Mindtree has released the findings of a study on how rapidly evolving digital trends like social media, mobile apps & automation are reshaping the way retailers engage with customers. Titled Sixth Sense of Retail, the study is based on a survey conducted with 2,000 consumers across in UK by Censuswide – an independent polling company.
The study has identified widely diverse shopper preferences across age and gender pertaining to new retail technologies like automation, artificial intelligence and robotics. Over half [51 per cent] of young shoppers in the age group of 16-24 years were comfortable with the idea of automated technologies and would visit robot-driven stores.
78 per cent of older shoppers over 55 years of age were apprehensive about this trend. Additionally, opinions were divided by gender with 44 per cent of men happy with a robotic shopping experience, compared with just 30 per of women. In order to address this sharp divide retailers should adopt a balanced mix of technology and human assistance to accommodate customers of different ages and genders.
The study also states that there is a growing demand for retailers to deliver more personalized experiences with nearly one in five [17 per cent] of 16~24 year olds asking for more personalized engagement from retailers throughout the purchasing cycle. It also highlights the influence of social media on shopping decisions.
Facebook has been reaffirmed as the most influential social platform with just under one third of consumers [32 per cent] acknowledging it as a major influencer for shopping and purchasing decisions. Retailers therefore need to harness social media channels to drive brand loyalty by harvesting the growing volumes of customer data available across multi-channels. Consumers should be reached through social channel engagements that are personalized around preferences the retailer is looking at appealing to.
Further, as more consumers go online to make purchases, it is important retailers create content that is optimised for mobile platforms. They should focus on building strong digital relationships with customers, providing the blueprint for successful conversions both in-store and online.
Anil Gandharve, Associate Vice President of Retail, CPG and Manufacturing, Mindtree said
The retail industry has an exciting future ahead, but the key to success will be driven by the right balance between technology and in-store human experience. Additionally, retailers need to harness personalized customer information available through social media and mobile phone apps, to develop more impactful customer relationships.