Consumer behavior has shifted dramatically since the start of the pandemic as shoppers turned to online ordering and curbside pickup or delivery. That being said, customers have started to regain a sense of comfort stepping foot back into brick-and-mortar spaces, with 53% of Americans stating that they feel comfortable and safe returning to shopping malls and physical stores.
As in-store shoppers return, customer demand for convenient and contactless shopping will only grow. In a recent consumer survey, we found that shoppers prioritize speed, independence, and convenience when shopping in stores. In looking at the data, we also found a growing consumer acceptance of in-store technologies such as scan-and-go. Retailers can take advantage of scan-and-go technology to meet consumers’ expectations for a speedy, personalized, and independent in-store shopping experience. Let’s explore some of the findings further.
Shoppers’ #1 Priority Is Speed
When asked what they prioritize when shopping in-store, 32% of respondents to our survey said that speed of shopping trip was most important.
Sixty percent (60%) of 1,000 American consumers in a separate survey said that when given the choice, they will head to a self-checkout kiosk instead of opting for a cashier.
However, self-checkout can often be frustrating. From checking out a product that won’t scan to buying items without price tags, many times assistance from a store employee is needed — such as if an item is mistakenly scanned twice or if a price tag can’t be located. This can slow down the checkout process even more.
Shoppers want more control of their experience. When stores use scan-and-go technology, it makes the checkout more efficient and makes shoppers feel like they’re in control. Technology such as scan-and-go — in which customers can scan their products when picking them up off the shelf and then pay directly through the app — eliminates the issues that come with self-checkout, while letting shoppers use their phone to have an independent experience. In terms of COVID, using a mobile device to shop will support shoppers as they take necessary precautions for their own health and the safety of others.
[Related: Whose Checkout Is It Anyway? Walmart and BJs Tech Dispute Arises]
Consumers Want an Independent Shopping Experience
Shopping is not the same as it was pre-COVID; that’s for sure. Online shopping is much more prevalent, as well as curbside pickup and delivery options. To keep up with competitors, retailers have to level up the shopping experience. Consumers desire a touchless, high-tech experience and want check-out variety from their retailers of choice.
That’s why 27% of consumers ranked “an independent and autonomous shopping experience” second only to speed as a priority when shopping. Only 16% of shoppers prefer to interact with retail workers when going into a brick-and-mortar store.
With an app-based checkout method, consumers are able to enjoy a solo shopping experience from entry to checkout, while retailers can use the app to their advantage by garnering user data and personalizing the experience to the individual shopper.
Understanding the Customer Leads to Customer Loyalty
Each shopper has their own personal preference. Retailers must be able to comprehend their customers’ wants and needs, providing a variety of options for the in-store experience to appease their entire customer base. Understanding the customer and offering experiences that satisfy expectations are sure ways to increase sales and build customer loyalty.
— Lukas Kinigadner, CEO and co-founder,Anyline