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Industry NewsCanadians ready for the future of retail in Canada: Study

Canadians ready for the future of retail in Canada: Study

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Consumers are interested in using checkout-less shopping, text-to-shop technology, interactive screens, and grocery store apps implemented to facilitate their shopping experience according to a new study by GetApp.

The study reveals the emerging tech innovations customers want to see implemented in the retail industry, according to a survey of 1,063 Canadian shoppers. Checkout-less shopping is by far the technology most customers are interested in, with 79 per cent indicating various levels of curiosity. Of these respondents, 86 per cent would want to use checkout-less technology in grocery stores specifically. 

Sixty per cent of respondents are also curious to try text-to-shop technology, a shopping method that allows customers to make purchases via SMS. This innovation allows retailers to send offers via SMS to customers based on their purchase history. More than half of those interested in text-to-shop specify that the increased ease of making purchases via text-to-shop would be the most useful advantage. Moreover, while 69 per cent of shoppers recognize the advantage of receiving personalized product suggestions, 31 per cent are skeptical of this use of their personal data.

Interactive maps are another technological advancement that survey respondents (78 per cent) are curious to see implemented. Along a similar vein, 65 per cent are interested in trying in-store touch screen displays, which would provide customers with information about different products.

Forty per cent of respondents currently use a grocery store app, another industry trend that consumers would be interested in. Thirty-five per cent believe that the ability to read reviews by other customers would be the biggest advantage, while 31 per cent think that seeing the full list of ingredients in products would be the most useful feature.

However, despite all of the advantages innovations in retail technology have the potential to provide, some consumers are concerned about the privacy of their data. For example, 38 per cent are concerned about text-to-shop phishing attacks or scams. 52 per cent of shoppers would be worried about their data being hacked if they were to use checkout-less stores, and 39 per cent had the same concern while using text-to-shop technology.

Tessa Anaya, the analyst for this study, explains: “While these innovations in retail technology may not be ready for wide-scale implementation, it’s vital for businesses to stay aware of customers’ evolving priorities. Events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and rise of available technology have likely affected customer expectations, and companies would be remiss not to re-evaluate the retail services they offer in response to these changes. For example, reassuring customers regarding their concerns of data and financial safety should go hand-in-hand with new technology implementation.”

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