Consumer research snapshot: Retail tech central to interactive shopping experience

Consumers favor tap-to-pay mobile apps, while self-checkout systems are the fastest-growing tech and forecast to reach a market size of $7.8 billion globally.
Elizabeth Christenson
Editor, Retail Leader
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Among the technologies used in the retail industry, U.S. consumers found tap-to-pay mobile apps to be the leading retail technology that had the highest impact on shopping experience, with 66% rating this technology positively, according to a May 2022 Provoke Insights survey of U.S. consumers. On the other hand, online chatbots were not received as well by consumers.

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Digital tech in retail is widely associated with e-commerce, but it is brick-and-mortar and omnichannel retail businesses that are bolstering the adoption of retail technologies, Statista reports. Some of the in-store retail technologies that retailers prioritize are:

  • Smart or self-checkout kiosks. 
  • Smart fitting rooms powered by augmented (AR) and/or virtual reality (VR). 
  • Widespread digital payment options.

One of the most widely visible technologies used in retail stores are self-checkout systems. Self-checkout systems enable convenience and efficiency on the part of the shoppers, streamlining their shopping experience by reducing lines and wait times. Far from being cutting-edge technologies, self-checkout systems have been deployed by retailers in numerous industries, but particularly by retailers in the grocery channel. 

The global supermarket and hypermarket sector account for more than half of the self-checkout system market in 2019, according to Statista. Market data in the same year showed that North America represented nearly half of the market for the sector. By 2027, self-checkout systems are forecast to reach a market size of $7.8 billion globally. 

Smart or virtual fitting rooms with smart mirrors have the greatest growth potential in physical retail stores, particularly for the apparel sector. Using AR, 3D scanning and artificial intelligence (AI), virtual fitting rooms allow customers to try on clothes in a store without putting them on, get style recommendations and make purchases. Valued at $2.97 billion in 2020, the market is expected to near $13 billion by 2028, Statista reports.