More Consumers Use Technology to Improve Shopping Experience

More consumers are embracing the use of retail technology to improve their shopping experience, according to the latest issue of the Consumer View report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF).


“Technology has become part of our everyday lives, and consumers are open to adopting technologies that make shopping easier,” said Mark Mathews, NRF vice-president for research development and industry analysis. “Retailers know this and are embracing investments in technologies that improve customer service and the customer experience whether it’s online, in store or on mobile devices.”


The report shows that consumers are very interested in solutions that take the uncertainty out of shopping. The ability to address these needs is already shaping consumers’ decisions on the brands and retailers they shop. According to the report, 63 percent of consumers say retail technologies and innovations have improved their shopping experience on mobile devices while 66 percent said they have done so in stores and 80 percent online.


The report found that there are numerous opportunities for retailers to simplify shoppers’ path to making a purchase. Consumers are interested in technologies that show whether a product is in stock (55 percent), help them compare prices or read reviews (49 percent), make it easier to find a product or its location (47 percent) or try an item before buying it (38 percent).


While many of the technologies retailers are deploying are still in the early phase of consumer adoption, initial consumer attitudes toward them are positive. The report found that 89 percent of those who have tried in-app store navigation would try it again, along with 88 percent of those who have used smart dressing rooms, 86 percent for augmented reality, 83 percent virtual fit and 82 percent virtual reality. The report also found that 69 percent of those who have tried mobile payments have been satisfied, along with 67 percent who have bought an item online and picked it up in-store and 63 percent who have used self-checkout.


The Consumer View is a recurring report issued by NRF that gauges consumer behavior and shopping trends related to stores, online channels, customer loyalty, technology and other topics. Using Toluna Analytics, the study surveyed 2,926 U.S. adults 18 or older for NRF April 24 through May 17. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.