Cantaloupe, Inc. Survey Finds Usage of Unattended Retail Grew During Pandemic, Fueled Mostly by Younger Consumers
Data Security and Options to Pay with Cash are More Important to Younger Shoppers
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The Future of Unattended Retail (photo:
Nearly half of consumers who increased usage in unattended retail during the pandemic cited speed (49 percent), social distancing (49 percent) and convenience (47 percent) as reasons for the increase. Sixty-eight percent of those respondents noted in the survey it is important to have a touchless option post-pandemic.
“We learned a great deal from the pandemic, particularly the resiliency of unattended retail which was tested to its core,” said
Forty-one percent of respondents who purchased an item through an unattended channel in the three months prior to the survey said unattended options make them more likely to shop in a retailer’s other channels in the future.
Other findings include:
Range of Payment Options Important to Younger Shoppers
While debit and credit are the most preferred payment method overall (67 percent), nearly one in five respondents (19 percent) noted preferring cash, and 12 percent preferring payment apps like Venmo, Google Pay and others. Interestingly, among those respondents between 18-34, 25 percent prefer cash. This compares to only 11 percent of participants 55 and over.
Shoppers More Interested in
Eighty-two percent of consumers have some interest in purchasing non-traditional items from a vending machine, and the increase has grown significantly since 2019, the time of the last survey. Clothing showed the greatest two-year increase with 70 percent of respondents interested in purchasing these items now, versus only 55 percent in 2019. Health and beauty showed a significant increase as well with 71 percent in 2021 versus 64 percent in 2019.
The Speed of Unattended Retail Greatest Driver to Increased Usage
Sixty percent of respondents (versus 49 percent in 2019) noted the speed of unattended retail was driving usage overall with 45 percent of respondents noting that not having to talk to a store employee and having shorter lines were also key drivers (compared to 35 percent in 2019, respectively).
Worth noting, however, is that while a growing number of respondents said that improvements in data security were driving usage (18 percent in 2021 versus 10 percent in 2019), this is especially likely among younger consumers. Thirty percent of 18-34-year-olds say that data security is a driver of usage, compared to only 12 percent of respondents age 35-54 and 6 percent of older respondents age 55 and over.
More than Half of Respondents Use Unattended Retail At Least Once a Month
Of those who purchased products through unattended retail in the three months prior to the survey, 37 percent said they continue to make purchases through unattended once per week, with 19 percent purchasing once a month.
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Cantaloupe’s findings are based on the results of a
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