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Shoppers’ High Tech Expectations Are Often Unmet

ChaseDesign|JGA survey shows Walmart, Target, Kroger delivering best in this area
Self-Checkout Main Image
Self-checkout is the most used technology at retail, and shoppers want more of it, according to ChaseDesign|JGA's Tech at Retail Survey.

According to new research from ChaseDesign|JGA, a category growth design agency, retailers need to focus on connecting technology with shoppers’ needs, making it easy and enjoyable to interact with.

“There’s an immediate opening for companies to offer more relevant and worthwhile experiences through tech at retail,” explained Joe Lampertius, president of ChaseDesign|JGA, which is part of McCann, with offices in New York City; Detroit; Syracuse, N.Y.; and Cincinnati. “Experiences that guide shopper behaviors and help them learn about, compare and find new relevancy for products. Done well, this can result in more shopping experiences that result in conversion to purchase.”

Additional key findings from the Tech at Retail Survey include:

  • The most used technology while shopping is the smartphone (used by 67% of shoppers). According to ChaseDesign|JGA, this is the first place many marketers and merchandisers need to turn to offer greater relevance and utility in shopping.
  • The retailer’s app is a critical point of engagement for the shopper and could be given more purpose in the store experience.
  • Self-checkout is the most used technology at retail, and shoppers want more of it, both in-store and at more stores. No other area of the store has changed as dramatically as checkout, and the move to automation is backed by shoppers.
  • Contactless checkout is still scaling, with just 11% of shoppers saying that they use it “frequently” or “all the time.” The technology is gaining traction in the convenience and hospitality channels.
  • Shoppers identified Walmart, Target and Kroger as delivering the best tech at retail experiences for shoppers.
  • Dollar store channels are providing a digital experience that is as good as, and in many cases, better than other mainstream retailers.
  • Wayfinding or “store mapping” was the No. 2 item cited by shoppers as a specific tech capability on their phones that influences their choice of retailer.
  • More than 70% of shoppers reported out-of-stock issues as an issue and said that they want tech and retailers to help lead them toward solutions.
  • More than 55% of the shoppers are interested in text messaging, chatbot or voice assistants that can help guide them and provide product information while they’re in the store.
  • Most shoppers (76.7%) are interested in interactive displays that offer information about different brands, giving retailers the ability to shape buying behavior.

“The Tech at Retail Survey confirms that time is the new currency,” noted Lampertius. “Most shoppers in our survey said they use technology that ‘saves them time’ when shopping. The bottom line is that when leveraged properly, tech at retail enables shoppers to enjoy shopping more by making trips quick, cost effective and personalized.

ChaseDesign|JGA fielded an online survey in September 2022 through its proprietary research platform, mPulse, among 1,000 consumers ages 25-54. Respondents were screened to be the primary or secondary shopper in their households. 

Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Serving 60 million households annually nationwide through a digital shopping experience, and almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100. Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 6 on PG’s list, with nearly 2,000 locations.

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