Automatic Replenishment Sounds Good (but Not to All Shoppers)

Study finds skepticism as well as enthusiasm

November 28, 2017

Consumers seem to have mixed feelings about signing up for automatic replenishment programs, according to a new study from Oracle.

The survey, which took place in July 2017, was conducted among more than 15,000 consumers worldwide. It covered a wide variety of attitudes about shopping and purchasing, touching on personalization, returns, payments and technology.

With regard to replenishment programs, the study found that roughly half of respondents around the globe were relatively open to the concept, at least in the abstract: Some 48% said they thought online automatic replenishment would be important to their experience in the future. 

About one-third of shoppers said grocery replenishment sounded "creepy."

But in the present, 33% of those polled by Oracle said they thought it would be "creepy" for a supermarket to ship grocery items based on personal data, including date of purchase. On the other hand, 40% said it would be "awesome" if supermarkets were to use the same technology to suggest items—but not automatically send and charge for them.

Earlier this year, an A.T. Kearney study found muted interest in regular replenishment programs for beauty and personal care products.

More than half of the US digital beauty shoppers surveyed said monthly replenishment wasn't important to them at all, and 23% said it was not significantly important. Not surprisingly, price was the most important factor.

Photo by Lacey Williams on Unsplash