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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : March 27, 2017

78% of over-55s uncomfortable with concept of stores run by robots

New research from Mindtree reveals that more men than women look forward to the day when in-store shopping is run by robots and other automated store systems.

by Helen Leggatt

Getting the balance right between robotics and other automated store activity will be key to success in the future, says Mindset. In its latest report, 'Sixth Sense of Retail', based on research among 2,000 consumers in the UK, the IT consultancy seeks to understand how rapidly evolving digital trends like social media, mobile applications and automation are reshaping the way retailers can engage with customers.

The research found a clear difference in how young and old perceive the future of an automated high street. While half (51%) of shoppers between the ages of 16 and 24 say they are comfortable with the concept of stores run by robots instead of people, 78% of those over the age of 55 say they are fearful. This likely in part to the older generation's wish to keep their offline and online shopping separate, while younger generations prefer in-store staff to have knowledge of their shopping habits.

Additionally, opinions were divided by gender with 44% of men happy with a robotic shopping experience, compared with just 30% of women.

"The retailers who can most successfully navigate the right balance of robotics and other automated store activity will be in the best position to drive more in-store shopping purchase conversion," said Paul Gottsegen, senior vice-president and chief marketing and strategy officer at Mindtree.

Robots aside, 36% of consumers between the ages of 25 and 34 are calling for retailers to introduce more interactive store layouts including trolleys with interactive displays, touch screen technology and online ordering.

Tags: automation, in-store experience, retail trends, robots, shopping survey

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