GTM-WFSHMMD
Skip to main content
  1. Home >
  2. News >
  3. Press Releases >
  4. 2017 >
  5. Irish consumers demanding more technical innovation on the shop floor

Irish consumers demanding more technical innovation on the shop floor

71% of Irish shoppers would prefer to shop with online retailers such as Amazon or eBay if they launched physical outlets

Fujitsu Ireland Ltd.

Dublin, May 03, 2017

Research undertaken by Fujitsu Ireland has found that Irish shoppers expect more from their in-store retail technology experience with 73% stating that they trust online retailers to deliver a better in-store technology experience then today’s high street retailers. Furthermore 71% suggested that if online retailers such as Amazon or eBay launched physical outlets, they would quickly become their preferred stores to shop in.

‘The Forgotten Shop Floor’ research by Fujitsu Ireland found that while many shoppers say that they make use of in-store technology every time they shop (24%), around three in ten (29%) stated that the technology on offer in-store was either ‘quite often poor’ or ‘very poor’. Complaints about services on offer range from it being too slow (45%), unreliable (32%) and immobile (14%).

The research also found:

  • 50% of Irish shoppers see browsing and buying in person as their primary reason for visiting a high-street store, followed by over a quarter (27%) who go mainly for the “in-store shopping experience”.
  • Nearly a third (31%) of Irish shoppers believe that staff are poorly trained on the technology they are expected to use, which is in stark contrast to 91% of retail staff who are confident in their prowess with in-store technology.
  • The in-store experience can be enhanced by technology with half of consumers (49%) stating that it serves to speed up the service they receive. A third (34%) cite the ability to access additional product information, while personalised offers and vouchers (25%) are also a draw.
  • Well over half of shoppers say that both the quality of in-store technology directly affects their loyalty to a particular retailer (59%) and that they have proactively chosen to buy an item from one store over another because they knew they would enjoy a better technology experience (57%). More still (76%), say that a positive technology experience would increase the likelihood of them purchasing additional items.
  • Looking to the future, almost half of those surveyed (46%) stated that technology could be used to send them personalised offers when in-store. A third (36%) are intrigued by the prospect of smart mirrors that can display additional product information, while stores being able to place goods in a connected car (24%), and the concept of interactive augmented reality displays are similarly enticing for many (24%) shoppers. Customer service chatbots, biometric payment methods and even stock shifting drones were also found to be of interest.

As well as shoppers, the research looked at the in-store experience of retail staff. In contrast to the views of many shoppers, 90% of retail staff stated that in-store technology helps them to serve the customer better. Two thirds (65%) of those surveyed suggest that they use in-store technology to serve customers multiple times a day, with mobile stock monitoring (53%), smart checkouts (51%), mobile point of sale devices (43%) and customer loyalty systems (46%) amongst the most utilised systems and services.

Kenneth Keogh Director of Business Development Fujitsu Ireland commented on the research;
“This research is very revealing as it illustrates how the consumer online experience and evolving role of technology in our day-to-day lives is driving expectations. The idea that the traditional high street retail outlet is facing extinction due to ecommerce is not supported by the research, rather there is a need for retailers to understand and transform their offering to meet the needs of consumers. This blurring of the lines between the physical and digital means that it is up to retailers to ensure that they can provide more services, greater speed and a personalised experience for shoppers on a day-to-day basis. Ultimately, digital transformation is the key to delivering on these requirements, thus helping the high street to be sustainable and maintain its central role in communities across Ireland.”

Read the full report.

Notes to editors

Fujitsu Forgotten Shop Floor Research

Data for this study was gathered by Coleman Parkes, an independent research consultancy. 500 consumers and 500 employees from retailers with an annual turnover of £25m+ from across Ireland took part in an online survey between December 2016 and January 2017.

A note on “in-store technology”

Taken at face value, the words “in-store technology” cast a broad net. They could, after all, refer to simple, long-standing items such as cash registers and telephones. To keep respondents focused on new and upcoming systems and services, we asked them to answer with the following interpretation in mind: “in-store technologies should be defined as mobile tablets, mobile points of sale (excluding static till points), smart checkouts, digital enquiry point, self-checkouts, mobile stock monitoring applications and devices.”

Additional Statistics of Note

  • Only 9% go to a store to try out products they’ve already sourced online or to look at items that they will then purchase over the internet (6%).
  • Two thirds (67%) of retail staff say that new in-store tech added in the past 12 months has been focused on improving customer service, with the remainder (33%) holding the belief that it has been brought in to help boost their own performance.
  • Over half of retail staff state that the introduction of new technology has helped them to save time (53%) and gain access to a broader range of information (57%), but it is technology’s ability to help solve customer issues that is seen as the greatest benefit by most (60%).
  • For many retail staff, in-store technology serves one major purpose; improving the customer experience. However, 73% believe shoppers can access a broader and more rapidly sourced array of information about products using their own devices than those provided in-store.
  •  90% of retail staff believe that the in-store technology they have seen introduced ‘fulfils its role’, and colleagues are unanimously supportive of the idea that it has also had a positive impact on their own role too (100%). That a similarly high number (90%) say that they value the in-store technology available to them should come as little surprise.
  • Much of the onus for selecting, promoting and training employees on new technology lies with the store manager according to respondents. More than a quarter (29%) say their store manager is responsible for driving usage of technology in their branch, and a third (33%) also receive training on new technology from that person.
  • This emphasis on the senior end of the scale means that retail staff feel disenfranchised around in-store technology choices. Even though a significant number (58%) say that they already have some say in the tech implemented in their branch, there are clear indicators that their opinions go unheard. More than three quarters (84%) believe that they and their colleagues should have greater influence over those decisions.
  • Half of those staff surveyed (50%) note that the technology on offer to them is slow, while more than a third (36%) suggest that they find it quicker to get on with their job without using the tech they are presented with.
  • More than half of retail staff respondents say that new tech allows them to do their job more effectively (57%), simplifies and speeds up their work processes (53%), saves them time (53%), and that it helps them complete sales to customers more rapidly (50%).

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 155,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US$40 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.

About Fujitsu Ireland Ltd

Fujitsu is one of the world’s largest ICT companies, offering a complete range of products, services and solutions. With approximately 159,000 employees globally and 350 in Ireland, Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries every day. We work with clients in the private and public sectors including retail, financial services, telecoms, government, and consumer sectors to harness the full range of our technology products, solutions and services. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers.

We believe that true innovation comes from working with people to create solutions for people. Together with customers and partners, we are shaping a world where everyone, everywhere is empowered with digital technology. We call it Human Centric Innovation.

For further information please see http://www.fujitsu.com/ie/

David Kinch

Mobile: Mobile: +353 (0) 86 232 2439
E-mail: E-mail: david.kinch@humebrophy.com
Company:Hume Brophy
PR representative for Fujitsu (Ireland)

Date: 03 May, 2017
City: Dublin