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M-Cube Research and Università Bocconi on the perception of technologies in stores: useful and easy to use for 75%, for 73% it improves the perception of the brand

For over 80% of the interviewees, technology will have an impact on the store personnel, in agreement mainly young people with a high standard of education

M-Cube, the European leader in solutions of digital engagement for points of sale, has supported an exploratory survey on the perceptions and expectations of consumers on the role of digital content developed and introduced into stores.

The study was conducted by a research team coordinated by Professor Andrea Ordanini of the Università Bocconi of Milan with the aim of investigating the perception of technologies and digital solutions installed in the network of retail points of sale and, as a consequence, their effectiveness in terms of usefulness, easiness of adoption and impact on the role of the personnel, on the shopping experience and on the results of the store.

The study, applied in the field, was carried out by stopping and interviewing in depth 100 people at the end of their shopping experience, in the stores with technologies supplied by M-Cube.

The first element that emerges from the study is that over 75% of the interviewees consider technology definitely useful, without any difference of gender, age, country of origin, level of education and average length of time of shopping. In particular, however, the usefulness of technology is greater for the youngest consumers and for regular customers of the brand. Similarly, the technology is considered easy to use, again without particular distinctions in the sample, although with a greater impact on the youngest and the best educated, who evaluate the technology as more practical and intuitive.

For about 80% of the interviewees, however,  technology will have an impact on the role of the staff, whose role is expected to change more by the younger and educated customers. In particular,  the usefulness of technology is also associated with the impact that it has on the personnel,  especially if the underlying promise intends to give the customer freedom in the shopping experience (ability to find their way around the offer and the customer experience, consultation of catalogues and lastly, check-out methods).

On the other hand, as far as the impact that technology has on the perception of the brand is concerned, according to the customer, the findings are broadly positive: for 73%, technology improves the perception of the brand, especially for regular customers and young customers. Furthermore, the inclination for positive word-of-mouth on the store is very high for the whole sample. Lastly, it follows on that the usefulness of in-store digital contents is responsible for the results of the store, due to the effect on the branding, the shopping experience and on word-of-mouth increased by technology.

Leonardo Comelli, Commercial Director of M-Cube, had this to say on the results of the study: “The most interesting element that emerges from this study is how the presence of in-store technologies, especially in the case of fashion and luxury brands, has a strong and positive influence on the perception of the brands. Technology makes the store an important opportunity for communication of the brand and the place where, in a multichannel strategy, the customer has the most exciting and fascinating meeting with the product.”

According to Andrea Ordanini, Professor of Marketing & Service Analytics, BNP Paribas Endowed Chair at the Università Bocconi: “To summarize, technology will play a fundamental role in redesigning many stores of the future, but not to purely replace contact personnel, but as an element facilitating the relationship of service between the consumer and the brand.”

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