Over two-thirds of consumers believe mobile tech delivers better shopping experience

A new State of Mobility in Retail report by SOTI Inc., a provider of mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) management solutions, reveals that 67.3% of consumers perceive mobile technology as the most effective way to provide a faster shopping experience.

In addition, more than three-quarters (76%) of consumers want in-store staff to use mobile devices to provide a better in-store experience, and one-third (32.6%) are unwilling to sacrifice personal data security to improve their in-store experience.

The State of Mobility in Retail report, “From ‘Bricks to Clicks’: Navigating the Retail Revolution,” was commissioned by SOTI Inc., in partnership with Arlington Research. It surveyed 4,000 respondents across the U.S., U.K., Germany and Sweden to gauge their opinions and readiness to engage with retail IoT and mobile technology that enhances the omnichannel experience.

Highlights from the report reveal insights beyond the physical retail store, with almost one in three (31.4%) consumers saying they’re comfortable with emerging delivery methods such as delivery drones and more than one-quarter (26.9%) with the idea of autonomous vehicle delivery.

Shash Anand, vice president of Product Strategy at SOTI, comments, “Retailers need to implement modern strategies to stay relevant and wake up to the fact that consumers want mobile and IoT technologies which enhance and personalise the shopping experience.”

“It’s essential that retailers integrate these business-critical technologies into their business to ensure they can deliver the speed, convenience and customisation that employees and customers expect. As the online and offline worlds continue to merge, the time for retailers to invest in mobility and IoT solutions is now.”

Nearly half of consumers (47.1%) believe self-checkout improves their in-store shopping experience, with half (50.7%) of Swedish consumers believing that scan-as-you-shop technology improves the in-store shopping experience.

Shash Anand

“Retailers who rely on mobile technology need to ensure the technology works, because customers want to find what they need quickly, pay for their purchases and get on with their day. Retailers must ensure they have a trusted mobility and IoT management solution in place to ensure in-store technologies work all the time, the way they’re supposed to, with no downtime, while ensuring security and compliance,” says Anand.

As consumers become more accustomed to new mobile and IoT technologies in retail, trust levels are rising. For example, consumers in the U.S. (19.4%) and Sweden (20.2%) have similar comfort levels when it comes to delivery drivers entering their home via smart lock to leave purchases inside.

Perhaps not too surprising is that excitement about innovations like facial recognition and beacon technology is higher among males (44%) and the 18 to 34 age demographic, presenting a valuable opportunity for retailers to engage with this group.

The research also found regional differences in levels of readiness to engage with new technologies including:

  • The U.S. (48.1%) and Sweden (37.5%) are most excited about retail innovations like facial recognition and beacon technology, compared to those from Germany (32.1%) and the UK (31.7%), who are more cautious.
  • Nearly three-quarters (74.1%) of German consumers believe sales associates who use in-store mobile technology provide a better shopping experience, whilst half of U.S. consumers (50.6%) are very comfortable using voice-activated shopping like Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
  • U.S. consumers were also more likely (30.6%) to return to stores that provide a better technological experience, and nearly a quarter (22.4%) are likely to spend more time in stores that provide a better technological experience.

To download the “From ‘Bricks to Clicks’: Navigating the Retail Revolution” report, click here.

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