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UK customers ‘happy to be served by a robot’

A third of respondents in a Fujitsu survey said they’d be happy to be served by a robot when they go to the supermarket.

The Transforming Britain Report conducted by the IT company also found that 34% of the 2,145 consumers asked would like an automated machine to deliver their goods.

A desire for more experiential shopping experiences was suggested as 46% of respondents said augmented reality (AR) would positively impact retail, while 22% said the same of virtual reality (VR).

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Some 45% said that they felt technology could improve the convenience and ease with which they accessed products and services, and half said they were excited about the way technology is changing life in the UK.

The 647 business leaders also involved in the survey displayed a disconnect with consumers’ needs as 57% of those asked said they had no plans to implement VR in the next 12 months and 49% said the same for AI.

A quarter of the retailers asked said they were disappointed by technology’s return on investment and said it made it difficult to connect with customers.

Rupal Karia, MD of the commercial sector of Fujitsu UK and Ireland, said: “Consumers have a clear appetite for technology and innovation and are ready and wanting more. When it comes to retail, consumers already say that they would be happy to be served by a robot in a supermarket or to have an automated machine to deliver their goods.

“This presents an exciting opportunity for retailers, who may have thought such futuristic technologies would have scared customers away when actually it will entice consumers towards them more.

He added: “There’s a clear disconnect between how retailers view themselves in this wave of technological change we undergoing right now. Instead of focusing on how technology can improve their offering and further loyalty amongst their customers, many are focused on the increased competitions and the disruption to their sector.”

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