Technology key to retailer success

New research by the Commonwealth Bank has shown that retail and hospitality businesses that adopt the latest payment technologies are better at retaining customers and are viewed as being more trustworthy than cash-only retailers.

The research looked at the emotional and rational drivers behind customers’ ‘perfect’ in-store experiences. Queueing and poor customer service were two of the biggest contributors to a poor experience.

“Technology is reshaping the relationship between consumers and businesses,” Commonwealth Bank Executive General Manager Local Business Banking Claire Roberts said. “As more and more customers expect to be using the latest technology in-store, those businesses not adopting new payment methods will be left behind.”

The impact of a negative in-store experience was also made clear by the research. Seventy-five per cent of Australians said they would leave a store if they couldn’t easily access information, 72 per cent won’t buy from a store if they can’t easily find a product they want and 50 per cent will avoid a business if they have to queue to make a payment.

“Much of our daily life involves habitual, autopilot behaviour,” Deakin University behavioural scientist Dr Johann Ponnampalam said. “When in this mindset, we crave faster, simpler, easier service interactions and, when we don’t receive them, we experience friction, which often leads to us avoiding purchasing altogether.”

Fifty-eight per cent of those surveyed believed that there should be a greater personalisation of shopping experiences. According to Ms Roberts, technology can help businesses achieve just this and, in turn, promote customer loyalty.

“This, in turn, generates connections with customers that strengthen loyalty programs, and with 84 per cent of Australians more likely to buy from a store they feel connected to, this is a telling trend,” she said. “Technology can power loyalty.”