Autonomous Shopping Systems: Identifying and Overcoming Barriers to Consumer Adoption
Journal of Retailing
Technologies are becoming increasingly autonomous, able to make decisions and complete tasks on behalf of consumers. Virtual assistants already take care of grocery shopping by replenishing used up ingredients while cooking machines prepare these ingredients and implement recipes. In the future, consumers will be able to delegate large parts of the shopping process to autonomous shopping systems. Whereas the functional benefits of these systems are evident, they challenge psychological consumption motives and ingrained human-machine interactions due to the delegation of decisions and tasks to technology. The authors take a cross-disciplinary approach drawing from research in marketing, psychology, and human-computer interaction to examine barriers to adoption of autonomous shopping systems. They identify different types of psychological and cultural barriers, and suggest ways to craft the online and bricks-and-mortar retail environment to overcome these barriers along the consumer journey. The article finishes with implications for policy makers and a future research agenda for researchers examining autonomous technologies.
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