Man vs. Machine - Why today's retail needs both technology and the human touch
Laura Coggles | Marketing Manager
The world of retail is forever evolving. Whether it’s through activations, pop-up stores or brand collaborations, there’s no doubt that the traditional retail experience has moved far beyond just a cash transaction. With this progression has come huge advances in retail technologies, be it digital fitting rooms, lift & learn in-store interactions or even just the ease of opening an ecommerce store to connect with customers outline of your physical reach.
With great technologies however comes even greater responsibilities to keep that human element when interacting with your customers. It’s something that’s easily forgotten, considering how much of a juxtaposition it feels when compared to the technological advancements, however it’s that bespoke human touch that really connects with customers and as a result sees them spending more and returning more often.
A recent PwC Consumer Intelligence Series (CIS) survey talked with 15,000 global consumers about their shopping habits and showed that 75% of those surveyed want more human interaction, not less. In addition, almost three-quarters of shoppers say customer experience is more important than price and product quality when it comes to purchasing decisions. It’s clear that while these in-store experiences are valued, the old-fashioned approach of human assistance in stores is more valuable.
The proofs in the pudding when it comes to investing in the human touch as well as technologies, with price premiums reported to be increasing profits in some industries by up to 16%. When customers feel appreciated, companies gain measurable benefits, not just in direct sales but in increased customer loyalty and recommendations. The message is clear when it comes to man vs machine, don’t understand the power of the human touch.