An estimated 80% of retail and CPG executives who responded to the National Retail Federation survey said they will use intelligent automation in areas from supply chain and production design to customer acquisition and retention, a 2019 NRF report indicated.
The report found that shoppers are pleased overall with how technology has transformed their shopping experience. Eighty percent of shoppers said that technology and innovation had improved their online experience; 66% said the same for in-store shopping and 63% said the same thing for mobile shopping.
However, shoppers pointed to various pre-purchase touchpoints that still need work. Thirty-seven percent of shoppers said that they were frustrated by researching features and reviews for products, and 24% were frustrated when checking prices or availability, according to the NRF report.
NRF's research suggests that consumers are starting to adopt retailer's technological innovations, including self-checkout, mobile payments and BOPIS. However, retailers still have a way to go before achieving greater satisfaction among customers.
In addition to improving features and review searches as well as the process for checking on availability, retailers also need to step up their check out and post-purchase review and return experiences for consumers, the report indicates.
Fifty-five percent of shopper respondents said that they're very interested in technology or solutions for showing them if a product is in stock or available for purchase, and 47% said they want solutions or technology that will simplify finding a product or a location, according to the report. Meanwhile, another 49% of respondents were interested in solutions for price comparisons and product reviews.
Consumers may not have to wait much longer for a better mobile shopping experience, because retailers have already been investing in it, and big companies are making moves to improve some of the pain points brought up in this report.
To that end, it's worth noting that Walmart acquired Aspectiva, a product review startup, in March 2019 for an undisclosed sum. If nothing else, the report shows that some of retailers' technological advancements have made gains with consumers, but they need to work out more kinks to help shoppers locate and buy the right goods.