Consumers in Australia increasingly use in-store technology, with 93% incorporating it into their shopping experiences. However, 80% express concerns about data security, specifically when entering personal details online or through in-store devices. These findings are part of SOTI's latest report "Techspectations: Consumer Demand for Digital Transformation in Retail" which delves into the evolving consumer trends within the Australian retail sector.
The study also noted that 44% of consumers face issues when using these technologies, with problems occurring with self-serve machines and Wi-Fi connectivity. Moreover, 77% of consumers stated that they expect full visibility over the status of their online order, highlighting the critical need for efficient supply chain management. The research suggests that Australian retailers are facing increasing pressure to integrate technology solution into their operations in order to retain consumer loyalty.
The report suggests a disconnect between the expectations of consumers for a seamless shopping experience and the reality of in-store technology capabilities. Whilst 93% of Australian consumers have used an in-store device, these technologies currently do not always deliver the expected experience. From poorly connected Wi-Fi to insufficient staff for problem resolution, as many as 35% of users indicated that these devices often compound the challenges of in-store shopping.
Michael Dyson, VP for Sales, APAC at SOTI, emphasised the pivotal role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in addressing these challenges. "Using AI for predictive diagnostics and proactive support enables retailers to address potential problems before they affect customer interactions,” he said. "AI's ability to combine data such as location, signal quality and speed with vital business metrics, including stock levels and shipment updates, ensures that the convenience and tailored experience offered by online shopping can be mirrored in physical stores."
Besides technological challenges, the report also threw light on security issues. About 80% of consumers expressed fears about putting their personal details online or through in-store devices, and 42% were worried about potential financial fraud, with 39% concerned about identity fraud. The report suggests a clear need for retailers to strike a balance between providing instant, seamless shopping experiences through in-store technology, and maintaining the security and trust of their customer base.
Looking to the future, Dyson highlighted the need to establish consumer trust, ensure data protection, and create integrated experiences that fluidly connect digital and physical retail spaces. He mentioned the important role of operational intelligence tools in granting real-time visualisation of retail operations and supply chains, and their ability to enable retailers to proactively address any issues that may arise. He stated, "The future of retail is not about rapid adoption of technology; it is equally about strategic planning and enhancing scalability through thoughtful implementation."