Holiday Shoppers Vs. Chatbots, Virtual Reality, Robots And Drones

Despite all the technological advancements, many consumers may not yet be ready to embrace shopping innovations and may need further education about some of their benefits.

When faced with the prospects of chatbots, virtual reality and robots, many people are not totally on board.

For example, the majority (68%) of consumers have never used a retail chatbot and almost a quarter (23%) don’t even know what chatbots are, according to a new survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers conducted by IFTTT (If This Then That).

But there are some positive viewpoints around certain shopping tech aspects.

While most (83%) consumers don’t trust a robot to shop for them, they would trust one, in the form of a drone, to deliver their online orders.

Most consumers also are open to virtual reality shopping, with the most popular use case for home decorations (59%).

On the other side, most (66%) shoppers would rather have their gifts delivered traditionally rather than by a drone.

In a nod to the growing adoption of voice assistants in the home, 36% of consumers would rather stay at home and shop with Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home rather than head to the local mall.

Retailers also can be expected to be busy in their physical stores, since only 34% of consumers say they are shopping more online than in stores.

In even more good news for retailers, price drops during the holiday may not have to be that steep. Many (41%) consumers don’t expect in-store discounts to exceed 30% this holiday season and 32% expect the same for online discounts.

However, a quarter (25%) of men expect an in-store discount of 50% or more, compared to 21% of women. More women (28%) than men (22%) expect an online discount of 50% or more.

Email also remains a significant information option, with 38% of consumers preferring to hear of holiday deals that way, compared to 12% via social media.

For the best deals, 35% of shoppers are banking on Black Friday, followed by the day after Christmas (29%).

Major retailers also should get geared for holiday shoppers, since more than 57% do most of their holiday shopping at mass retailers like Walmart and Amazon.

With holiday shoppers are coming via Alexa and Google Home, online by PC, by mobile on-the-fly, by car or by foot, retailers have to be ready to serve across the board.

The Internet of Things will take shopping to an entire new level.

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