No Retail Tech, Please. We're Affluent

Author: Jen King

August 20, 2018

About one in five affluent consumers in the US make no use of any technology while in stores. That’s right: no price checks on a smartphone while shopping, no taking pictures of products and certainly no mobile payments.

They don’t even use self-serve checkout lanes!

As part of a multi-country study of affluent shopping habits, YouGov surveyed more than 2,700 consumers in the US whose income fell in the top 10% to 0.5%.

Of these upscale shoppers in the US, 19% said they don’t use any technology in-store at all. “They wait in line to check out,” the YouGov study noted, “they accept the prices presented to them, they swipe a card or pay cash.”

While this group of traditional shoppers is fairly extreme in its technology avoidance, none of the options covered in the survey were used by a majority of affluent shoppers in the US. For example, only 41% use self-serve checkout. A mere 15% of US affluents use mobile payments.

Interestingly, these wealthy shoppers were not averse to ecommerce. About three-quarters of the affluent shoppers surveyed said they had made electronics and footwear purchases online, and more than half had purchased apparel, beauty or food items online.

Wealthy or not, US users tend to still want a cashier to handle their purchases. According to CivicScience, 57% of internet users prefer a cashier, while 33% prefer handling the checkout themselves.