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In-Store Technology and Consumer Preferences


Consumers are like snowflakes: no two are alike. So it should come as no surprise, then, that retailers should ixnay a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing and in-store technology.

A survey from solution-provider First Insight shows that retailers in this day and age have a golden opportunity to use technology to understand consumers in a more meaningful way. With regards to in-store technologies, though, retailers walk a fine line between gaining and alienating customers—as more than 75% of respondents say they would not shop at a store that employed facial recognition technology for marketing purposes. However, as usual, discounts are the key to circumventing this—the number dropped to 55% when respondents were informed there would be a benefit to the technology.

The survey, which polled 1,085 U.S. consumers this past June, says that beacons are by far the most talked about in-store technology, though they also carry a low consumer awareness regarding their technology and benefits—70% of consumers don’t know the definition of an in-store beacon. However, “old” technology still may reign supreme, as respondents list price barcode scanners as the most helpful in-store technology.

Price comes first, social media last
The biggest shopping days revolve around deals. Whether it’s Black Friday or Cyber Monday, consumers are drawn to the best price for the highest quality products; for millennials, price is especially key as more than 40% of this group consider it the most important factor when making a purchase.

Despite social media’s popularity, more than 60% of respondents never interact with a retailer’s social platforms while shopping in-store—presenting an opportunity for retailers to refine their marketing strategies.

So long, celebrities and fashion mags
The days of wanting to be “Like Mike” are long gone, and consumers are adopting their own styles. More than 90% of respondents indicate they aren’t more likely to buy an apparel item if an athlete or celebrity endorses it. That could lead to big savings for retailers, as marketers are planning to spend $600 billion worldwide this year—part of which will go toward hiring celebs for endorsements.

Consumers are also bucking another trend: They’re saying goodbye to models in fashion magazines and are more enamored with top Instagram stars—with millennials at the forefront, of course. Just 5% of millennials identify fashion magazines as the way to keep up with fashion trends. However, 40% of respondents over the age of 50 say fashion mags as the key means to discover promotional materials.

Speaking of millennials, even though it seems they are always glued to their smartphones, 98% do not wish to be texted by retailers about promotions. Respondents between the ages of 18 and 50 say they prefer to receive promotions via email.

“This survey revealed the importance to retailers in understanding their target consumer, from their preferences regarding in-store technologies to the small but important details such as whether it’s better to reach them by text or email,” said Jim Shea, CMO of First Insight. “Consumers today expect the shopping experience to be personalized and want retailers to evolve along with their preferences.”

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