Consumers value convenience, speed and good deals, according to new research by Sensormatic Solutions, and they can expect retailers to deliver these benefits in 2023. In the recent survey, respondents cited stocked shelves (64 percent), quick and easy checkouts (63 percent), and discounts or sales (63 percent) as the top three contributors to positive shopping experiences.
With 42 percent of respondents either very likely or moderately likely to abandon their shopping trip due to a long checkout line, omnichannel fulfillment options—from self-checkout to buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS)—are gaining widespread adoption by both retailers and customers, alike. Self-checkout for example, once a novelty, is now viewed as a way to complete a transaction more quickly, easily and privately than traditional checkout. In fact, nearly one-third of respondents said they will use self-checkout more often in 2023, with over half (52 percent) of respondents citing their main reason for doing so is because it’s quicker. Likewise, options like curbside pickup and BOPIS are being employed by customers more frequently, with 63 percent of respondents noting convenience as their primary reason for using these services.
At the same time, retailers are embracing B2B technology to improve the in-store experience. Shopper traffic data is helping retailers optimize staffing and reimagine floor layouts to mitigate crowding and encourage browsing, while inventory intelligence is helping customers find what they need, when they need it.
The survey also reveals that shoppers are eager to embrace the next big thing: 63 percent of respondents said they would like to see retailers implement interactive mobile apps to better blend in-store and online experiences, and many shoppers said they would like to see retailers implement virtual reality (24 percent) and augmented reality (17 percent).
“Shoppers are eager to try new options and explore the benefits of digitalization. They are seeking convenience to pursue better in-store experiences, while simultaneously thinking about their carbon footprint in relation to where they shop,” said Kim Melvin, global leader of marketing and communications, Sensormatic Solutions. “When it comes down to it, shoppers want safer, quicker, and more affordable and sustainable options.”
Along these same lines, consumers are still invested in what retailers are doing for the sake of the environment, with 69 percent noting that it is important to them that retailers continue to improve environmental performance and energy management in their stores. Consumers are looking for this to happen with the following changes: less plastic and packaging waste (62 percent), recycling bins for shoppers and employees to use (42 percent), and increased sustainable product and brand options (41 percent).
Further, consumers are planning to create their own sustainable habits in 2023, with 39 percent buying more items in-store to reduce shopping trips, 38 percent shopping in-store more often to eliminate packaging waste, and 33 percent shopping at thrift stores more often.