UK consumers express concerns regarding the adoption of automated shopping due to security reasons

GetApp’s study reveals that although UK consumers expressed an overall interest in trying out checkout-less shopping, many Britons still had reservations concerning the data privacy of this new technology. Nearly three-quarters (70%) said they would be somewhat or very interested in trialling checkout-less stores, whilst 54% would be somewhat or very interested in trying out the conversational commerce method text-to-shop. 

However, in spite of consumers’ curiosity about this new technology, respondents conveyed a strong sense of unease regarding the sharing of personal information, which is instrumental to the checkout-less shopping process. 30% felt somewhat concerned about their data/ purchase history being tracked and used by stores, whilst 18% claimed this made them feel very concerned. 

Moreover, 43% claimed they felt somewhat/very uncomfortable sharing personal information with a brand or store when scanning the QR code. Additionally, 41% would feel slightly/very uncomfortable enabling checkout-free shopping apps to connect directly to their bank account. Whilst 39% would feel slightly/ very uncomfortable allowing store facial recognition to confirm their identity or age. 

Respondents’ main concerns regarding checkout-less shopping ranged from being overcharged (13%), followed by having technical difficulties/ smartphone malfunctions (11%) and having their data hacked (10%).

Similar to checkout-less shopping, consumers’ primary fears about using text-to-shop include being overcharged (15%), being scammed/becoming the victim of a phishing attempt (14%), or having personal data hacked (13%). Furthermore, 37% do not feel very comfortable/ at all comfortable being recommended new products or brands based on their personal data and previous text-to-shop purchases. 

When asked which payment methods UK consumers prefer, checkout-less shopping was voted last (at 7%). The main reason why respondents would not be interested in checkout-less shopping is so as not to contribute to the elimination of jobs (at 15%). 

Not trusting the in-store technology that calculates purchases was voted the most difficult aspect preventing consumers from learning to use checkout-free stores (at 30%). This was followed by not having staff to ask for help (26%).

David Jani, content analyst at GetApp UK, comments: Whilst many consumers expressed an interest in trying out checkout-free shopping in the UK, there is also a significant amount who remain a little uncertain about these advancements. There are many reasons for this, not least common worries such as being overcharged or how data is tracked. Another cause for concern is the possibility of having their data hacked, which is a common topic of concern in the UK given the rise in cyberattacks in recent years.”