Technology has transformed many aspects of modern life in recent times and one of the key aspects is automation.
Nowadays, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) have become essential aspects of modern businesses.
This is particularly common in the retail industry. Why? Because this is where people can go shopping without having to interact with anyone at all.
The internet has made life easier for consumers as you can now shop online from your computer. Also, you can shop on your smartphone and there are great shopping apps out there that you can download.
Thanks to automation, people can now shop and check out through self-service checkouts. It means all consumers will have to do is to scan products and make payments completely unsupervised.
Automation in a recent study
Self-service checkouts certainly do have benefits in that they can speed up the purchasing process. Also, reduce the amount of staff that a retailer requires, but there are also some major drawbacks and areas for concern.
A new study from Whistl revealed that 57% of shoppers would opt to avoid human interaction and use self-service payments during the retail experience. This study found that 70% of over 45s preferred to speak to a human compared to just 25% of 18 to 24-year-olds.
However, this is a cause for concern in a day and age where face to face interaction is often limited due to the rise of smartphones and the internet. The fact is that human interaction is important for mental wellbeing. Also, it is particularly important for younger generations to develop social skills.
The rise in the popularity of online shopping is another aspect of how consumers are adapting to automation. Many people now shop, exclusively online but it is easy to see why with this method. With the availability of price comparison websites, consumers can easily shop around online save money on better deals.
Online shopping brings convenience as you can shop from the comfort of your own home and at a time to suit you. Also, you can purchase goods from anywhere in the world and you are not limited to what is on the high street.
Also, many retailers now guarantee next day delivery so consumers do not even have to wait long for their products to arrive. There is still room for brick and mortar stores as 75% of people admit that they enjoy the experience of looking at goods in store before making a purchase online. This is particularly true for certain goods where sensory touch points are important.
Overall, it is clear that the public is very quickly adjusting to automation and technology in the retail sector. While automation offers so many benefits, we should also be concerned about the advantages. It’s slightly concerning that so many people would prefer to avoid human contact.
This is an issue in a time where people are often glued to their screens and not interacting with each other. Fortunately, there is still a role for physical stores to play which should keep people making the trip into town.
PLEASE SHARE ON PINTEREST