Study: Consumers wary about facial recognition

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Study: Consumers wary about facial recognition

By Deena M. Amato-McCoy - 05/22/2018
Despite retailers’ efforts to integrate disrupting technologies within shopping experiences, consumers aren't embracing all of it.

Nearly half (49%) of shoppers do not think facial recognition will improve their shopping experience, but, conversely, nearly half (48%) of shoppers agree that mobile applications, like ’Scan & Go,’ will make shopping easier, according to the “Reality of Retail Personalization” report from GPShopper.

When it comes to facial recognition, 45% of shoppers said they would be concerned about their privacy should it be used. However, they do see its value within specific industries. Nearly a third of shoppers (30%) think facial recognition would be helpful when shopping for beauty products, for example.

Consumers are more positive toward ‘Scan &Go’ technology, as nearly half (44%) would rather use these apps than wait in a check-out line. Shoppers find ‘Scan & Go’ a good fit for grocery stores, with half (50%) of customers saying they would use it while shopping. They also feel the technology could be useful across a wider array of industries, including when shopping for home goods (30%), fashion (27%), beauty/cosmetics (25%), sports & outdoors 21%), and automotive/car supplies (20%).

While shoppers are undecided on technology like facial recognition and excited for ‘Scan & Go’, there are a number of personalized perks they aren’t willing to compromise on. For example, 48% of shoppers want retailers to offer personalized coupons for the types of items they often buy, and 42% want alerts for clearance sales where they only shop the sale rack.

“Retailers should look before they leap when approaching of-the-moment tech trends – especially with technology around facial recognition as shoppers have made it clear they just aren’t on board yet,” said Maya Mikhailov, co-founder and CMO of GPShopper. “Rather, they must prioritize an omnichannel approach that satisfies shopper’s demand for personalized convenience first and foremost.”

For example, 38% want individual promotions on specific items they’ve been eyeing for a while, and 31% want personalized reminders of what day/times items they buy will be going on sale (in-store or online). And 20% want suggestions for items similar to what they’ve left in their cart, while 17% wish retailers would promote flash sales at a time when they’re not busy i.e. lunch break, after work hours.

These expectations reveal that shoppers desire deeper levels of personalization from retailers, giving retailers an opportunity to adjust mobile strategy to best serve customer needs.

“Retail technology innovation is not slowing down,” said Mikhailov. “As the industry is navigating new consumer behaviors and preferences, technology companies are waiting in the wings, ready to offer solutions. But, as we’ve continually uncovered, shoppers won’t adopt a technology unless it provides convenience.”