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Study: Consumers Only Have “Conservative” Appetite for Retail Tech

Consumers want to take the reins with their retail tech experiences.

According to the Oracle Retail 2025 Study, a consumer is more likely to interact with retail technology, including virtual reality and wearables, if they are in control of their experience. By establishing trust, developing a quicker production process and prioritizing personalization, brands enable consumers to seamlessly control their engagement with retail technologies.

“Consumers clearly indicated that they have a conservative appetite for retail technologies that requires deep personal data,” Oracle Retail and Oracle Hospitality SVP and general manager Mike Webster said. “This signals brands to focus on building a strong foundation to win trust.”

New retail technologies, such as AI, VR and loT, allow retailers to efficiently predict consumers’ next purchases. The survey said it is crucial for retailers to establish strong trust bonds when they roll these new technologies out for consumers. If they don’t, consumers could shy away and pursue other outlets for their shopping needs.

If handled well, however, shoppers are likely to embrace the newness.

“Warm attitudes toward utilizing virtual reality and receiving recommendations for custom-made accessories produced with 3-D printing points to consumers’ willingness to adopt new technologies if they are in control of their experience,” Webster said.

Sixty-four percent of consumers favored using VR to navigate a personalized in-store experience from fitting room to checkout. Fifty-eight percent of respondents were also open to having their grocer suggest shopping lists based on purchase history and social data. Despite a generally positive attitude toward new technology, 54 percent of respondents also felt having a grocer automatically charge items based on purchase history and social data breached privacy.

As fast fashion becomes more popular in consumers’ wardrobes, drones and 3-D printing will be the new tools for improving supply chain efficiency. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they would be open to the option of real-time delivery via drones. Most respondents (64 percent) also indicated they would like retailers to suggest custom-made accessories for them designed by 3-D printing. However, more than half (57 percent) of respondents find clothing recommendations from robots based on their social media platforms invasive.

Although consumers are hesitant about volunteering data to retailers, they are still on the hunt for more personalized experiences. Stronger brand relationships could be a solution, however, consumers have different expectations for retailers when it comes to data availability and customized information about their specific buying patterns.

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In the wellness category, 54 percent of respondents favored linking a wearable device to their pharmacies for health product suggestions. Before purchasing apparel products, 78 percent of respondents liked receiving information about product components. Forty-six percent of respondents also said they’d like real-time alerts about current product recalls to improve their shopping experience.