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Consumers are increasingly expecting to be able to use technology such as mobile-applications in a store environment to speed up checkout and gain a personalised experience, according to research.
A study by Apadmi found one in five consumers want retailers to implement technologies that will make their shopping experience more personal, such as beacon-powered applications that will notify shoppers or recommend products or in-store offers.
Nick Black, CEO of Apadmi, said technology is slowly crossing the retail channels as consumers become more used to shopping on mobile devices, and more consumers will expect to be able to use their devices in-store.
“There is a need among consumers for retailers to make better use of technology in-store to make every aspect of the shopping journey more enjoyable,” said Black.
“As shoppers continue to embrace mobile e-commerce and retail apps, the in-store experience needs to remain relevant and incorporate the benefits that can be achieved through shopping online.”
Almost half of shoppers want retailers to implement technology that will make it easier for them to use their mobile devices in-store, with 46% of consumers expecting retailers to offer Wi-Fi in shops.
A quarter of shoppers would also like to use a mobile application to check out in-stores and avoid queuing, or would like more retailers to offer a click-and-collect style service where shoppers can order products through an application and pick them up in-store.
However, it is important to consumers that this technology is used alongside a traditional store experience as opposed to replacing it, with many consumers still preferring to checkout with a person.
The number of consumers downloading retail applications has increased year-on-year, with one in 10 people in the UK downloading more retailer applications over the past 12 months.
An increase in omni-channel shopping, whereby consumers interact with a retailer across several platforms – such as in-store, online and by mobile – has also led to customers demanding a more joined-up experience across these channels.
If shops are able to offer this personalised and joined-up experience, customers are more likely to stay loyal to their brand, and Black believes shoppers are expecting retailers to use technology to offer promotions, value and convenience.
“Expectations of the in-store experience are increasing and, while it will be challenging for retailers to meet the demands of tech-savvy shoppers, it’s important that they get on-board to retain customer loyalty,” said Black.
But many believe retailers are still in the early stages of offering a real omni-channel experience, and many brands still struggle with the more complex aspects of offering an omni-channel experience, such as personalisation, seamless payments and single customer journeys.