Online-savvy shoppers demand better in-store tech

In-store technology is failing to match the online shopping experience and consumers are demanding better, a new report has discovered.

Fujitsu’s latest research, The Forgotten Shop Floor, found that four-in-10 consumers are frequently disappointed by in-store technology.

Almost two-thirds (61 per cent) of customers said they would choose one retailer over another based on the quality of in-store technology.

Alarmingly, three-quarters of shoppers revealed that they would make Amazon or eBay their preferred choice over traditional retailers if either had a physical store.

The same number also said they would trust Amazon or eBay to provide a better in-store tech experience than their usual high-street stores.

Almost half (42 per cent) of consumers said that in-store tech today is slow, over a third (37 per cent) said it was unreliable, and a quarter said there simply wasn’t enough to handle demand.

As a result, three-quarters said they were able to access more information than retail employees and 73 per cent said they can get it quicker. Two-thirds of employees reported using their own devices in-store to try to bridge this gap.

“Today the next wave of digital disruption is happening in-store,” said Rupal Karia, managing director of retail and hospitality at Fujitsu UK and Ireland. “E-commerce has altered our expectations of the high street and we now expect physical channels to reflect digital ones and be engaging, personalised and hassle-free. The digital pace of change is faster than ever. Consumers will embrace retailers who can give them the experience they want, before they know they want it. The message is clear, consumers are prepared to spend more with the retailers that deliver digital, and leave those that don’t.”

Despite these results, retailers are making progress with the digital store with 98 per cent of employees embracing the technology introduced so far.

For those willing to implement new tech, 58 per cent of consumers said they had chosen to buy a product due to a better in-store technology experience. While 79 per cent said a better experience would make them more likely to spend more money.

In terms of changes retailers could make, 45 per cent said they would most like to see personalised offers sent to them while they are in store.

One-third would most like to see smart mirrors displaying additional information about products. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) wanted stores to be able to deliver goods directly to a connected car, while 22 per cent would prefer augmented reality displays.

“Despite the gloomiest predictions, the high street continues to hold a place in UK shoppers’ hearts,” added Mr Karia. “The store holds more and greater opportunities than ever, but only for retailers that are prepared to embrace the digital pace of change. The clock is ticking and technology, customers and competitors are poised to move forward. Retailers must embrace digital now to secure their place in the future of the high street.”