Stores must convince consumers of retail technologies’ value
Natalie Steers
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Consumers are displaying an appetite for new in-store technologies, but retailers’ failure to convince them of their value is resulting in minimal take-up.

That’s according to new research from Hitachi Consulting UK, which surveyed 1,000 UK consumers aged between 18 and 55+, and showed just 12% of Brits have ever scanned a QR code when shopping.

However, according to the research, three times this number would be willing to do so if they were convinced it would offer them added value in the form of discounts, rewards or a more personalised service.

Those aged between 18 and 24 demonstrated an even greater appetite for in-store technologies, with 82% claiming they would use a QR code if they felt that they could gain some value from it.

Additionally, 71% of the same group said that the ability to pay for purchases via a handheld card scanner would be the technological development that would improve their shopping experience the most.

Overall, 40% of agreed that new technologies that can make checkout more efficient would be the most desirable, followed closely by the availability of in-store iPads or internet kiosks to check product availability and/or arrange delivery.

Chris Gates from Hitachi Consulting UK said: “Although it’s probably not surprising to hear that QR codes and in-store iPads are mainly being used by a small group of early adopters, it’s interesting to note how quickly interest in these technologies soars as soon as consumers can see the point of using them.

“Successful retailers already know that consumers want good value and efficient service, but they need to start thinking about how the latest technology can enhance both of these areas, whether that means more personalised discounts and promotions or just a faster checkout. Consumers clearly have an appetite for using these new tools, but only if retailers can use them to add value to the shopping experience, and then communicate these benefits to their customers effectively.”


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