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Insight of the Day: Consumers embrace some, but not all, automation

The adoption of automation in retail and restaurants is a topic of interest for consumers worldwide. Let’s delve into the findings from the recent survey conducted by Software Advice:

  1. Consumer Acceptance:

  • 72% of consumers are already users of automated technologies, including self-checkout, curbside pickup, and contactless payment.

  • 73% of consumers prioritize swift in-and-out experiences at grocery stores, and 52% express the same preference for other retail stores.

  1. Benefits of Automated Tech:

  • Consumers appreciate the speed and convenience that automated tech brings to in-store shopping and restaurant ordering.

  • Human-centered customer service remains crucial, especially in restaurants.

  1. Views on Automated Food Preparation:

  • 55% of global consumers find automated food preparation unacceptable for both quick-service and table-service restaurants.

  • However, some diners are more open to robot servers in quick-service (30%) and table-service (10%) establishments.

  1. AI Tools for Ordering:

  • Nearly half (49%) of restaurant visitors are likely to order food through an AI tool (e.g., chatbot or drive-thru).

  • AI can enhance wait times and provide personalized recommendations based on past orders.

  1. Personalized Recommendations and Automation:

  • Only 33% of consumers find it acceptable for businesses to exclusively use automated tech for delivering personalized recommendations.

  • A slightly higher figure (35%) approves of full automation for returns, exchanges, and refunds.

As technology continues to evolve, finding the right balance between automation and personalized service remains essential for businesses.

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