ORLANDO, FL: American consumers are open to new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, but brands operating in this field must tread carefully or risk a backlash, a new report has revealed.
That is according to Oracle Retail, the retail and hospitality division of tech giant Oracle, which polled more than 700 consumers in February 2017 about their attitudes towards virtual reality and other new technologies.
The research found that almost two-thirds (64%) liked the option of using virtual reality to navigate a personalised in-store experience, or to build a hand-picked wardrobe to try on in-store.
A similar proportion (67%) liked the option of drones delivering to their doorstep in near-time, while 64% responded favourably to the concept of having a retailer suggest a custom-made accessory for them produced with 3D printing.
And regarding grocery shopping, 58% of US consumers were positive about retailers suggesting a shopping list based on purchase history and social data.
However, Oracle Retail warned, it is essential for brands to get consumers onside when rolling out new technological experiences.
"Establishing a foundation of trust is critical to success," the report said, adding that if brands overstep the mark then the reaction from consumers could be "visceral".
For example, 54% of survey respondents indicated that having a grocer automatically charge and ship items based on purchase history, social and environmental data was invasive.
And another 57% of consumers considered apparel recommendations from robots, based on their social media profile, to be invasive.
"Consumers clearly indicated that they have a conservative appetite for retail technologies that requires deep personal data and make decisions on their behalf," said Mike Webster, SVP and General Manager at Oracle Retail and Oracle Hospitality.
"This signals brands to focus on building a strong foundation to win trust," he added. "Warm attitudes toward utilising virtual reality and receiving recommendations for custom-made accessories produced with 3D printing points to consumers' willingness to adopt new technologies if they are in control of their experience."
Data sourced from Oracle Retail; additional content by Warc staff