Date Published: 1st November 2017

With Black Friday approaching at the end of this month and many people likely to start their Christmas shopping soon, does retail tech still need to build an audience in order to overtake mainstream shopping?


Newer retail tech, such as voice assistants, mobile wallets and buy buttons on social networks, have been questioned as to whether or not they are going to take over as the most popular form of shopping or if people are more likely to stick with what they know and use mainstream channels.


New research has shown that when asked if people would prefer to go out shopping with friends or if they would prefer to just stay at home and use a voice assistant like Amazon’s Alexa, shockingly only 36% opted to use the robot, and only 5% of the 1033 people surveyed said they actually have in the past. In addition to this, 14% said they used mobile wallets, and 10 percent said they used buy buttons.


Technology is being developed over many aspects of life and although it still has a long way to go, these figures seem considerably lower than expected.


It could be that people are simply just not interested enough in the futuristic way of shopping yet, or maybe they don’t trust a robot to do it for them. But it seems that in some cases, people don’t even know what they are or what they are capable of.


Perhaps the results from this survey are telling tech-heavy retailers that they still have some educating to do in order for their consumers to even think about beginning to use these newer technologies. For example, despite Amazon’s best efforts upon building voice shopping, there are still very few people that are actually on board. So do they need to do more?


As for the more traditional retailers, this is something they need to take into account and use when trying to adapt, by figuring out what tech is compelling enough to entice customers.


In the future there is definitely a strong possibility that people will be using voice shopping, as well as virtual reality and chatbots to do their shopping. But for now, it seems there is not enough interest or knowledge about the technology just yet for people to change their ways.



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