TORONTO — Supermarkets topped a list of industries ranked by their adoption of technology that enhances the customer experience, according to a consumer survey conducted by Empathica  here.
According to the Empathica Consumer Insights Panel survey that polled 11,000 North American consumers, 78% of consumers believe the supermarket and grocery store industry currently uses technology that enhances their experience. The next highest industries were: gas stations (60%), airlines (37%), pharmacies (34%), electronic stores (33%), entertainment venues (32%), hotels/motels (27%), department stores (26%), discount stores/warehouse clubs (22%) and quick service/fast food restaurants (20%).
Of those who have tried a new retail technology, 40% indicated that they recommended that retailer to friends and family as a direct result of trying the technology. And of those who said they had not experienced a new technology, 18% still recommended the brand based on noting that the technology was offered.
The survey also looked at the frequency that consumers wanted to be contacted via various channels, including being sent coupons or offers through their mobile device. For each industry, respondents could select daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly contact, or indicate they never wanted to receive offers, are not sure, or do not use the industry’s services.
Results showed that while consumers were still reluctant to be contacted with mobile offers, many indicated they prefer monthly contact for the majority of services. Weekly notifications ranked higher for staple goods and dining options like grocery (35%), gas stations (22%), casual dining (17%) and quick-serve (16%).
Supermarkets and convenience stores were ranked highest out of all industries for consumers who would like to receive mobile offers on a daily basis, with 8.8% and 8.1% reporting they preferred this contact, respectively. All other industries were at, or below 5%.
“While in-store, mobile and social technologies are still emerging, it’s interesting to see consumer perception for which industries are starting to leverage tools in a way that gives consumers a better overall experience,” said Gary Edwards, chief customer officer, Empathica, in a statement. “Consumers are starting to express a willingness to embrace some of these tools, such as check-out technologies that save them time.
“Brands should be cognizant of the ways in which emerging technologies can be utilized to enhance their customer experience. For those that are able to introduce new technologies to provide a better in-store experience for their customers, there appears to be a positive word of mouth marketing benefit to brands.”