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A third instalment of the annual study by RichRelevance shows what consumers think of tech in shops. From AI customer service to payment through voice recognition, shoppers find some more creepy than cool. So, what tech should brands be wary of before introducing it into the consumer journey?

Tech that adds value

There is a lot of cool tech out there that is designed to make our lives easier and simpler. Retail is a key industry where brands have embraced tech to compete with convenience of the booming e-commerce sector.
Diane Kegley, the CMO of RichRelevance – the omnichannel personalisation firm that carried out the study, discusses how sometimes the customer experience drives loyalty more than price. However, it is important that brands ensure that tech solutions make the shopping experience more pleasant rather than alienating their customers through unnecessarily complicated or invasive gimmicks.

Tech that respects the individual

Sometimes, the consumer just isn’t ready. Sometimes it takes time for consumers to warm to new way of shopping. For example, the perception of some technologies like fingerprinting and voice recognition has become less creepy during the three annual rounds of the study. Other times, the problem is that consumers don’t understand how their data is used and are concerned about their privacy – the chief reason that AI is consistently reported as creepy.

"One important thing to keep in mind is that creepy can simply mean that something is too relevant or hits too close to home, retailers should take note as this may indicate areas that will be valuable in the near future as consumers grow accustomed to new technologies." Diane Kegley, CMO RichRelevance

It appears that shoppers are comfortable with tech that requires the initial action from the shopper, such as a fingerprint scan, but are not happy where technology takes away the choice, as is the case with facial recognition at tills.
Overall, shoppers are happy to share their data in exchange for a better customer experience. However, Europeans seem to be more keen to do this than the Americans (81% Europeans and 63% American).
All in all, we see some encouraging feedback for brands. But only of they respect the customer privacy, and only if their solutions add value to the customer experience.


Published in New Technologies, about #tech