Survey: Customers want leading-edge tech, do retailers deliver?

Retailers are overestimating the effectiveness of their customer-facing solutions.

According to “The Sci-Fi Shopper: How to Future Proof Your Brand for the New Consumer,” a survey of consumers and retailers from e-commerce software provider Elastic Path, retail respondents rated their offerings in “futuristic” shopping a 7 out of 10. Customers, however, rated them a 4.

Part of the reason for the consumer-retailer disconnect in the success of next-generation shopping experiences is a fundamental misreading of customer pain points by retailers. For example, 57% of shoppers say long checkout lines are a pain point, but only 35% of retailers agree. Similar disconnects exist for lack of inventory (55% of shoppers vs. 32% of retailers), customer service wait times (42% vs. 36%), and uninformed staff (38% vs. 20%).

Elastic Path’s research also reveals a gap between the leading-edge technology features customers use, or want to use, and what brands actually offer. While 67% of shoppers want to use checkout-less payments, only 18% of brands offer it. Almost six in 10 customers want to use both smart devices (58%) and voice commerce (57%), but only 25% and 23% offer those solutions, respectively. More than half of customers would like to use facial recognition technology (55%), but only one-fifth (20%) of retailers provide that opportunity.

Looking specifically at voice commerce, eight in 10 (81%) customers have not yet tried using voice technology to make purchases. However, of the consumers who have used voice technology to make purchases, 22% use it multiple times a week and 21% use it at least weekly.