Retailers thought they had made their environment “more inviting” with shiny technologies, shoppers think otherwise.
Oracle NetSuite in collaboration with Wakefield Research and The Retail Doctor conducted a global study wherein they found out that only one percent of Australian consumers want to talk to robots and chatbots either shopping in-store or online despite the growing efforts to inject technology within the industry.
Surprisingly, just 30% of Australian consumers want to use self-checkout kiosks, despite their growing presence, while only 26% want to use virtual reality headsets to try out experiences and products. In addition to these numbers, only 14% showed interest in using mobile payments for their shopping.
Clearly, shoppers and retailers have opposing views over advanced technology.
David De Laine, GM ANZ of Oracle NetSuite said, “The Australian retail industry is rapidly changing and this is making it very difficult for retailers to keep up with consumer needs and expectations”.
79% of Australian execs believed that utilising advanced technologies in the retail environment was the best way to provide the needs of customers.
David further added that “The results of this survey show that current approaches to personalizing the shopping experience are not working and that emerging technologies are not yet the silver bullet. Instead, Australian retailers need to focus on gaining the visibility and control required to deliver a simple and streamlined shopping experience, both online and in-store, that aligns with consumer expectations”.
Amidst the growing interest in retail robots, Bob Phibbs, CEO of The Retail Doctor pointed out that, “These findings point to a clear and urgent need for better customer service. No retailer wants their customers to be confused or anxious, yet more than half of global respondents have felt that way while shopping. Customers will feel confident when they develop an emotional connection to the brand.”
What the shoppers want is a balance of technology and better customer service. In-store interaction influences consumer behaviour thus keep shoppers coming back.
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