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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : August 28, 2015

Retailers must consider tech expectations of in-store consumers

Retailers must begin to take into account the technological demands of consumers in-store. The right infrastructure is needed to meet the growing connected shopping experience that consumers are increasingly expecting, finds new survey.

by Helen Leggatt

A survey by Vista Retail Support found that almost three-quarters of consumers believe wearable technology is the future of in-store retail. A quicker check-out experience was cited by 82% to be the main advantage of wearable technology, and half (51%) believe such technologies will be commonplace in-store in the next two to five years.

Half (49%) said they believe wearables, such as smartwatches, fobs, smart clothing and wristbands will improve their shopping experience via personalisation of offers and promotions.

"The results show us that faster payments and product information sent directly to a piece of wearable technology, are the future of retail," said James Pepper, technical director, Vista Retail Support. "This survey demonstrates that this is how shoppers expect the in-store experience to develop and retailers need to prepare for it. They must have the right infrastructure in their stores so shoppers can use their wearable devices easily and securely."

When asked in which circumstances they might use wearable technology to make a purchase, three-quarters (73%) said public transport or taxis, followed by beverages such as tea and coffee (71%). Over half (55%) said they would purchase entry to a venue or fast food.

"They appreciate its versatility and can see how it will help them in many different retail environments, "said Pepper. "It is a technology that will become part of everyday life, making travelling, shopping, grabbing a bite to eat or having a coffee so much easier."

However, many consumers do harbor concerns about the use of wearable technology. Sixty-three percent said security concerns might stop them using wearable technology, 52% said they would be discouraged from using wearable technology if few retailers enabled their use and 40% have privacy concerns.

It's not just consumers that can benefit from wearable technology in a store. The same technology can boost staff efficiency.

"Staff equipped with a headset can see down aisles and pull up real-time product availability information in front of their eyes,"' said Pepper. "Without having to leave customers, they can let them know precisely where products are, whether they are in the stock room or will shortly be delivered."

A recent study by IHL Group claims global retailers are missing out on $634.1 billion a year in revenue caused by in-store failings such as out-of-stock items and being unable to find help from staff.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: in-store, retail, wearable tech

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