Retailers focus on frictionless experience

Retailers across the globe are heavily investing in launching frictionless shopping initiatives and loyalty programs to attract as many customers as they can, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Frictionless/contextual shopping/commerce is the method of using data, technology, and devices to integrate buying opportunities as seamlessly as possible into the shopper’s journey. The goal is to reduce the amount of time and inconvenience involved in the steps between the desire for a product and receiving it.

The focus on frictionless comes on the back of intensifying competition in the retail industry. Customers have become more demanding when it comes to convenience and the shopping experience, says GlobalData, because they know that they can always switch to another retailer for buying goods if their expectations are not met.

Factors of convenience

“For retailers, the broad benefit of investing in frictionless shopping is that consumers are more willing to make a purchase if there is minimal ‘friction’ when progressing through different stages of the buying journey,” GlobalData Retail Market Analyst Vijay Bhupathiraju said.

“However, the concept of friction differs not only across the variety of individual shopper journeys, but is also a subjective ideal that varies from shopper to shopper.”

Consumers are getting more particular about the way they shop, and a mere value proposition isn’t the only focus. Factors of convenience such as frictionless payments, personalisation, relevant offers and delivery and fulfilment services, all play an equally important role.

“Consistent innovation and optimising the retail channel by leveraging digital capabilities to enhance the overall customer experience must be at the forefront of a plan of action by retailers and brands,” Mr Bhupathiraju said. “However, one-size-fits-all won’t work as convenience and experience are purely subjective and a careful balance must be retained.”

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