Fashion retailers opt for tech style over substance, Klarna

Fashion retailers opt for tech style over substance, Klarna

New research from Klarna and Censuswide shows that half of fashion retailers want to invest in the likes of augmented reality and virtual reality, even though four in five shoppers wouldn’t be interested in using it. 

2,000 shoppers were surveyed along with 50 decision makers in fashion retail. A fifth of the latter admit they are still struggling to get the basics right when it comes to digitisation, and a further 42% agree they’re so focused on getting online right that in-store technology isn't a priority.

73% of consumers, however, value shopping in-store, as it offers a human experience that can’t be recreated online. In terms of their wishlists, technology that takes measurements, so consumers can be sure items fit before buying [42%], and access to the same level of discounts in-store as they can access online [49%], are top of the pile. A third also wanted to be able to pay later after they’ve left the store or pay after delivery, without their card.

49%, meanwhile, said when they shop in-store they miss the personalised offers they receive online, whilst 46% think online shopping is more convenient than in-store. Despite this, online personas and avatars [38%] came top when retailers were asked what they would like to integrate in the future, while shoppers’ top request was better variety of clothes [28%]. In addition, retailers wanted to create virtual stores to be viewed online [32%], despite the fact that only 10% of consumers said they’d like to see the same.

“The advance of technology is inevitable, and it’s clear that customers are undecided as to what the advantages of some of the latest technology is. What this research shows us is that retailers may enthuse and embrace technology as a means of reviving sales, but unless customers can see the benefits personally, it could be a wasted investment,” says retail futurologist Howard Saunders.

“A muted response to technology like drone delivery, smart fabrics and virtual store assistants shows that removing the personal element from fashion retail could be a mistake. The future is coming at us fast, but it’s worth remembering we’ll still be human when it arrives.”

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