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New Research Confirms Brands Still Misunderstand Shoppers' Needs

Elastic Path data shows where brands fail to provide frictionless buying experiences


VANCOUVER, CANADA -- June 17, 2019 -- Elastic Path, the leading provider of enterprise API commerce solutions, today launched new data report: “The Sci-Fi Shopper: How to Future Proof Your Brand for the New Consumer.” The original data reveals a deep disconnect between what modern consumers want and what brands deliver.

When asked about the most common retail pain points, brands universally underestimated the issues their customers experience most:  

Customer Pain PointPercent of shoppers who experience
this issue
Percent of brands that believe this issue
is a pain point
Long checkout lines57%35%
Lack of inventory55%32%
Customer service wait times42%36%
Uninformed staff38%20%


Brands invest heavily in trying to solve problems with technology, to the tune of $210B per year. They think they’re doing well in delivering tech-savvy retail experiences, but their customers disagree. Brands surveyed in Elastic Path’s report rated their offerings in “futuristic” shopping a 7 out of 10. Customers rated them a mere 4.

“This report is a timely reminder that consumer needs are simple: They want to save time and money,” said Harry Chemko, CEO of Elastic Path. “Customer loyalty really comes down to listening to your customers and solving simple problems.”


Consumers are willing to buy with new technology, but brands aren’t delivering

Elastic Path’s research reveals a gap between the features customers use — or want to use — and what brands actually offer:

FeaturePercentage of customers
who want to use it
Brands that offer it
Checkout-less payments67%18%
Voice commerce57%23%
Smart devices58%25%
Facial recognition55%20%


There’s a lot of potential if brands get the ‘futuristic’ experience right. The majority of customers (81%) haven’t yet tried using voice technology to make purchases, but those who have are hooked. Of the consumers who have used voice technology to make purchases, 22% use it multiple times a week and 21% use it at least weekly. This proves shoppers have a strong appetite for new technology when it truly adds value to their busy lives.


The key to Sci-Fi Shopper loyalty: Frictionless commerce, every time

“When it comes to new technology, brands continue to chase shiny objects. Consumers just want to buy the products they need with as little effort as possible,” said Darin Archer, CMO of Elastic Path. “Companies need a strong commerce backend that supports the latest innovations without sacrificing customer experience. It’s up to brands to make any experience shoppable. With the right tech, they can enable consumers to purchase almost without thinking, anytime and anywhere.”

Elastic Path collected this data from 1,015 consumers who shopped online in the six months before the survey. Brand data was sourced from 300 professionals who work in a marketing role for a B2C company that sells products online.

The full report includes data on features customers value most, where brands need to invest and how commerce technology can power competition against retail heavy-hitters like Amazon. Download a copy of the full report here.