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Diebold Nixdorf and Nielsen explore the motivations and preferences behind retail technology adoption

Survey results provide insight to retailers on how to better connect with consumers and customise their shopping journey.

Diebold Nixdorf and Nielsen have announced results from The Nielsen International Grocery Shopper and Technology Survey. Commissioned by Diebold Nixdorf, this survey provides valuable insights to retailers about consumers’ grocery shopping journeys, and the role that technology plays in supporting or even shaping these journeys.

Nielsen surveyed and segmented 15,000 shoppers ages 18-65 across 15 countries throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific; 94% of the respondents were either the primary grocery shopper for their household, or frequent buyers and decision makers about food, grocery and personal care items for their family. Six typologies emerged, each showing a unique motivation on why and how consumers leverage technology along their shopping journey:

  • Well-Balanced Traditionalists are driven by long-standing habits and have not yet made a strong connection between retail and technology.
  • Sensible Socializers need to feel at ease with solutions before they use them, and still have some preference for human connections.
  • Hesitant Potentials are generally tech-savvy but give thorough consideration to privacy – they need some convincing about the value and benefit of new solutions.
  • Hands-On Pragmatists are highly self-directed and looking for solutions that will save them time.
  • Modern Convenience Seekers are keen on information and expect a seamless shopping journey that’s supported regardless of their choice of channel.
  • Aspirational Tech Fans tend to be the early adopters—they always search for new experiences and will be the first ones to try out new options offered by their stores of choice.

In the US, the dominant typology recorded was the Hands-On Pragmatist with 25% of those surveyed falling into this category. They are described as a busy, rational problem-solver who prefers self-checkout, uses technology to save time and is motivated by efficiency, price and control. Immediate access to products is a key driver and shopping motivation for this segment, and they are most likely to visit a store to discover new products. Ninety-nine percent of Hands-On Pragmatists will generally prefer self-checkout if the option is provided.

 Modern technology offers the tools retailers need to help bridge the gap between physical and digital channels. The more a retailer can understand their shoppers, the better they can meet their needs through technology. The findings of The Nielsen International Grocery Shopper and Technology Survey will guide retailers on the technology to prioritize to make every customer feel like their shopping experience is customized to meet their specific needs and preferences.

Waqas Cheema, consumer insights leader, at Nielsen said: “We often experience that companies have only one specific target group in mind when it comes to technology – the early adopters. Within this study, we found that it’s important to have a broader look and to take into account different shopper segments. Even the not so tech-savvy shopper segments are keen to include technology in their journey if it meets their needs or solves an issue. The Sensible Socializers, for example, are not very keen on new technology and generally prefer the staffed check-out lane because personal interaction is important for them, but if they only have a few items, or if there is a queue, four out of five also prefer self-checkout.”

Arvin Jawa, vice president of Retail Americas and Retail Strategy, at Diebold Nixdorf said: “In our conversations with clients and observations in the market, we see many sophisticated approaches to customer segmentation. Yet, we often find one aspect missing – an understanding of how and why shoppers adopt technology differently along their retail journeys, which led to the idea for this research. Retailers can gain inspiration to help them break through the noise and improve journeys by considering the “why” behind how shoppers engage with retail technology.”