Shoppers Need To Feel In Control Of New Retail Technologies

  • March 28, 2017 at 1:10 PM EDT
  • By Glenn Taylor
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Although many consumers remain wary of some retail technologies, if they feel that they have some control over the experience, their willingness to engage increases.

The Oracle Retail 2025 Report revealed that:

  • 64% of shoppers liked the option of using virtual reality to navigate a personalized in-store experience and having a hand-picked wardrobe to try on in-store;

  • 58% were positive about the idea of having their grocer suggest a shopping list for their approval based on purchase history, social and environmental data; however


  • 54% indicated that having a grocer automatically charge and ship items based on purchase history, social and environmental data was invasive.


This data indicates that consumers are warming up to personalized suggestions, but are not yet ready for automated renewals — even if that means they run out of an item. Consumers remain wary about volunteering data necessary for personalization but still seek a tailored experience, reinforcing the need for stronger brand relationships:

  • 57% of consumers find apparel recommendations from robots based on their social media profile invasive;

  • 54% favor linking their wearable activity tracker to their pharmacy so they can suggest products to meet specific health and wellness needs; and

  • 78% favor the option of having detailed information about product components (e.g., cotton, spandex, etc.) and origin prior to purchase.

“Consumers clearly indicated that they have a conservative appetite for retail technologies that require deep personal data and make decisions on their behalf,” Mike Webster, Senior VP and General Manager at Oracle Retail and Oracle Hospitality said in a statement. “This signals brands need to focus on building a strong foundation to win trust. Warm attitudes toward utilizing VR and receiving recommendations for custom-made accessories produced with 3D printing point to consumers’ willingness to adopt new technologies if they are in control of their experience.”

As technologies such as 3D printing and drone delivery continue to develop, they are likely to accelerate product design and overall speed to market. Up to 67% of consumers like the option of near real-time delivery to their doorstep by drones, while 64% responded favorably to the concept of having a retailer suggest a custom-made accessory for them produced with 3D printing.

To compile data for the report, Oracle polled 709 consumers in February 2017.



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