Consumer appetite for technology

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Consumer appetite for technology

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in retail and mobile technology in particular is changing the way we plan our shopping and how we carry out our shopping. It’s through this technology that many consumers are now engaging with brands via social media and loyalty programmes. In fact, mobile devices are widely expected to become part of the in-store shopping experience this year. The stats are staggering – nearly 2/3 of the population (60%) now use the internet to buy products such as food and clothing and more than half of mobile owners use their phone to search for information while out shopping.

In spite of this, it has taken time for some retailers to incorporate this technology into their business for their marketing and promotions. Our digital coupon solutions gives retailers and brands a helping hand, enabling them to tap into the benefits of this technology by providing a channel to influence consumers at key moments when planning and carrying out their shop. Powered by state of the art, robust technology, our secure coupon designs support millions of printed coupons annually and can also be shared socially.

However, despite the trend toward the increased use of technology, retailers and brands need to understand who uses the technology – if some consumers aren’t keen, do we risk alienating them? Others may actively engage with technology but prefer not to use it in certain environments. Retailers must think carefully how to respond to the situation – after all, some technophobes may be some  of their most loyal customers!

It’s not easy to predict or generalise about which customers will respond well to technology and why. In one of my recent blogs, I explored the relatively slow uptake of self-scan check outs in supermarkets and how Morrisons announced it was re-introducing staffed express checkouts (for ten items or fewer) after complaints from shoppers driven mad by self-service technology. This is despite its own research showing 60 per cent of British shoppers would opt to use a staffed check out.

In order to avoid investing in technology unnecessarily, retailers need to identify the types of shoppers who form their consumer base and understand their motivations and habits. Getting to know the different ‘tribes’ will enable businesses to create a truly effective retail environment and ensure the technology innovations incorporated into their promotions and shopping experience really resonate.

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