A new survey from the Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab shows that smartphone shoppers are interested in a smart assistant to help with purchase selections, automatic re-stocking of certain items and to receive deliveries when they are not at home.

The Beyond smartphone shopping – the rise of smart assistants report, released this month, used an online survey of 5,048 “advanced internet users in Johannesburg, London, Mexico City, Moscow, New York, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo.”

Some key findings from the survey include:

  • 67 percent of smartphone shoppers regularly pay with their phones in-store
  • 36 percent of smartphone shoppers believe that “they should pay lower prices in stores than online if they take the trouble to go there”
  • 43 percent of smartphone shoppers want shopping assistants to help narrow down purchasing choices
  • 47 percent of smartphone shoppers want a service that automatically restocks every day items
  • 44 percent of smartphone shoppers want a digital assistant to receive deliveries when they aren’t at home
  • 69 percent of augmented and virtual reality users thing that smartphones will deliver all of the benefits of brick and mortar stores in three years

The first thing that jumped out when looking at these findings was just how much of this Amazon is already working on. In addition to driving down prices, Amazon’s Dash system inches customers towards automatic re-stocking of staple items, Amazon Key is a new service to accept deliveries in your home or car when you aren’t there (and Amazon might even be working on a robot assistant), and the company is even experimenting with AR.

The study also points to the important role AI will play in our shopping. As we are inundated with tons of choices for everyday items, an intelligent assistant who is able to understand our history, preferences and probably even genetics (some day) will be able to whittle down that list to find the right product for us. As the study notes, smartphone shoppers are also looking to smart speakers from Amazon and Google to provide smart shopping assistance and handle routine house shopping needs.

While this survey should be considered a data point and part of an overall glimpse into the current and future state of shopping, anyone in grocery retail should take note and smarten up.

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