Smarter use of store technology gives retailers a head start in race to attract holiday shoppers

NCR consumer research says Americans wish for more assistance in the aisles, greater flexibility across channels this holiday season

 DULUTH, Ga. – As U.S. retailers head toward Black Friday and face increasing competition to woo time-starved and value-conscious shoppers, those using technology that frees up associates to spend more time in the store helping customers and enable seamless interactions across channels are likely to deliver better sales and customer experience. This is the key finding of recent research conducted by The NPD Group for NCR Corporation.  

During the holidays, shoppers have even less time, so making sure the right products are on the shelves and associates are on hand becomes vital for retailers. The research found that two out of three consumers find it valuable to have more associates on the sales floor instead of doing other front-of-store tasks, such as staffing checkout lanes.

The survey results also demonstrate the increasing importance of handheld devices as a customer service tool, with half of respondents preferring to receive assistance from associates with tablets and smart phones. Employees armed with these devices can check prices, locate items and compare products. This technology allows associates to have a larger knowledge base to aid in purchasing decisions or conduct customer checkouts remotely, enhancing and expediting the entire shopping process.

More than half (54 percent) of respondents stated that more personalized attention from retail associates improves their in-store experience. Additional NCR research data shows that U.S. retailers can see revenue increases up to 7 percent per hour by using self-checkout technology to deploy employees to other parts of the store to help customers.

“While recent sales figures show continued volatility in consumer confidence, industry organizations predict increases in consumer spending,” said Scott Kingsfield, senior vice president and general manager of NCR’s retail line of business. “Our research shows that retailers can capitalize by having the right associates in the right place to help shoppers, and making it simple, fast and easy for time-starved consumers to interact seamlessly across channels.”

Online shopping will be part of many consumers holiday shopping experience. U.S. consumers surveyed value buy online and pick-up in the store (43 percent), but the ability to buy, take delivery or return a product across all channels (stores, online and mobile) is more attractive to shoppers, with 64 percent of respondents saying it was extremely or very important.

Consumers will also spend a significant amount of time mapping out their Black Friday and other holiday shopping trips in advance, with 51 percent of respondents visiting a retailer’s Website before shopping. More than one-third (39 percent) of respondents will visit third party coupon Websites before shopping, and 38 percent will visit third party price comparison Websites before shopping.

For additional information on the NCR consumer research, including a whitepaper with more detailed research findings, please visit

About the research:
NCR Corporation commissioned The NPD Group to conduct a survey in 2011 among 1,104 respondents in the United States and Canada, 1,600 respondents in France, Germany, Italy and the U.K., and 600 respondents in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. The NPD Group is a leading international market research firm in Port Washington, NY.

About NCR Corporation
NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a global technology company leading how the world connects, interacts and transacts with business. NCR’s assisted- and self-service solutions and comprehensive support services address the needs of retail, financial, travel, healthcare, hospitality, entertainment, gaming, public sector, telecom carrier and equipment organizations in more than 100 countries. NCR ( is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia.


NCR is a trademark of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries.


Media Contact:

Cameron Smith
NCR Corporation