Machines comb mounds of data to personalize engagements. Augmented and virtual realities replicate the physical experience online. Robots streamline fulfillment operations in warehouses. Technology is more embedded in commerce than ever before and will continue to be further integrated. However, consumers’ comfort levels with new technologies vary depending on the application and its perceived level of intrusiveness.
Consumers are open to robots aiding their shopping journey and even making their next meal but draw the line at a machine spending their money without their involvement, according to Euromonitor International’s 2020 Digital Consumer Survey of 20,000 global consumers conducted from late March to early April. Specifically, 45% of connected consumers are comfortable with robots guiding them to products within a store aisle while only 27% are comfortable with companies automatically reordering products on their behalf.
Robots, in particular, have been in the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses attempt to eliminate human-to-human contact to reduce the spread of the virus. Robots can be leveraged across the entire retail experience from packing items in warehouses to guiding consumers in stores to delivering products to homes. Although still a relatively new concept, 44% of connected consumers say they would be comfortable receiving a delivery directly via drone or robot, according to Euromonitor International’s 2020 Digital Consumer Survey.