Study: Consumers embrace purchases through connected devices

Amazon Echo
Amazon's Echo is just one connected device looking to seamlessly connect consumers to online purchasing. (Amazon)

Retail’s trend toward connected purchasing has been steady. Amazon, for one, is full bore on the trend and announced an array of new devices in the Echo line of products last week. These link consumers to quick and convenient purchasing through their Amazon account, while still more integrated devices, such as GE and Samsung’s connected refrigerators, allow grocery purchases right from the appliance.

Now, a new study has put some numbers behind manufacturers' and e-tailers' hopes that consumers are ready and willing to leverage the internet of things to make purchases.

Forty-eight percent of consumers said they would be comfortable with a connected appliance making a purchase on their behalf, according to new research by global payments company Worldpay.

While consumers are warming to connected purchases, the survey of more than 20,000 consumers did show there’s room retail to grow consumers’ trust. The survey found 62% wanted to approve all purchases before they were made and 78% wanted to be notified before the order was placed.

In a press release on the study, Casey Bullock, general manager for North America at Worldpay, said the findings suggest consumer want a “conscious ‘act of consent,’” which may come in the form of pushing a button, push notification or rules consumers set around their purchases.

One area where retailers could provide customers with additional assurance is in disclosing how their data from smart devices is used. Almost three-quarters of those surveyed were concerned about how their data is used. Even more, 77%, said they worried their devices would be hacked.

The survey also found that half of consumers would be comfortable with drones delivering their purchases.