Tuesday, May 21, 2024

What Aussies expect in-store

New research from software recommendation site Software Advice unveils what consumers are looking for in an in-store experience.

According to the Australian study, 62% of respondents want their in-person shopping experience improved by finding what they need faster. Also, 59% would prefer a faster checkout experience, and 57% want more information about whether the products they want are in stock.

Consumers accept that companies use automation technology in areas that make the experience more streamlined: checkout (74%) and finding items in store (57%). 75% of those surveyed cited convenience, above speed (67%), as the most important benefit for consumers, and 32% also said that consumer privacy could be improved.

The research shows that people are familiar with at least some automation technologies and are keen to keep using them. Nearly all respondents (94%) have used contactless payments and would again; 92% said the same for self-checkouts, and 64% would use click-and-collect again.

Other technologies have yet to catch on as much. 44% of respondents would like to try cashier-less checkouts, where shoppers can scan items as they go without needing a final checkout. 33% have already tried and liked it.

Self-checkouts

Among the 93% of respondents who feel optimistic about self-checkouts, 98% said they would likely use them for groceries, 49% for other retail stores, and 34% for QSRs.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of those who have used them said they enjoyed the experience, but many face issues, including errors with the bagging area (78%) and needing employee assistance (70%).

A majority (72%) of respondents think the self-checkout experience has improved over the past five years, and even more (76%) believe they make the in-person shopping experience more efficient. A majority (72%) also said they foresee using self-checkout more.

Customer service

Almost half (43%) of those surveyed said customer service is somewhat essential in a grocery or retail context, with 30% saying it was crucial.

But these numbers switched to 28% and 66% respectively when considering restaurants.

Foodservice

Regarding the foodservice sector, 84% of respondents said they prefer to take their time and enjoy the experience when eating at a table-service establishment. 91% said they like to get in and out as quickly as possible when getting food from a self-service restaurant.

Consumers still see a role for automation when dining in restaurants, with 54% of those surveyed saying they thought the technology is acceptable for ordering from their table (through a QR code or app). 52% believe it should be used for the checkout process.

However, just over half (51%) said they would be unlikely to order food through an AI tool, while the rest felt they would be happy to do so.

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