RichRelevance, the global leader in omnichannel personalization, just released a new study titled “Creepy or Cool” that reveals consumer attitudes towards digital enhancements to the in-store shopping experience.
The study finds that shoppers think it is cool to get digital help finding relevant products and information, as well as navigating the store. However, they are creeped out by digital capabilities that identify, track and use location and demographics, such as targeted advertisements for consumers based on facial recognition. In addition, the dressing room is the one area where personalized product information and recommendations are not welcome.
“Shoppers want digital personalization when they are ready to engage,” said Diane Kegley, CMO of RichRelevance. “They may not be ready for personalized messages the moment they walk in the door, or even when they hit the dressing room, but our survey suggests they welcome relevant information and promotions when they are making a purchase decision.”
The study also breaks down attitudes by age group. Millennials, for instance, are kind of aligned with their older counterparts when it comes to in-store personalization, although they are more comfortable with edgy capabilities such as facial recognition. One area of significant difference, however, is dynamic pricing in the aisles, which means the practice of offering different prices for the same product. Millennial shoppers were the only age group to rate this feature more cool than creepy.
According to Forrester, nearly 7 in 10 shoppers now use a mobile device while in the store, and retailers are investing heavily in new technologies to make the in-store shopping experience better than ever. This survey of 1,016 consumers has been conducted in April 2015 and located nine digital store capabilities along a continuum of cool and creepy.
• 76% say it is cool, if you can scan a product on your mobile device to see product reviews and recommendations for other items you might like.
• 69% say it is cool, if an interactive map on your mobile phone shows exactly where items are located and charts your most efficient path through the store.
• 44% say it is cool, if your location in the store triggers personalized product recommendations, promotions and coupons to pop up on your mobile device as you are shopping.
• 42% say it is creepy, if the products in the store don’t have price tags; instead digital screens display prices that are tailored just to you.
• 55% say it is creepy, if digital screens in each dressing room provide products recommended just for you, based on your current items and past purchases.
• 66% say it is creepy, if a salesperson unlocks the dressing room door before you arrive, based on your detected location within the store.
• 73% say it is creepy, if facial recognition technology identifies age and gender to target advertisements on digital screens. For example, an eye cream promotion for an older female shopper.
• 74% say it is creepy, if a salesperson greets them by name when they enter a store because their mobile phone signals their entrance.
• 73% say it is creepy, if facial recognition technology identifies them as a high-value shopper and relays this information to a sales associate.
Identified as “cool” features are obviously all those that help shoppers discover relevant products and perceived as “creepy” are the ones that identify, target and track consumers, under the pretext of improving the shopping experience. It is noteworthy that one in five feels even more valued by personalization and being addressed individually.
“Our study shows that retailers need to focus on digital store capabilities that drive engagement and convenience by making sure the right products and content are always available to shoppers,” Kegley continued. “Retailers have a huge opportunity to leverage their biggest asset, the store, to gain an edge when it comes to customer experience.”
Infographic by RichRelevance: