Applications of classic vending and self-serve solutions are being updated with digital technology and connectivity to help brands and retailers create automated customer experiences that enhance convenience, boost personalization and drive operational efficiencies. From a brand and retailer perspective, automated systems, smart vending machines, and robotic solutions are providing opportunities to not only excite consumers and connect with them in new ways, but meet consumers where they are, whether that’s in-store, within their local neighborhoods or even their own doorsteps.
The study of US in-store shoppers revealed that:
- Consumers think stores need to do a better job delivering unique, convenient and quality experiences. When asked if they found store experiences fresh and innovative, 71% of US shoppers said moderately, a little or not at all. 25% of US shoppers say that in-store technology helps them enjoy the shopping experience. 30% say that it helps them spend less time shopping.
- While shoppers appreciate ‘familiar’ technology as part of the retail experience, they’re not ready to relinquish complete control. When asked about in-store technologies they think would improve the shopping experience, US shoppers prize most highly familiar technologies such as self-checkouts (47%), lockers (31%) and interactive kiosks (28%). Less than 25% of shoppers say today that robots and other robotic systems would add to the experience.
- US shoppers are two times more interested in self-checkout than Amazon Go style ‘grab and go’ shopping. Additionally, 29% of US shoppers find that in-store technology helps them find information about the products they’re looking for and 25% say that in-store tech helps them order products available online and get them shipped to their home.
- Automated solutions are freeing up time-limited staff to deliver value-driven interactions with shoppers on a personal, human level. When asked if they prefer to engage with store associates or store technology, 40% of US shoppers prefer store associates and only 16% prefer only dealing with technology. 32% of shoppers don’t mind either.
- Innovations in vending and unstaffed retail environments are creating new opportunities to connect with customers in new locations and in non-traditional ways. While over 68% of US shoppers think that most or all stores are easily accessible for them, 31% of shoppers say some to few stores are easily accessible to them – hinting that a segment needs better access to retail experiences like vending.
PSFK Automated Store Survey, US, 2022
The PSFK quantitative survey was conducted February 2022. The survey was a ‘basic census’ balanced in terms of age and gender. The respondents had household income between $0-$200k.
For a copy of complete survey findings, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
A webinar covering the report findings, and how brands and retailers can leverage AI, self-serve, vending & robotics to boost shopper convenience and drive operational excellence, can be viewed here.