Connected Retailer Survey Shows Voice-Activated Shopping in Canada is still in its Infancy, but Demand is Increasing

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Feb. 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With numerous new apps and devices to make online shopping quick and easy, there has never been more pressure on brick and mortar retailers to bring the same convenience in-store. According to SOTI's Connected Retailer Survey, Canadian consumers are demanding more in-store mobile technology and innovation for a convenient shopping experience without forfeiting human interaction. Additionally, Canadians who own in-home Virtual Assistants have already started using them for voice-activated shopping and majority of consumers have expressed their comfort in being offered new shipping methods, such as using drones and automated vehicles.

In-Store Mobile Technology
Through a survey that looked at Canadian consumers’ shopping habits both online and in-store, 64 per cent of respondents indicated retailers that utilize more mobile technology (both self-service and through sales associates) enable a faster shopping experience. While 62 per cent of Canadian consumers favour self-service technologies – such as kiosks, digital signage and self-checkout – to improve in-store shopping experience, 78 per cent of consumers are still in favour of arming sales associates with technology to improve their shopping experience.

“SOTI’s Connected Retailer Survey indicates that consumers want technology that provides them with a quicker and more convenient shopping experience without losing the human contact they find in stores,” said Ryan Webber, Director of Enterprise Mobility at SOTI. “In an era where mobility has endless possibilities, these results prove the critical role that mobile technology can play in enhancing a customer’s retail experience, and retailers need to start delivering on customer’s evolving expectations quickly and efficiently.”

Webber continued, “That opportunity is for retailers to invest in platforms that provide a holistic mobile experience – from building mobile apps, that are both customer- and sales associate-facing, managing critical processes like payment transactions, and being able to quickly troubleshoot devices on the floor to reduce downtime, and, ultimately, customer frustration.”

When it comes to supplying in-store sales associates with the right mobile solutions to improve speed and convenience while shopping, 75 per cent of Canadian consumers prefer handheld or fixed devices to check inventory availability and prices, and 34 per cent favour mobile devices to purchase inventory on the sales floor.

Voice-Activated Shopping/Virtual Assistants
Mobile apps are not the only competition brick and mortar stores face. This year, Amazon announced a record breaking number of its devices sold, with the Echo Dot smart speaker being one of its best sellers. Virtual Assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home have promised to change the way consumers shop, but according to SOTI’s survey, of the 31 per cent of Canadians who have an in-home Virtual Assistant, only 11 per cent have used it for voice-activated shopping. In comparison, 25 per cent of U.S. consumers with a Virtual Assistant have used it for voice-activated shopping.

“With companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon transforming how society uses technology backing Virtual Assistants, we are keeping a keen eye on how these voice-activated technologies can be used in-store by both consumers and associates,” said Webber. “With a relatively small penetration in Canada, retailers need to consider moving forward in this area. We suspect that as more consumers adopt using Virtual Assistants in their homes and workplaces, they will begin to shop more using voice-activated technology.”

Consumer Shipping Innovations
Mobile technology not only has the capability to transform where consumers buy, but it can also transform the methods in how they receive what they buy. Sixty-four per cent of Canadian consumers expressed that they would be comfortable with new shipping methods offered by retailers. While consumers are comfortable with in-home delivery (41.3 per cent) and delivery to trunk of car (41.3 per cent), they are becoming significantly more comfortable with retailers and transportation companies using drones (27.67 per cent) and autonomous vehicles (25.3 per cent).

Webber concluded, “While there has been a steady increase in the desire for new delivery options, few companies like Amazon are leading the pack in employing these methods. Mobile technology and IoT devices afford the opportunity to make these distribution methods a reality and we expect to see retailers adopt more modern solutions to meet consumers innovative demands.”

Methodology:
SOTI surveyed 506 consumers in Canada ranging from 18 to 60 years old. The survey was conducted during December 2018 via Survey Monkey.

About SOTI Inc.
SOTI is the world's most trusted provider of mobile and IoT device management solutions, with more than 17,000 enterprise customers and millions of devices managed worldwide. SOTI's innovative portfolio of solutions and services provide the tools organizations need to truly mobilize their operations and optimize their mobility investments. SOTI extends secure mobility management to provide a total, flexible solution for comprehensive management and security of all mobile devices and connected peripherals deployed in an organization. For more information, visit www.soti.net.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Stephanie Lopinski
SOTI Inc.
519-998-1966
Stephanie.Lopinski@soti.net