Londoners lead the UK in mindset towards retail technology

06/20/2018 London

Londoners are embracing the use of advanced technology in retail more than any other region in the UK, according to new research conducted by Hitachi Consulting. The survey of 2,000 consumers established that almost nine out of 10 Londoners (86%) would be happy to be monitored by innovative in-store technology if it means an improved experience. This contrasts with the rest of the UK, with one in three consumers opposing being monitored in a retail environment.

This comes as retailers are increasingly experimenting with technologies like electronic shelf labels and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging – sensors that can track what customers pick up from shelves) that will make stores more 'intelligent' and enable them to gain better insights into customers and facilitate a personalised shopping experience.

London is the only region in the UK where shoppers would be more likely (66%) to shop at a large supermarket if it offered technological innovations. Improved store layout and personalised prompts when you forget an item are just two of the benefits Londoners approve of. Shoppers in the rest of the UK generally would not change where they shop to take advantage of technology that improves experience.

“We’ve all been into stores when they’re testing new technology; Londoners are clearly excited by this, while the rest of the country appears cautious. Londoners have fully accepted the significant opportunities that technology innovations present the retail sector and acknowledge that retailers with better customer insight can deliver them a smarter and superior customer experience,” commented Hitachi Consulting Retail specialist, Pierson Broome.

Londoners’ attitudes in favour of greater technology in retail may be a result of positive experiences to date. Over half (54%) of London-based shoppers currently consider their supermarket ‘intelligent’, compared with only 4% in the South West, 6% in Yorkshire and Humber, and 7% in East Anglia.

Broome continues, "For bricks and mortar retailers, experimenting with technology-led innovations is the only way to level the playing field in the battle against their data-rich online competitors. The survey results strongly indicate that they have allies in Londoners, who are actively in favour of experimentation with - and implementation of - new technologies.

“Innovation in retail is paramount, particularly now, when retailers are struggling to motivate consumers to remain loyal to their brand. By using innovative technology, retailers can offer a superior shopping experience, helping them to retain customers and better compete with online retailers."

About Hitachi Consulting
Hitachi Consulting is the global solutions and professional services organisation within Hitachi Ltd., a global innovation leader in industrial and information technology solutions and an early pioneer of the Internet of Things. Hitachi Consulting is a business integrator for the IoT era and a catalyst for digital transformation. Using our deep domain knowledge, we collaborate with clients to help them innovate faster, maximise operational efficiency and realise measurable, sustainable business and societal value. As a consulting-led solutions company, we can help you leverage data as a strategic asset to drive competitive differentiation, customer loyalty and growth. Visit hitachiconsulting.com.

About Hitachi, Ltd
Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, delivers innovations that answer society’s challenges with our talented team and proven experience in global markets. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal 2016 (ended March 31, 2017) totalled 10,034 billion yen ($89.3 billion). Hitachi is focusing more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes power & infrastructure systems, information & telecommunication systems, construction machinery, high functional materials & components, automotive systems, healthcare and others. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi.com.