service and used by sales associates) enable a quicker shopping experience.

Through a survey that looked at US consumers’ shopping habits both online and in-store, 76 per cent of respondents indicated that retailers that utilise more mobile technology (both self-service and used by sales associates) enable a quicker shopping experience, an increase from 67 per cent last year. Additionally, nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of respondents were in favour of self-service technologies to improve the retail shopping experience and reduce staff interactions, up 10.6 per cent from last year.

SOTI surveyed 526 consumers in the US ranging from 18 to 60 years old. The survey was conducted during December 2018 via Survey Monkey.

“SOTI’s Connected Retail survey indicates that consumers desire technology that enables a quicker and more convenient in-store shopping experience with limited human interaction. These results prove the critical role that mobile technology plays in reducing many of the challenges of the seamless customer experience through solutions that reduce cost, complexity and downtime in a secured for mobile, yet accessible fashion,” said Shash Anand, vice-president of Product Strategy at SOTI. “In an era where mobility can be taken to endless possibilities, retailers need to evolve beyond traditional mobile technology management to capitalise on new customer expectations quickly and efficiently."

Anand continued, “Retailers need to invest in platforms that provide a holistic mobile experience – from the ability to build mobile apps, that are both consumer- and sales associate-facing, manage critical processes, to being able to quickly troubleshoot devices on the floor to reduce downtime, and ultimately customer frustration.”

When it comes to arming sales associates with the right mobile solutions, consumers were dramatically more in favour of supplying them with technology to improve their experience than they were in 2017, which makes this all the more evident that retail continues to evolve and customer expectations never stand still. These technologies included handheld or fixed devices to check inventory and prices, mobile register, and handheld device to communicate with back room.

Mobile apps are not the only competition brick and mortar stores face. This holiday season, Amazon announced a record breaking number of its devices sold with its Echo Dot smart speaker being one of its best sellers. Virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home have promised to change the way consumers shop, but according to SOTI’s survey, only 25 per cent of consumers with a Virtual Assistant have used it for voice-activated shopping.

Mobile technology not only has the capability to transform where consumers buy, but it can also transform the methods in how they receive what they buy. Sixty-four per cent of consumers expressed that they would be comfortable with new shipping methods offered by retailers, up only 6 per cent from last year. Consumers are significantly more comfortable with retailers and transportation companies using drones, 37.07 per cent, an increase of 28.82 per cent since last year, and autonomous vehicles, 35.5 per cent, an increase of 26.96 per cent.

Anand concluded, “While there has been a steady increase in the desire for new delivery options, few companies are leading the pack in employing these methods such as Amazon and technologies like Hello Alfred. Mobile technology and IoT devices afford the opportunity to make these distribution methods a reality and we expect to see retailers adopt more modern solutions to meet consumers innovative demands.” (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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