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How consumer attitudes to technology are changing

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Consumers are keen to take up new technologies that improve their retail experience – as long as they can stay in control, a new study suggests.

The Oracle Retail 2025 Study found that while most shoppers would like to use virtual reality, to have retailers suggest their future purchases, or to have deliveries made by drone, they would find it invasive if shopkeepers went as far as shipping them goods they thought they’d like, or recommended them fashion items based on their social media profiles.

“Consumers clearly indicated that they have a conservative appetite for retail technologies that requires deep personal data and make decisions on their behalf,” said Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager at Oracle Retail and Oracle Hospitality. “This signals brands to focus on building a strong foundation to win trust. Warm attitudes toward utilising virtual reality and receiving recommendations for custom-made accessories produced with 3D printing points to consumers’ willingness to adopt new technologies if they are in control of their experience.”

The Retail 2025 Report results polled 709 consumers in February 2017.

Looking at artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the Internet of Things, the study found that 64% of respondents liked the option of using virtual reality to navigate a personalised in-store experience and having a hand-picked wardrobe to try on in-store. More than half (58%) were positive on the idea that their grocer would suggest a shopping list for them to approve, based on their purchase history, social and environmental data. But almost as many (54%) said having a grocer automatically charge and ship items based on purchase history, social and environmental data was invasive.

On 3D printing and drone delivery, 67% liked the idea of real-time drone delivery, while 64% liked the idea of having retailers suggest custom-made accessories produced via 3D printing. But 57% said cloting recommendations from robots based on their social media profile would be invasive

And on personalisation, 54% were positive about the idea of linking their wearable activity tracker to their pharmacy so they can suggest products to meet specific health and wellness needs, 78% favour the option of having detailed information about product materials and their origin before buying. Finally, 46% said receiving real-time alerts on current product recalls, and time since last recall by a manufacturer, based on previous purchase history would improve their experience.

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