Growing clamour for automated shopping

Customers want convenience. One-click everyday solutions in the form of automated ordering processes hold increasing appeal for many people. But what is the potential of automated ordering processes and how can they be implemented in line with customer requirements? Some answers are contained in a study entitled “Automated shopping – retail hit or hype” from ecommerce and retailing consultancy ECC Köln in collaboration with SAP Customer Experience.

Making everyday life easier

The future is being written today. You’re out of coffee – all it takes is the click of a button or “Alexa, please reorder my coffee!”, and your delivery is on its way to you. This is an increasingly conceivable scenario for your customers as well, and an ever more popular option when it comes to coffee, health and beauty products and food. After all, we are all looking to carve out some time for ourselves. One in every three of us wants to spend less time on everyday purchases and 40 percent of consumers believe automated replenishment processes make everyday life easier. 

Automated ordering systems are convenient, but require intensive advice

Smart systems are regarded as simple, convenient and fast. A third of consumers (and even one in two of those under 20 years of age) already consider smart fridges, washing machines and coffee makers useful.

But the technology raises questions: Who are the providers? How do these systems work in terms of data privacy and more? How do I set them up? How can I avoid unwanted orders? Consumers need a lot of advice – before and after their purchase. This is why only every second person would consider buying a smart system, even after having been personally advised. 60 percent of consumers would also insist on the system being set up for them at home afterwards. There are great opportunities here if vendors work with retailers to develop individual services tailored to consumer needs.

Ordering systems in the stationery sector

Paper, office supplies and stationery do not top the wish list for automated ordering processes. They are very varied and frequently last longer than a pack of coffee beans or detergent. But there are certain products which, by their very nature, are prime candidates for automated ordering in the area of office supplies: copy paper and ink cartridges followed by envelopes. And once customers get used to these kinds of ordering systems, they will want this level of convenience for other products as well. 30 percent of the participants in the study stated that they would prefer to be supplied via a nearby store. So retailers need to keep their eyes open and get in on the action in good time: you need to notice when such ordering systems are devised for products in your own range so that you can get your foot in the door at the right moment and benefit as well.

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The study entitled “Automated shopping – retail hit or hype” was published in 2018 by ECC Köln in collaboration with SAP Customer Experience. It is available in German on the SAP Customer Experience website, where it can be downloaded free of charge