Baby boomers hungry for in-store tech

Baby boomers are just as keen to experience new technologies in-store as millennials, new research has discovered.

The report, The Imagination Gap: Retail’s £1bn problem from computer vision and machine learning company DigitalBridge, found that almost three-quarters of baby boomers said they would use platforms, such as mixed reality and artificial intelligence, in-store if it was available to them.

This is particularly true when it comes to visualisation technology that allows users to preview products at home before committing to purchases, with 73 per cent of consumers aged 18 to 34 saying they would be more likely to shop with a retailer that offered this service. This is the exact same proportion as older shoppers.

For consumers who said they expected to be able to use this technology either in-store or online, more than half (55 per cent) said they would be more likely to buy something after being able to preview it.

For 61 per cent of consumers, they said main advantage of this technology was that they could try different options before they committed to a purchase. While 29 per cent would use it to get a second opinion on choices, including via social media.

DigitalBridge chief executive David Levine said retailers should take the figures as a warning not to ignore the importance of implementing technology into their customer offerings.

“There has been a long-held belief in the retail sector that increasing the use of technology was only beneficial in attracting younger customers,” he said.

“These findings show that this isn’t the case and that businesses may have underestimated the demand for a better shopping experience using the latest technology. Older shoppers are just as engaged in the technological revolution of retail as their younger compatriots and businesses could be missing a huge opportunity by not capitalising on this sooner rather than later.”