Here at Leapfrogg, we have a panel of over 1000 retail consumers that we engage with on a regular basis to help us understand customer needs and expectations from the brands and retailers they buy from.
Every month, we question them on a range of areas from buying behaviours and brand opinion, to emotional purchase triggers and their recent shopping experiences.
The Insight Edit is our weekly bite size edit of the insight we gain from our panel in our search to truly understand the mind of the premium customer.
Digital retail trends
There are now an increasing number of new technologies available to consumers which aim to enhance their shopping experience. While industry experts are predicting the next wave of digital development, we wanted to understand what our panel thought about the emerging technologies from last year and whether they felt they would be utilising them in 2016.
We asked our panel which of the following digital trends they would be most likely to use if they were available from their favourite retailers in 2016:
- Virtual changing rooms
- Mobile payments
- In-store Wi-Fi
- The ability to buy direct from social media
- Wearable digital wallets
- Personalised content on the websites you visit
Overall we were surprised by how low the figures were.
The development our panel was most excited about was in-store Wi-Fi. 39% of our panel stated that they would use it this year and this isn’t surprising, given that this technology has been around the longest.
It does show, however, that a large proportion of consumers would feel the benefit from being able to use free Wi-Fi and their mobile devices in-store as part of the shopping experience. This is something that all retailers should now be seriously considering providing to their customers.
27.5% of our panel also stated that they would like to receive personalised content on the websites they visit. Although this figure is lower than we expected, it still highlights that people appreciate a personalised shopping experience. There is no reason for retailers to not start doing this as there are plenty of low-cost tools available to retailers that can use customer data to personalise elements of their website experience.
19% of our panel stated they would use virtual changing rooms if they were available. Currently, this can be a complicated process to set up and work effectively, but as the technology develops we expect to see this become more popular with consumers.
An an example of Pretty Green’s virtual changing rooms.
As we highlighted in a previous Insight Edit, our Panel’s opinion on mobile payments is still lagging behind the technology. We are yet to see the majority overcome their fear of fraud and security for it to become mainstream. Consequently, only 18% of our respondents felt they would use mobile payments in 2016.
This is further underlined by wearable digital wallets being of least interest to our panel. This is still a very new trend and it is unlikely to reach mass interest for a while yet.
All in all, none of the digital technologies gained more than 50% interest from our panel and we feel there is still a long way to go before the modern consumer is fully immersed in digital retail. As these technologies become more widespread, we’re sure their usage will become wider and interest will increase. Of course, by then there will be a wave of brand new technology pushing the boundaries of the retail experience.