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September 1, 2016

UK shopping to be smart tech ready within two years

Retail revolution looms as more than half of UK shoppers will use programmatic technology to automate purchases by 2018.

By Hannah Williams

More than half of UK shoppers will use programmatic technology to automate purchases within two years.

Results of a UK wide survey found that 57 percent of people will be ready within two years to use systems that order items automatically. 13 percent said they would be ready to use the technology now.

More than 58 percent of consumers say they are more likely to purchase a smart technology if it had features to enable this kind of shopping.

The world of digital retail has recently discovered automated purchases made by connected devices, which is termed as Programmatic Commerce.

Neil Stewart, CEO of Salmon said: “Connected devices are growing at an incredible rate, with 26 billion expected to exist by 2020. Enabled by smart devices, the rise of Programmatic Commerce goes hand-in-hand with this new technology and will contribute considerably to the increased adoption of smart devices in the UK.”

Programmatic Commerce focuses on internet-enabled devices with the ability to make smart purchasing decisions based on users’ preferences. For instance, a coffee machine may re-order the owners’ favourite brand of coffee when supplies run low.

The survey conducted by ecommerce consultancy Salmon was distributed to more than 2,000 UK consumers.

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With around 35 percent of consumers already making use of smart tech within their homes, the smart technology devices needed for Programmatic Commerce continues to become more common in British homes.

For instance, the use of contactless payments which has become widely popular in overtaking cheque payments in the UK is one example of digital retail and its benefits. The system represents the next era in digital shopping using connected devices.

Managing director of EMEA, Kibo, John Pincott said: “Technologies such as one-click purchasing, launched by Amazon in the UK this week, prove that making the customer journey as simple as possible is crucial in securing the sale and creating a competitive edge.” (See launch of Amazon Dash)

The survey revealed that consumers recognise the great potential of smart technology for retail experience, with several consumers already using digital methods – from online shopping to mobile. Over 53 percent of users’ state the main advantage being that the process of shopping is made “easier and more convenient.”

Stewart said: “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.”

“Smart devices can bring new levels of convenience and cost-saving into everyday life through innovations such as Programmatic Commerce. In order for us to realise these benefits, there is a need to increase consumers’ awareness of the potential of the Internet of Things and their readiness to take advantage of it. This will be the responsibility of technology providers and stakeholders in the retail sector.”


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