Survey: Consumers have high awareness of emerging shopping technologies

BY Dan Berthiaume

Shoppers may know about digital tools such as smart speakers and subscription services, but they aren’t necessarily using them.

According to the FutureBuy 2019 consumer survey from GfK, almost eight in 10 (79%) respondents are aware of shopping via a subscription service. About three-quarters (74%) are aware of shopping via smart speaker, and 68% have awareness of shopping via augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR).

However, usage levels of these three emerging technologies for shopping are much lower. Subscription service leads with 14% of respondents having shopped this way and planning to continue to do so, followed by smart speaker (8%) and AR/VR (5%).

Among respondents who have not used these technologies, a leading 25% are somewhat or highly likely to shop via AR/VR in the next year, followed by smart speaker (23%) and subscription service (21%). Higher percentages of respondents say they have not used these technologies and will not do so, led by smart speaker (36%), and followed by subscription service (33%) and AR/VR (32%).

“Beyond basic replenishment, more open-ended shopping tasks – like ‘I want to buy a four-slice toaster’ – are still clunky and unsatisfying for shoppers,” said Joe Beier, executive VP of consumer insights at GfK. “As speakers become ever more central to how we run our households and our lives, it seems inevitable that better interfaces and infrastructures will emerge – but we are certainly closer to the start of that journey than the finish.”


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