Supermarkets are lagging behind consumer expectations when it comes to innovative retail technology, according to new research.
The survey of 2,000 British consumers by Hitachi Consulting found that almost half (44%) support innovative technology in supermarkets if it offers them discounts, and a third (33%) would approve of its use if it reduces store theft.
Consumers in London, in particular, are open to the possibilities of retail technology. Almost nine in ten (86%) of those living in the capital would be happy to be monitored by innovative in-store technology if it means an improved experience.
Londoners also said they would be more likely (66%) to shop at a large supermarket if it offered technological innovations such as personalised prompts when you forget an item.
The research comes at a time when retailers are increasingly experimenting with technologies like electronic shelf labels and LiDAR, which can track what customers pick up from shelves, making stores more ‘intelligent’ and enabling them to gain better insights into customers and facilitate a personalised shopping experience.
Londoners’ attitudes in favour of disruptive technology in retail may be a result of positive experiences to date, Hitachi Consulting noted. Over half (54%) of London-based shoppers currently consider their supermarket ‘intelligent’, compared with only 4% in the South West, 6% in Yorkshire and Humber, and 7% in East Anglia.
Hitachi Consulting retail specialist Pierson Broome commented: “For bricks and mortar retailers, experimenting with technology-led innovations is the only way to level the playing field in the battle against their data-rich online competitors. The survey results strongly indicate that they have allies in Londoners, who are actively in favour of experimentation with — and implementation of — new technologies.”