When it comes to in-store shopping technology, there is a delicate balance between what your customers think is “cool” and what they think is “creepy” according to a recent survey by RichRelevance of 1,000 retail shoppers. In general, cool and creepy can be broken down into two categories.

Cool | Mobile and digital innovations that allow customers to choose when and how to engage with a retailer
Creepy | Technologies such as facial recognition that are used to track and target customers


Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

As the saying goes, “May you live in interesting times.” Unfortunately, not all the people who use that saying realize it is considered to be an ironic curse. Times that are interesting are often fraught with chaotic change, disruption and disaster.

For good or bad, these are interesting times for Main Street retailers. The availability of a wide array of data and technology promises to improve the selling process, increase sales and turn customers into fans. Such promises make it tempting to jump into new ways to manage technology and data. But when does your desire to use such technology to serve the customer (and increase sales) turn into something the customer thinks feels more like stalking than serving.

Woman photographing with smartphone label of dairy products
Cool to Shoppers | They love using their smartphones when they’re in control

Key | Percentage of customers surveyed

67% | Customers who use their mobile phone to shop
79% | Customers ages 18-29 who use their mobile phone to shop

73% | Customers who have used a mobile phone inside a physical store
84% | Customers ages 18-29 who have used a mobile phone inside a physical store

23% | Customers who frequently use a mobile phone inside a physical store
35% | Customers ages 18-29 who frequently use a mobile phone inside a physical store

79% | Customers who think it’s cool they can scan a product with their smartphone to see product reviews, recommendations
84% | Customers ages 18-29 who think it’s cool can scan a product with their smartphone to see product reviews, recommendations

Man Scanning Voucher Code In Supermarket

52% | Customers who think it’s cool if you send them a digital coupon for a product you looked at but didn’t purchase
60% | Customers 18-29 who think it’s cool if you send them a digital coupon for a product you looked at but didn’t purchase

50% | Customers who think it’s cool if their print or email receipt includes product recommendations selected just for them
59% | Customers 18-29 who think it’s cool if their print or email receipt includes product recommendations selected just for them

Even Less Cool to Shoppers | When the retailer starts getting too personal with the smartphone pitches

40% | Customers who think it’s cool if their in-store location triggers personalized product information, relevant content, recommendations and discounts they can save to their smartphone
49% | Customers age 18-29 who think it’s cool if their in-store location triggers personalized product information, relevant content, recommendations and discounts they can save to their smartphone

41% | Customers who think it’s cool if a shop has screens in each dressing room showing them products that complement the item they are trying on
49% | Customers ages 18-29who think it’s cool if a shop has screens in each dressing room showing them products that complement the item they are trying on

Warning! Customers think these are very creepy

67% |  Customers who think it’s creepy if facial recognition technology identifies someone as a high value shopper and relays this information to a salesperson
71%  | Customers ages 18-29 who think it’s creepy if facial recognition technology identifies someone as a high value shopper and relays this information to a salesperson

64% |Customers who think it’s creepy if a salesperson greets can greet them by name on the store floor because their mobile phone or app signals the customer’s presence
64% | Customers ages 18-29 who think it’s creepy if a salesperson greets can greet them by name on the store floor because their mobile phone or app signals the customer’s presence.

VIA | RichRelevance.com
HT | MarketingCharts.com