New Zealanders could soon face an additional step when checking out at their favourite retail stores. This comes as UK-based Fintech firm TruRating starts rolling out surveys disguised as part of a payment transaction.
Appearing on eftpos terminals, the surveys designed by the firm asks one question, from a pool of five, to rate an aspect of the store experience from 0 to 9.
Retailers are coming on board because of the potential insights that can be gleaned from these surveys.
Take, for instance, the fact that New Zealand and Australia shoppers, if greeted by staff on entry to a store, spend on average 20 per cent more than they otherwise would.
This insight came directly from one TruRating survey.
Other insights show a positive shopping experience for New Zealanders depends largely on value for money offered in stores, and that Wednesday is the day New Zealand shoppers are "most happy".
TruRating recently rolled out its technology to a handful of stores in New Zealand, including to Kathmandu, New Balance, Bendon and Nike following a trial period last year.
A handful of other local brands will deploy the technology in the first-half of the year.
In Australia, around 100 retailers use it.
Dylan Berrington, TruRating's Australia and New Zealand manager, said the technology would increasingly pop up in local stores as more retailers deploy the technology. He said it helped retailers gauge how they are performing on the customer experience front.
Feedback is used to track consumer sentiment and replaces the need for mystery shoppers and old-school receipt feedback surveys, he said.
"There's a real opportunity for New Zealand retailers to improve that overall in-store experience, particularly in this day and age where you have international businesses launching into market, H&M and Zara, all those key brands - it's really important for New Zealand retailers to understand what their customers are experiencing and create better experiences."
Globally, less than one per cent of all shoppers provide feedback, Berrington said.
The company claims to have an average 88 per cent response rate, the equivalent of nine out of 10 people opting in to give in-store feedback.
Colleen Ryan, partner of consumer behaviour insights firm TRA, said the challenge with such technology was ensuring the data accurately represented customer experiences.
"How do you determine whether the people who do answer it are a representative sample of your customers that day? Because what you may get is all of the grumpy people, all the people who have time on their hands or you may get all the people who have had an exceptionally bad, or good, experience," Ryan said.
"As a reporting mechanism on overall customer experience it can be very misleading. Although people go into it saying they are going to identify pain points, suddenly it gets used as a reporting mechanism, such as percentage of people that are happy with experience, and that's when the sample does matter."
She said questions could irritate shoppers if they were not thought to be relevant or perceived as "self-serving", and in turn affect the shoppers' overall experience.
Retailers should not underestimate the power of observation, she said.