There's a lot of new fancy technology in retail these days - with retailers attempting to outdo each other with new gadgets, virtual reality tools and more - but is that what consumers really want?
Recent research from GPShopper would suggest not really. In fact, the study that polled the views of 1,145 adults found that there is a serious gap between what retailers are implementing and what consumers actually want from their shopping experience.
To start, it's been too generalized. Retailers first have to look at how aware consumers are of the technology being used, then gauge their comfort level with it. Using the consumer consciousness scale below, most consumers were aware of self-checkout and virtual reality uses. Yet when it came to chatbots or smart shelves (which alerts you as to where an item is in the store), consumers aren't as familiar as retailers may have thought, which makes them less likely to embrace the technology.
Now, that doesn't mean new technology can't be implemented - it's important to modernize the way we do business to keep up with consumer demands - not to mention to create an edge on the competition. Craft retailers just have to make sure that the technology they are adopting makes sense for their customers. Not all tech is created equal - so we've put together an outline below based on our research on what works best, speicifically to craft retailers.
1. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) can be a great tool for the crafty consumer. Craft retailers can use it to suggest projects and help consumers gain a visual on how an idea may come together with different colors and products. Consumers polled on augmented reality tend to agree - 58% want to use AR to see how something looks in their home before buying and 50% want to use it to gain additional information about a product such as materials being used.
2. Virtual Assistants
Craft retailers are uniquely positioned to use virtual assistants (VA) to help their stores and consumers. However, consumers that were surveyed want VA for specific uses. 47% want to be alerted for deals on products they buy frequently and 43% want to be notified when they're out of something at home. Both of these use cases could help consumers that need to re-order craft and party supplies.
3. Mobile Apps
When it came to trusting technology with financial information, mobile apps were ranked #1 by consumers. So craft retailers should keep this in mind and meet consumers where they already are.
The report found that basically, consumers just want to buy stuff as quickly and easily as possible, so craft retailers like Jo-Ann Fabrics and Michaels are doing just that with their mobile app and strategy. Michael's uses in-store way finding to help consumers locate what they're looking for quickly and easily via the mobile app, which is smart since 75 percent of consumers already use their mobile in-store.
Want to learn more on the real use of tech in retail? Download the full Reality of Retail Tech report by clicking on the link below.