As a business, thinking you understand what customers want, and actually understanding what they want, are two very different ideas.
One study, conducted by First Insight, a brand solutions company, has found that customer expectations during their retail experience are changing, and businesses must be ready to change as well.
Many businesses understand the concept that technology can help them know their customers more intimately, but how and at what cost? The survey found that 75 percent of respondents would not shop in a store that used facial recognition to market their brands. Although most shoppers would be turned off of the idea that a store was tracking their purchases using their face, the number dropped to 55 percent when customers knew a benefit was associated with it, such as a personalized sale or better discount.
70 percent of respondents said they were unaware of what an in-store beacon is. A beacon is a Bluetooth-enabled device that syncs with a customer’s smartphone, sending relevant coupons, marketing deals and supplementary product information. However, those polled said that a store’s ability to access their phone, and possibly their personal information, was taking it a step too far.
Instead, many customers said the most useful piece of technology in a store is price barcode scanners, which gives the buyers control over how to obtain the information that is most pertinent to them. Price remains a crucial piece of the shopping experience for most, as 40 percent of respondents said it was the number one factor in deciding whether to make a purchase or not.
“Consumers today expect the shopping experience to be personalized and want retailers to evolve along with their preferences,” said Jim Shea, Chief Marketing Officer of First Insight.