Creepy or Cool 2016: Second Annual RichRelevance Study Reveals Consumer Attitudes Towards Today’s Shopping Experiences

Survey of US consumers finds ‘cool’ features blend digital and physical to provide shoppers with relevant product information and suggestions – on their own terms

Future Stores Conference, Seattle, WA — June 21, 2016 — It’s an omnichannel world for consumers and retailers, but not all capabilities are created equal. RichRelevance®, the global leader in omnichannel personalization, today released its second annual “Creepy or Cool” survey of US consumers. The 2016 study finds that while American consumers expect to use their mobile phones as part of the store experience, they are most open to mobile and digital innovations that allow them to choose when and how to engage. In contrast, technologies such as facial recognition that are used to track and target customers remain unpopular with consumers.

“For the second year in the row, the study finds that shoppers think it is cool to get digital help finding relevant products and information – on their own terms when they choose to engage,” said Diane Kegley, CMO of RichRelevance. “However, they are creeped out by digital capabilities that identify and track without a clear value offered in return.”

Creepy or Cool 2016: Key Findings
The new survey finds that the mobile phone ranks #1 for shopping. More than two-thirds (67%) of American consumers use their mobile phone to shop. Not surprisingly, mobile usage skews even higher for the coveted younger Millennial demographic (ages 18-29), with nearly 8 out of 10 (79%) shopping on their mobile phone.

Mobile shopping now extends into the physical store. Nearly 3 in 4 consumers (73%) use their mobile phone while they are shopping in the aisles, and 1 in 4 (23%) use it frequently while shopping. Here again, Millennials are more likely to turn to their mobile phones. More than 8 out of 10 (84%) use their mobile phone in the store, and 1 in 3 (35%) use it frequently.

As retailers rush to deliver a store experience that merges digital technologies, mobile phone and the physical aisle, they must walk a fine line between an elevated – or an eerie – experience. There is no one-size-fits all approach, and consumer comfort levels vary depending on where and how technology is deployed. Age is also a major factor, with Millennials expressing stronger opinions on both creepy and cool features. Comparative survey data includes:

You can scan a product on your mobile device to see product reviews and recommendations for other items you might like.
Overall: 79% cool; Millennials: 84% cool

Soon after you leave the store, you receive a digital coupon for a product you looked at but didn’t purchase.
Overall: 52% cool; Millennials: 60% cool

When you check out, your print or email receipt includes product recommendations selected just for you.
Overall: 50% cool; Millennials: 59% cool

Your location in the store triggers personalized product information, relevant content, recommendations and discounts to pop up on your mobile device as you walk the aisles.
Overall: 40% cool; Millennials: 49% cool

Digital screens in each dressing room show products that complement the item that you are trying on.
Overall: 41% cool; Millennials: 49% cool

A salesperson makes more helpful suggestions because they can see what you’ve previously browsed and bought on their site and in the store.
Overall: 32% cool; Millennials: 45% cool

Facial recognition technology identifies you as a high value shopper and relays this information to a salesperson.
Overall: 67% creepy; Millennials: 71% creepy
A salesperson greets you by name on the store floor because your mobile phone or app signals your presence.
Overall: 64% creepy; Millennials: 64% creepy

The survey of 1,018 US consumers was conducted by RichRelevance in May 2016.


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This post was written by RichRelevance

ABOUT RichRelevance
RichRelevance is the global leader in experience personalization, driving digital growth and brand loyalty for more than 200 of the world’s largest B2C and B2B brands and retailers. The company leverages advanced AI technologies to bridge the experience gap between marketing and commerce to help digital marketing leaders stage memorable experiences that speak to individuals – at scale, in real time, and across the customer lifecycle. Headquartered in San Francisco, RichRelevance serves clients in 42 countries from 9 offices around the globe.
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