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Australian consumers ready for more autonomous retail

Over two thirds (67%) of Australian consumers feel comfortable with an autonomous in-store shopping experience, such as Amazon Go, if it means they don’t have to line up and pay at a register, but can instead walk out with their purchases and be charged directly to their bank accounts, according to a recent survey from mobile and IoT management solutions firm, SOTI.

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“Retailers have witnessed big shifts in recent years thanks to the adoption of technology in stores and changing customer behaviours,” SOTI Australia and New Zealand managing director, Michael Dyson said.

“Customers want more flexible, faster and convenient shopping options, and they want sales associates to be better informed so they can offer a more personalised shopping experience. Customers are ready to move away from the traditional ‘purchase at a sales counter’ style of transaction.”

The survey also showed that more than half of Australian consumers (57%) would prefer to shop in a retail store that had its staff more focused towards providing customer service including price checks and product information on the shop floor, rather than having them stationed behind a checkout counter.

More than two-thirds (68%) of Australians spend up to 20 minutes each week waiting in lines, it’s unsurprising that the survey also found that not having to wait in line (58%), and having a faster and more convenient way to shop (56%), were the two most appealing benefits of being able to shop in an autonomous store.

However, for consumers to fully support the autonomous shopping experience, it is crucial that retailers ensure the technology is secure. When asked what concern they would have around ‘just walk out shopping’, 57% of those surveyed by SOTI stated that the security of the technology involved was their main concern, as well as misuse of information (48%).

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“For autonomous stores to really take off in Australia, it is crucial that retailers address any concerns that customers have around the security of the technology and the privacy of their information. Customers want convenience, but never at the risk of the security of their own information,” Dyson said.