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28% of consumers don’t expect retail tech to be available anytime soon

To shop online is to use technology in a way that few even imagined until the very end of the 20th century. In the years since, new retail technologies have quickly emerged while shoppers now have ever-changing expectations of current and future uses, the ConsumerX 2024 report has found.

ConsumerX research asks shoppers in Europe and in markets further afield about retail technologies. Some, such as social commerce and augmented reality, are relatively established, while others are still emerging. ConsumerX asked more than 7,200 shoppers in 14 countries what they have used in the past year.


Social commerce, used by 27.2% of respondents in the last year, was the most popular technology, followed closely by live shopping (25.8%), where shoppers buy through a livestream video in which presenters or influencers demonstrate and recommend products. 

As yet, fewer (16.1%) have used virtual shopping assistants – AI-powered bots that offer product advice – or trialled augmented reality (15.2%) in order to see how an item would look in their home or other space. 

Voice shopping through devices such as Amazon Alexa or Google Voice Assistant has a low take-up, with 11% having used it in the last year. Even fewer (7.6%) have shopped through the metaverse. Indeed, the largest group are those who did not use any of these technologies in the past year – accounting for 45.2% of all respondents. 

Future technology expectations

While most shoppers expect their favourite brands to offer one or more of these technologies in the future, a significant 28.7% don’t expect any of them to be available anytime soon. 

The biggest interest (32%) is in the development of augmented reality features that are already being widely used by brands such as Lego to showcase toys and DFS to present available sofas within a customer’s home. 28.6% expect brands to offer help from virtual shopping assistants in the future, while 27.5% expect to be able to try live shopping soon. There appear to be lower levels of interest in voice (18.0%) and metaverse (16.5%) shopping.

Social commerce

Although social commerce is currently one of the most well-used technologies in this list, ConsumerX findings suggest that interest may decline over time. Fewer people (25.1%) expect the brands they buy from to offer this as a sales channel in the future – a figure down from 27.2% the previous year. 

Looking in more detail, 44.2% say they bought through social media sites in the past year, which is a slightly looser definition than social commerce. The most popular are Instagram, used for a purchase by 51.7% of social media shoppers, and Facebook, used by 51.2%. Snapchat (11.9%) and Pinterest (11.4%) are relatively less used.


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