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New research: brands misunderstanding what tech-savvy shoppers want

Elastic Path, the leading provider of enterprise API commerce solutions, today launched a new data report: “The Sci-Fi Shopper: How to Future Proof Your Brand for the New Consumer.” The original data reveals a deep disconnect between what modern consumers want and what brands deliver.

When asked about the most common retail pain points, brands universally underestimated the issues their customers experience most:

Customer pain points


57% of shoppers say they experience queues
35%  of shoppers say this is something they feel frustrated by

Lack of inventory
55% of shoppers experience stock shortages
32% have described this as frustrating or annoying

Customer service wait times
42% of shoppers felt they waited too long to talk to customer service
36% of shoppers found this affected their shopping experience

Uninformed staff
38% of shoppers felt that staff were not sufficiently informed to help them
20% of shoppers identified this as a pain point

Brands invest heavily in trying to solve problems with technology, to the tune of $210B per year. They think they’re doing well in delivering tech-savvy retail experiences, but their customers disagree. Brands surveyed in Elastic Path’s report rated their offerings in “futuristic” shopping a 7 out of 10. Customers rated them a mere 4.

“This report is a timely reminder that consumer needs are simple: They want to save time and money,” said Harry Chemko, CEO of Elastic Path. “Customer loyalty really comes down to listening to your customers and solving simple problems.”

Consumers are willing to buy with new technology, but brands aren’t delivering

Elastic Path’s research reveals a gap between the features customers use — or want to use — and what brands actually offer:

The features customers want:

Checkout-less payments
67% of customers said they wanted checkout-less payments, but only 18% of brands offer this option

Voice commerce
57%  of respondents said they wanted to use voice-commerce, but only 23% of brands offer this option

Smart devices 
58% of customers said they wanted to use smart devices, but only 25% of brands offer this option

Facial recognition
55% of customers said they wanted to use facial recognition, but only 20% of brands offer this option

There’s a lot of potential if brands get the ‘futuristic’ experience right. The majority of customers (81%) haven’t yet tried using voice technology to make purchases, but those who have are hooked. Of the consumers who have used voice technology to make purchases, 22% use it multiple times a week and 21% use it at least weekly. This proves shoppers have a strong appetite for new technology when it truly adds value to their busy lives.

The key to Sci-Fi Shopper loyalty: Frictionless commerce, every time.

“When it comes to new technology, brands continue to chase shiny objects. Consumers just want to buy the products they need with as little effort as possible,” said Darin Archer, CMO of Elastic Path. “Companies need a strong commerce backend that supports the latest innovations without sacrificing customer experience. It’s up to brands to make any experience shoppable. With the right tech, they can enable consumers to purchase almost without thinking, anytime and anywhere.”

Elastic Path collected this data from 1,015 consumers who shopped online in the six months before the survey. Brand data was sourced from 300 professionals who work in a marketing role for a B2C company that sells products online.

The full report includes data on features customers value most, where brands need to invest and how commerce technology can power competition against retail heavy-hitters like Amazon. Download a copy of the full report here.