Cisco: Consumers increasingly prefer self-service shopping experiences

San Jose, Calif. -- The majority (61%) of global consumers are open to shopping at a ‘self service’ fully automated store with vending machines and kiosk stations offering virtual customer service, according to a new survey by Cisco.

The report, the Cisco Customer Experience Report, examined the impact of automation, self-service and omni-channel shopping experiences and consumers’ views about providing their personal information in exchange for more personalized services. It found that when checking out, the majority of consumers globally (52%) prefer self-checkout stations to avoid waiting in line to make purchases.   

The younger consumers were the most accepting of this shopping experience with 57% of the generation Y (aged 18 to 29) and 55% of the generation X shoppers (aged 30 to 49) preferring self-checkout, while baby boomers (50+) only represented 45%.

“The data in Customer Experience Report shows a growing consumer desire for an omni-channel shopping experience, where the speed and personalization they receive online is delivered in an increasing self-service manner in the store,” said Jon Stine, retail services practice, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group.

The Cisco report surveyed 1,511 consumers across 10 countries to examine the perceptions of consumers on their desired retail shopping experience.

Among its findings:

  • Omni-channel continues to grow with 34% of global consumers using multiple channels when shopping. The survey shows 23% of consumers recently made in-store purchase based on research they did online, and 11% of shoppers purchased online after seeing it in a retail store.
  • When researching products in the store, 43% prefer using their own mobile phone while 57% consumers prefer using in-store touch screens.
  • Forty-nine percent of consumers would allow an automated engine to make purchases for replacement products automatically, for example this could include restocking milk in the refrigerator.
  • More than half (52%) of global consumers would likely purchase a device to help them stay on budget for the retail purchases of cloths and other retail purchases.
  • Sixty-five percent of global consumers are comfortable receiving mobile retail advice based on their location through their mobile device.
  • Although many shoppers want automation when purchasing, consumers are evenly divided, with 58% of consumers preferring help from an in-store associate. And when shopping online, slightly more consumers prefer to instant message with a sales associate (30%), or call them on the phone (28%) verse sending an email (27%).

Overall, according to Cisco, the report demonstrates consumer interest in more automated and personalized shopping experiences; the type of connections made possible by what Cisco describes as the “Internet of Everything.” The Internet of Everything brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. Cisco recently released an analysis that identified a $14.4 trillion in bottom-line business value that will be created over the next decade by the Internet of Everything innovations.

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