SOTI Research: 94% of US Consumers Use In-Store Tech - Industry Today - Leader in Manufacturing & Industry News

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January 12, 2024 SOTI Research: 94% of US Consumers Use In-Store Tech

U.S. retailers face challenges due to growing reliance on emerging AI and mobile tech, resulting in consumer tech gaps with in-store devices.

New York, UNITED STATES – The U.S. retail sector stands at a pivotal moment, with shoppers finding a gap between what they expect when they shop and what they encounter in-store. Amid the ongoing evolution of retail markets, the industry confronts hurdles in implementing in-store tech, integrating sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI), streamlining the supply chain and managing escalating security issues.

SOTI’s latest retail report, Techspectations: Consumer Demand for Digital Transformation in Retail, highlights how retailers are facing challenges meeting the increasingly high expectations of consumers. These expectations include smooth in-store experiences, tailored suggestions and immediate access to both online and in-store inventory, all crucial to maintaining consumer loyalty.

Emerging Technologies and the Consumer Experience

Although consumers desire technology to enhance their in-store shopping, the offerings from retailers often fall short of their expectations. The report found that while 94% of U.S. consumers have used in-store technology, a significant number feel that these devices worsen the shopping experience. The challenges cited by consumers in-store are insufficient staff available to help with self-serve checkouts (69% of users) and as many as 48% of users experience issues with inadequate Wi-Fi connectivity when using in-store devices.

soti consumer experience data

The report indicates that consumer expectations have surged in the U.S., primarily because of the advanced customization and effortless procedures accessible online, which brick-and-mortar technologies presently struggle to equal. To tackle this challenge, retailers need to allocate resources into AI-powered solutions and device management. This investment will enable them to deliver uniform, tailored and convenient shopping experiences across omnichannel platforms.

Retail Supply Chains Must Meet Real-Time Demands

Effective retail relies heavily on efficient supply chain management, meeting the demands of modern consumers who expect immediate updates, quick access to products and fast delivery in both physical stores and online. According to the report, 54% of U.S. consumers anticipate the option to collect their online orders from a brick-and-mortar store on the same day of purchase. Further, 76% of U.S. consumers anticipate constant tracking of their orders, highlighting the significance of seamless supply chain visibility.

“It is crucial to recognize that AI plays a significant role in harnessing deeper intelligence from devices,” said Shash Anand, SVP of Product Strategy at SOTI. “AI-driven diagnostic intelligence solutions empower retailers to make smarter proactive decisions to identify and resolve issues before they impact the consumer shopping experience. By integrating location, signal strength and speed data with critical business information, such as inventory levels and delivery status, AI can ensure that in-store hyper-personalization can replicate the seamless experience consumers receive from online shopping.”

Consumer Trust and Data Vulnerability

Security remains a pressing issue within the retail sector. A staggering (78%) of U.S. consumers harbor reservations when it comes to divulging personal information either online or through in-store devices. This highlights a widespread mistrust in the data gathering and payment systems employed in retail. Beyond data collection, apprehensions also encompass fraudulent activities, with 38% worrying about becoming a victim of financial fraud and 39% expressing concerns surrounding identity fraud. Additionally, other security concerns include the potential compromise of personal details (31%) and the risk of subsequent users accessing their personal information (29%).

Further, the report underscores the significance of ensuring security for in-store devices. It reveals that only 19% of U.S. consumers are unconcerned about using in-store devices as they trust the retailers they are buying from.

“A clear and excellent sign of optimized mobility performance is understanding how you, as a retailer, can leverage device data to make your business operations more efficient and productive. Many retailers lack the intelligence data that allows them to take a deep dive into their mobile fleet. A tool like SOTI XSight Live View can not only help you visualize your retail operations and entire supply chain – in real-time, but can also allow you to uncover operational issues immediately by merging both business and device data. A comprehensive understanding of what is happening on your devices can make it easier to make data-driven decisions, and ultimately, meet consumer demands to scale up your retail operations and maximize ROI,” concluded Anand.


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