A recent study found that 64% of consumers prefer to engage with associates over robots while shopping in-store. Still, 30% indicated they prefer using a retailer's mobile app in-store, according to a Sensormatic Solutions survey of more than 1,100 respondents.
As for other in-store technology, 40% of consumers use retailers' buy online, pick up in-store services regularly and 31% of shoppers use buy online, return in-store services frequently. The report also found that more than three-quarters of respondents want grocery stores to include a self-checkout option, while just over 50% want the service at convenience and department stores.
Fifty-five percent of consumers said they either always or usually use self-checkout to buy items in-store, and 61% cited using self-checkout because it's faster than human associates, according to the report.
Sensormatic Solutions' research adds context to consumers' relationship with technology, suggesting that many upcoming capabilities are popular with consumers shopping in stores.
While Sensormatic Solutions' survey indicated the majority of consumers still prefer engaging with a human associate in-store over a robot, a RetailMeNot report found that 69% of consumers prefer to discover product reviews and details on their phone instead of asking an employee, and 53% want to find out about promotions from their phones rather than an associate.
The Sensormatic Solutions survey found that only 5% of shoppers like to use robot assistants over in-store employees, but retailers continue to invest in such technologies nonetheless. Badger Technologies expects that 5G will improve robots' ability to send information and sync with other in-store applications quickly.
"There is a growing dialogue that technology will replace the need for face-to-face interactions and promote the 'digitalization' of everything, but that is not necessarily the case," Bjoern Petersen, president at Sensormatic Solutions, said in a statement. "While there is no denying that technology and automation are helping businesses streamline processes and decision making, our survey proves that traditional customer engagement is alive and well."