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The retail industry has an ever-growing range of technologies that it can utilise to give customers the buying experience they want – with many shoppers keen to use tech that will help them compare and choose products.
Earlier this year, we outlined some of the most valuable skill sets needed for employees in the retail industry. We settled on four disparate areas: in-store digital experience managers, data scientists, customer service champions, and customer tech trainers. But through these was one constant – the crucial and fast-developing role technology plays in retail.
Much has been said about how the past few years have seen an exponential increase in the pace of both tech itself and how readily we are all adopting it, with video meetings going from being an exception to being the norm being one obvious example. And in the retail space, this is especially true. So with access to more channels than ever, consumers quickly become frustrated when retailers do not meet their expectations during the ‘exploration’ phase of their shop, that early period where they’re researching, comparing and shortlisting products.
Earlier this year, Capita commissioned research to form an in-depth understanding of emerging retail trends such as this, and we’ve used our research to form the backbone of an exclusive report, Rethinking Retail. Specifically, one of the areas we looked at as part of this research was technology and retail – how shoppers wish to use tech to enrichen their shopping experience.
Using mobile phones for everything from price checking to QR code access and payments is becoming fully normalised, particularly with younger age groups. But we also discovered one of the biggest reasons that shoppers would go further and use AR or VR technologies, would be to help them compare and choose products. Making shopping quicker, easier or cheaper was close behind. And 14% said they would use this technology if it made the shopping experience more fun or enabled them to experience the products differently.
By understanding customers and the buying journey, retailers can integrate both emerging and established technologies seamlessly into the right aspects of shopping experience – and they can use automation tools to help them keep up with the pace that shoppers’ demands are ever-evolving.
To access more exclusive insights, download the full Rethinking Retail report via the button below, where you’ll find more about shoppers’ changing attitudes to the retail industry, along with insights into other key trends – such as how the events of the past few years have affected the UK’s shopping behaviours, and what matters most to each generation of shoppers when it comes to responsible retailing.
In total, 3,000 consumers were interviewed nationwide during the research, conducted by specialist retail research agency Opinium. The subjects were split by the five key purchasing generations: Gen Z (18-24), Millennials (25-40), Gen X (41-56), (Baby) Boomers (57-75) and those aged 76+. As well as focusing on those different generations, Opinium’s data scientists have taken the research a stage further and defined six distinct new shopper personas for retailers; they’ve done this by combining the report data with behavioural overlays on attitudinal biases, purchasing channel preferences and technology usage.
Andy McDonald is a Retail & Logistics industry-focused leader with an international perspective helping companies deliver on their strategic goals. With over 25 years of experience, Andy is regarded as a specialist in Digital Customer Engagement, Contact Centre Strategy and Customer Experience Analytics. Having an engineering background, Andy prides himself on remaining customer-focused while balancing technology and service-based investments on behalf of this clients.