New research has revealed the impact innovative in-store technology will have on where British consumers shop, coming as a stark warning to retailers. The research of 2,000 British consumers, published by Hitachi Consulting, exposes attitudes to technology of different generations and incomes – identifying millennials as the group retailers can target to boost sales and grow market share.

Over two-thirds (69%) of respondents aged 24-35 claimed they would be more likely to shop with a retailer that was enhancing the shopping experience with innovative in-store technology. This generation has also proved over the last 10 years that it is the most likely to change its shopping habits, with almost three-quarters (72%) stating their routine differs to a decade ago.

Peppa the robot has the ability to assist customers

This contrasts with previous generations. The likelihood of changing shopping habits because of technology falls as age increases: less than 1 in 10 baby boomers would shop elsewhere to benefit from in-store technology and only 6% of those of retirement age (65+). These age groups have also changed the least in the last decade (36% for baby boomers and 33% for shoppers aged 65 and older).

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The research has also revealed how the likelihood of Brits changing where they shop to benefit from technology increases in parallel with income. Whereas only around 15% of respondents with lower income would be influenced by technology, over two-thirds of Brits with an income of £75,000-£99,000 would, as would three-quarters earning £100,000 and 9 out of 10 earning over £125,000.

“The research is clear: retail technology, such as digital signage and real-time inventory availability systems, will directly affect where consumers will shop in future,” comments Hitachi Consulting’s retail specialist, Pierson Broome. “We’re seeing more retailers experiment with innovative in-store technology and the ones who best capture its ability to enhance the customer experience will be most likely to satisfy the growing demand from younger generations. Considering these will be the highest earners and biggest spenders over the next few decades, retailers must seize the opportunity technology offers to gain their custom.”