Does anyone love a chat bot?

Does anyone love a chat bot?

I saw an article recently about the top 10 retail trends for 2023 and clicked with great anticipation. As I read down the list at the upcoming trends I felt my heart sink. Was I out of touch with retail because some of the top trends seem to be the things that irritate me the most. Then I wondered if the list was actually industry driven rather than customer centric.


No 3 on the list self service checkouts.  I hate them. I actually get irritated seeing them in a shop never mind having to use them. Not only are you making a profit on the items you are selling in your shop you are now making me pay for them myself. If the queue is too long, employ more people. They say that it meets the need for shoppers that desire a personalised shopping experience but I don’t see anything personalised in doing your shopping and then serving yourself. One particular newsagent chain often exclusively has self service check outs and I often ask a staff member to serve me. I am paying this company some of my hard earned money, the least they could do is prevent my stress of trying to check myself out.


No 4 chatbots are the newest team member. Again they are rising in popularity but is that consumer driven or industry driven. I hate when I get onto a chat and think I’m finally connecting with a person only to find its a chat bot and you need to break the secret code to get past it to a real person. Again my stress levels rise and I wonder is there anyone out there that loves a chat bot?


Trend 6 24/7 Customer Support. Never intentional it is just kind of there when you are self employed in a close community. When someone messages you at 10pm about something they saw in your window you reply. Putting it off until tomorrow in office hours just adds another task to the to do list.


Thankfully though I’m all over some of the trends. No 9 … Less waste in packaging has been one of our key pillars since we started. Dealing with personal and conscious suppliers enables us to produce less than a shoe box of plastic waste from a pallet load of products. Something that makes me feel proud.


And finally trend no 10 Supply Chain Vulnerability. Well it’s hard to feel too vulnerable that your supplier can’t deliver when the live down the road on in the next county. I don’t have to worry about shipping containers from China or fuel prices so much and it feels good.


We are by no means perfect and we strive to improve what we do as part of our business. We also strive to make this work for us and our family as many self employed people have to.

We bring you Irish and sustainable goods, fair prices, and good customer care.

The coming year for us wont see the introduction of the self service check outs or chat bots. Yes it would make my life easier and probably make the business more flexible and agile. But the core of the business jars with many modern trends so we strive to meet customer demands through in the best way we can with technology, innovation, and following retail trends that keep us close to our values. I get amazing feedback from my customers and it’s kept us in business for  years so maybe I won’t end my retail career just yet.

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