Shoppers Value Both Digital, Human Engagement: Report

May 19, 2017

Technology integration desired, but doesn’t replace store associate accessibility

Progressive Grocer | May 19, 2017 – While consumers increasingly are spending more time shopping online for everything, including groceries, their desire for human interaction isn’t lost: both digital and human engagement are critical influencers, new research from Interactions, a division of Stamford, Conn.-based retail firm Daymon, shows.

“What Shoppers Want from Retail Technology,” the new report, found that 84 percent of shoppers expect retailers to successfully employ technological features to improve their shopping experience, while 62 percent are motivated by an initial human greeting upon entering a store.

“Consumers want both digital and human interfaces today. They desire the integration of technology into their shopping experience, but nothing can truly replace the accessibility of a traditional store associate,” said Bharat Rupani, president of Interactions. “The key for retailers is to balance human interaction with technology to streamline and complement the consumer’s overall retail journey.”

Although consumers may require an in-person associate for guidance during their retail experience, they’re also eager to fully integrate themselves into the technological advancements happening in the retail space. These advancements include:

  • Targeted Notifications – Shoppers’ behavior can be influenced by ongoing communication from retailers. Nearly 60 percent of consumers spend more money at stores that send mobile notifications, which can be received while they shop or while they’re at home. Retailers have the opportunity to influence purchase decisions through a consistent stream of communication, leading to unplanned purchases and motivation to visit a physical store or website.
  • Efficiency and Human Interaction – Consumers want human interaction balanced with technological advancements to enhance the retail experience. Only 10 percent of shoppers want to interact with a store associate as part of the checkout process, providing retailers the opportunity to employ alternative, more automated checkout methods. At the same time, more than 60 percent want to be greeted in-store by an associate.

“It’s no longer an option: Today’s retailers must invest in technological advances to provide shoppers with the seamless retail experience they desire,” said Rekha Ramesh, Daymon SVP of global IT and digital. “For retailers who need to prioritize where to invest, faster, more automated alternative checkout methods, followed closely by targeted notifications, are good points of entry.”

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