Above all, consumers value convenience, speed and good deals, according to new research by Sensormatic Solutions, and they can expect retailers to deliver these benefits in 2023.
In the recent survey, respondents cited stocked shelves (64%), quick and easy checkouts (63%), and discounts or sales (63%) as the top three contributors to positive shopping experiences.
With 42% of respondents either very likely or moderately likely to abandon their shopping trip due to a long checkout line, omnichannel fulfillment
options – from self-checkout to buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) – are
gaining widespread adoption by both retailers and customers, alike. Self-checkout for example, once a novelty, is now viewed as a way to complete a transaction more quickly, easily and privately than traditional checkout.
In fact, nearly one-third of respondents said they will use self-checkout more often in 2023, with over half (52%) of respondents citing their main reason for doing so is because it’s quicker. Likewise, options like curbside pickup and BOPIS are being employed by customers more frequently, with 63% of
respondents noting convenience as their primary reason for using these services.
At the same time, retailers are embracing B2B technology to improve the in-store experience. Shopper traffic data is helping retailers optimize
staffing and reimagine floor layouts to mitigate crowding and encourage
browsing, while inventory intelligence is helping customers find what they need, when they need it.
The survey also reveals that shoppers are eager to embrace the next big thing: 63% of respondents said they would like to see retailers implement
interactive mobile apps to better blend in-store and online experiences, and many shoppers said they would like to see retailers implement virtual reality (24%) and augmented reality (17%).
Along these same lines, consumers are still invested in what retailers are doing for the sake of the environment, with 69% noting that it is important to them that retailers continue to improve environmental performance and energy management in their stores. Consumers are looking for this to happen with the following changes: less plastic and packaging waste (62%), recycling bins for shoppers and employees to use (42%), and increased sustainable
product and brand options (41%).
Further, consumers are planning to create their own sustainable habits in 2023, with 39% buying more items in-store to reduce shopping trips, 38% shopping in-store more often to eliminate packaging waste, and 33% shopping at thrift stores more often.
What’s clear from these trends and insights is that the industry’s march
toward more sustainable, flexible, streamlined and efficient operations is just beginning.