Give us humans and not robots, UK shoppers demand

Machines lose 485m worth of ads.jpg newLocation-based marketing may have been hailed as a new treasure trove of possibilities to target consumers – through spying mannequins, iBeacons, artificial intelligence and even virtual mirrors – but it is an acquired taste, with the majority of shoppers still preferring the human touch from their retailers.
So says a study by property development and investment company Hammerson which claims that just 22% of 45- to 54-year-olds find location-based marketing “appealing” or “very appealing”, and only 5% of those aged 65 and over would say the same.
Even among the core demographic of 25- to 34-year-olds, fewer than half (48%) find location-based marketing appealing.
Perhaps surprisingly, older customers were more switched on by virtual reality, though young people remained the most interested as more than half (52%) of 25- to 35-year-olds expressed enthusiasm compared to 25% of 45- to 54-year-olds and 12% of those above 65.
Women proved particularly receptive to new innovations, with 49% of female respondents expressing an interest in personalised promotions compared to 36% of men.
A total of 45% of female consumers also found the use of virtual mirrors to be “appealing” or “very appealing” compared to just 34% of men.
Among all age groups, only a third (36%) welcomed delivery drones, as 75% said they would worry about the safety of such a service, 76% would worry about security and 66% would be unwilling to pay more than they do for standard delivery.
And despite the fact that 34% of consumers have used their mobile at least once a week to make a purchase, a majority (59%) of shoppers still prefer to use a till staffed by an actual person; 44% try to avoid using self-service checkouts as they find them irritating or difficult to use and 65% said they worry about the security of mobile payments.

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