One of the biggest retail pain points is the check out lines. The perfect example is checking out of the supermarket on the weekends. It’s seems like the lines are never ending and you wait forever. These days more people are abandoning the brick and mortar shopping experience and moving to online shopping and because of this reason retailers have started to focus on building experiences along with relationships with their customers.
Frictionless retail has become an emerging trend where it removes all barriers that are in front of the customer. Many might assume that it’s humanless checkout but brands such as Apple and Macy’s has now armed their staff with mobile devices for simplified check out.
A report by Global Data provided by the 4A’s identifies six types of frictionless retail that are poised to change the customer experience forever:
1. Ease Of Access: Focuses on how fast the customer finds what they are looking for and how quickly they can pay for it. Apple Stores are a great example of this.
2. Fulfillment: Online has shifted the responsibility of order fulfillment to retailers and it’s all due in part to Amazon.
3. Multichannel Alignment: Providing customer options with how they would like to purchase.
4. Payment Options: The instant 1-click payment such as Apple/ Android Pay is also a form of frictionless retail that many stores are now making available to customers.
5. Personalization: This is going to be a continuous trend into 2020 where retailers tailor services to customer needs. A great example is Under Armour’s embedded chip inside show that can measure how much a person runs.
6. Positive Friction: Enhancing or adding to the purchasing experience such as recommending complementary products which is a strategy many luxury brands use.
In order to be successful at frictionless retailing you have to consider what will slow down the customer from completing the purchase and this goes for both online and offline experiences.