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UK Shoppers Already Anticipating Fully Automated Purchases, New Study States

  • Written By Grace
  • Posted September 15, 2016
  • 3 minutes Read Time

Being at the forefront of digital commerce, it may come as little surprise that a large proportion of UK consumers have stated their readiness for the next stage in digital retail: completely automated purchases managed by machines.

The total automation would mean no action from the consumer would be required, an action known as Programmatic Commerce, new research has cited. This is exactly the kind of technology businesses will need to have in place to be considered in amongst the best eCommerce website.

The study was carried out by Salmon and puts forward the idea that retailers should now brace themselves to put plans in place to offer Programmatic Commerce following the realisation that shoppers are very much open to the introduction of digital and fully automated services.

Digital commerce is a fast-paced sector and Programmatic Commerce truly highlights how far we’ve come as it looks to represents the next era in digital shopping. As you can guess, much of this will depend on consumers being connected via devices, smartphones and tablets, for example. An example of Programmatic Commerce would be goods being ordered by a ‘smart fridge’, and then subsequently delivered prior to the owner even knowing that the goods were low/needed re-ordering.

How would this work? Obviously, the smart appliances wouldn’t have free reign to go nuts with your credit card, it would be something that you set up in your preferences on the device or appliance. That way, if supplies were to run low, all the consumer would need to do is enter preferences such as price limits, brands and any other requirements as part of the initial set up on the system.

The key stats from the report found that:

  • 58% of shoppers claim they are more likely to choose to use smart tech if it were to open up access to this kind of shopping.
  • Through Programmatic Commerce, the most prevalent items consumers would feel most comfortable ordering are household supplies & food and drink (both 54%), followed by beauty, healthcare and personal hygiene products (34%).
  • 57% of UK consumers stated they’d be ready for Programmatic Commerce within the next two years, while 13% said that they were ready right now!
  • The main issues for consumers were lack of control over purchases (54%), with security closely following (51%) as well as the privacy of their personal data (51%).

“The rise of digital has been the single greatest change in retail over the past decade. Consumers have wholeheartedly embraced online shopping services for the convenience, time-saving and enjoyment they can bring,” said Neil Stewart, CEO of Salmon. “While we expected consumers to already appreciate the benefits of digital, we have been pleasantly surprised by how ready they are for automated shopping. Our research paints a picture of a sophisticated and engaged consumer, ready to take advantage of the impact of smart technology in their digital shopping.”