Retailers and shoppers on very different tech pages
95% of consumers do not want to speak with robots while shopping in-store or online, according to a new study conducted by Oracle NetSuite in partnership with Wakefield Research and The Retail Doctor.
A survey involving 1,200 consumers and 400 retail executives across the US, UK and Australia found a huge disconnect between shopper demands and what retailers deliver in a number of areas, including social media, personalisation and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR).
For instance, 73% of executives believe that the overall environment in retail stores has become more inviting in the past five years. Only 45% of consumers agree, with 19% stating it has become less inviting. 79% of executives believe chatbots are meeting consumer needs. Two-thirds of consumers disagree, with respondents noting that chatbots are currently more damaging to the shopping experience than helpful.
“These findings point to a clear and urgent need for better customer service,” says Bob Phibbs, CEO, The Retail Doctor. “No retailer wants their customers to be confused or anxious, yet more than half of respondents have felt that way while shopping. Customers will feel confident when they develop an emotional connection to the brand. This happens when retailers foster positive, helpful in-store interactions; contrary to popular belief, Millennials want store employees to help them. With nearly every respondent reporting that they value bricks and mortar stores, now is the time to craft every in-store interaction to keep shoppers coming back.”