Over half (52%) of global consumers prefer self-service stations for faster check-out lines, according to Cisco’s Customer Experience Report.
The study, which examines the impact of automation, self-service and omni-channel shopping experiences and consumers’ views about providing their personal information in exchange for more personalised services, also found 61% of global consumers are open to shopping at a self-service fully automated store with vending machines and kiosk stations offering virtual customer service.
Younger consumers were the most accepting of self-checkout with 57% of the Generation Y (aged 18-29) and 55% of the Generation X shoppers (aged 30 to 49) preferring self-check-out, while baby boomers (50+) represented 45%.
Overall, the report demonstrates consumer interest in more automated and personalised shopping experiences; the type of connections made possible by what Cisco describes as the Internet of Everything (IoE). The Internet of Everything brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before.
Cisco recently released an Internet of Everything economic analysis that identified a $14.4tn in bottom-line business value that will be created over the next decade by the Internet of Everything innovations.
Highlights and key facts:
The Cisco Customer Experience Report surveyed 1,511 consumers across 10 countries to examine the perceptions of consumers on their desired retail shopping experience.
Omni-channel Shopping Experience: omni-channel continues to grow with 34% of global consumers using multiple channels when shopping. The survey shows 23% of consumers recently purchased in-store, based on research they did online, and 11% of shoppers purchased online after seeing it in a retail store.
Convenience of self-service and automated buying growing in value:
- Avoid queues: the majority of consumers globally (52%) prefer self-check-out stations to avoid waiting in line to make a purchase
- Price check/product availability: when researching products in the store, 43% prefer using their own mobile phone while 57% consumers prefer using in-store touch screens
- Rise of the digital mall: the majority (61%) of global consumers would be willing to shop in a completely automated store with vending machines with products and kiosk stations offering virtual customer service. And 42% of consumers would prefer to shop in these kinds of environments
- Automated milkman: 49% of consumers would allow an automated engine to make purchases for replacement products automatically, for example this could include restocking milk in the refrigerator
- Budget tracking: 52% of global consumers would likely purchase a device to help them stay on budget for the retail purchases of clothes and other retail purchases
- Automated shopping tips: 65% of global consumers are comfortable receiving mobile retail advice based on their location through their mobile device
In-person assistance valued when shopping
- Desire for more personal customer service: although many shoppers want automation when purchasing, consumers are evenly divided, with 58% of consumers preferring help from an in-store associate. And when shopping online, slightly more consumers prefer to instant message with a sales associate (30%), or call them on the phone (28%) verse sending an email (27%)
Mobile shopping experience: consumers slow to adopt retailer apps
- Half of consumers use mobile phone when shopping: 54% use mobile phones when shopping in store and 48% of consumers said they use mobile applications for shopping, yet only 27% of consumers said they use retail mobile applications
- Retail mobile apps usage: of the 27% of customers that use retail applications, they use the apps for checking prices (56%), finding sales/discounts/coupons (53%), scanning barcodes (48%), reviewing consumer product reviews (45%)
- Valued monitoring services: the majority of consumers want to monitor/track sales/promotions 62%, coupons 46%, price changes 47%, product availability 45%
Consumers trust retailers with personal information in return for service
- Getting personal online: almost half (49%) of consumers are comfortable with retailers collecting personal information when shopping online in exchange for more personalised recommendations and customer service
- Can I get you another size? 58% of consumers are willing to share their personal measurements and sizes with their retailer in exchange for more personalised recommendations on future purchases
- Gold card privileges: 39% would share their personal income in exchange for more personalized service, discounts and sale promotions
- Since you purchased that, you may like this: 54% of consumers globally said they are okay with retailers storing their purchase history in exchange for more personalised service
- Sharing personal data with manufacturers: more than 35% of consumers are okay (25%) or don’t care (10%) if retailers share personal information about them to vendors in exchange for more personalised services, with 46% of consumers stating they are selective on which retailer websites they provide personal information
Buyer beware: what consumers don’t trust about retailers
- Trust retailer to secure personal info: only 43% of consumers feel their data is protected by clothing retailers overall (both in store and online). And only 32% of consumers trust retailers to store their credit card information in exchange for faster checkout. 60% of consumers trust certain retailer websites to keep information about the secure
- Consumer reviews preferred over retail sales pitch: when shopping for clothing online, 53% rely on other shopper reviews in purchasing decisions, while only 23% rely on recommendations made from retailer employees via online chat
- Role of social media in reporting customer service: when a retailer is resolving a customer service issue reported via social media, the vast majority of consumers (94%) would expect a personal response, with most (68%) expecting an personal email and 46% expect a phone call
Jon Stine, retail services practice, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), said: “The data in Customer Experience Report shows a growing consumer desire for an omni-channel shopping experience, where the speed and personalization they receive online is delivered in an increasing self-service manner in the store.”