Retailers Tout Tech Tools to Enhance Online Shopping Experience

BY Rachel Cagle
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"Whether it’s automated assistants in their homes, smart devices in their hands or virtual experiences in the store, consumers are actively embracing the role of technology in their everyday lives. And they are sending early signals in terms of what this means for their shopping behavior and expectations, reports the National Retail Federation."

"According to a 2019 report from NRF and IBM, intelligent automation (the marriage of artificial intelligence with automation) is reaching critical mass. By 2021, an estimated 80% of retail and CPG executives expect to be using intelligent automation in areas from supply chain and product design to customer acquisition and retention."

"But while much of the focus is on the future, technology has already made significant strides in transforming the retail experience." 

"Percentage of consumers who agree that shopping technologies and innovations improved their experience:

  • Online: 80%
  • In-​Store: 66%
  • Mobile: 63%"

"The majority of consumers say they find the steps leading up to a purchase (when they are first researching products, comparing reviews and checking prices) to be the most frustrating. This is also where they are most open to trying new solutions and innovations."

"It is not coincidental that consumer frustration goes down significantly at the point of purchase. Whether it’s buy online, pick up in store, mobile pay mentor self-​checkout, consumers have embraced the retailers’ investments in solutions that simplify their checkout experience. Retail technologies that consumers have tried and been satisfied with include mobile payment (69%), buy online and pick up in store (67%) and self check out (63%)."

"Right now, consumers are primarily interested in the use of technology to meet their most basic, tactical pre-​purchase needs. That is not to say that personalization or retail-​tainment is not on shoppers’ radar, but they want retailers to deliver on the basics and take uncertainty out of the process first. Issues consumers look to technology to solve include:

  • Show if a product is in stock or available
  • Help compare prices or reviews
  • Make it easier to find a product or location
  • Ability to try an item before buying it (either in person or virtually)
  • Make the shopping experience more fun or meaningful
  • Help customers discover new products or brands
  • Connect customers to a product or brand expert
  • Recommend items to buy"

"The vast majority of those who have firsthand experience using this type of tech while shopping want to try it again:

  • Voice Assistant: 64%
  • Social Shopping: 78%
  • In-​App Store Navigation: 89%
  • Visual Search: 86%
  • Virtual Reality: 82%
  • Augmented Reality: 86%
  • Virtual Fit: 83%
  • Smart Dressing Room: 88%"

Retailers can show off their technological offerings to E‑Commerce Shoppers through ads in the same space they love to frequent: digital. Last year, according to AudienceSCAN, E‑Commerce Shoppers took action after seeing ads on social networks and sponsored search results, receiving email ads and after either seeing an ad on their mobile smartphone apps or receiving an ad via text message. They're also 20% more likely than others to click on text link ads on websites.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on casual clothing stores, department stores and furniture stores, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.