It’s hard to find a segment of society that technology has not revolutionized. Shopping is no exception, according to new research that shows consumers are increasingly embracing a sci-fi shopping experience.
Commerce solutions provider Elastic Path surveyed 1,015 online shoppers to find out what they were looking for from the brands they shopped with, and learned most consumers are looking for new ways to engage with technology that will make their shopping experience easier.
Checkout-less payments, facial recognition top requests
Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they wanted checkout-less payments, a technology in which consumers can enter a store and buy what they want without waiting in line to pay for it. Instead, high-tech devices such as apps, scanners and cameras would track the shopper’s purchase and payment would happen automatically through whichever payment option the shopper has chosen.
Another futuristic service consumers want is voice commerce, a capability that lets shoppers state what they want to buy on a retailer’s website rather than use the keyboard and mouse to move through the shopping experience.
The Elastic Path survey found that 57% of respondents wanted to use voice commerce to make their purchases. It also found that voice technology tends to become a hit with consumers once they’ve tried it. While most consumers — 81% — have not tried voice technology when making purchases, of those who have, 22% use voice technology multiple times per week and 21% use it at least once a week.
More than half of respondents — 55% — said they were interested in using facial-recognition technology when shopping, a capability that can ultimately lead to a more secure shopping experience as it could help to root out thieves.
Another 58% of respondents said they wanted to shop with their smart devices, the study found.
Top brands slow to adopt new ways to shop
But despite consumers’ willingness to embrace a high-tech shopping experience, most brands have been slow to accommodate those wishes, the research showed. To determine what brands have been offering to consumers, Elastic Path collected information from 300 marketers who work at online retailers. Less than a quarter of retailers gave customers access to the most futuristic capabilities.
- Only 18% of brands offered customers the ability to use checkout-less payments.
- Just 23% of brands offered the ability to use voice commerce.
- Just 25% of brands were equipped to let customers shop using smart devices.
- Only 20% of brands gave customers the option to use facial recognition.
Technology can make the shopping experience easier and in some cases, less expensive. Consumers can influence what their retailers offer in terms of technology by letting them know they want access to high-tech services and capabilities. Also, be willing to try new technologies that some forward-thinking retailers are offering; you may find that your shopping experience improves in the process.