Retail Technology Report

Frictionless Shopping in Retail - Thematic Research

Over the last decade, consumer expectations of retailer’s ability to facilitate a quick, intuitive shopping journey have developed.

Within retail over the past 20 years, the internet has not only afforded consumers significantly heightened connectivity between each other and retailers, but has also led to consumers having the ability to rapidly gather information on prices at other retailers, examine issues around product sourcing and sustainability, and crucially, buy retail goods without the need to visit a physical store. For retailers with an already existing physical network, this has presented numerous, well-documented challenges.

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  • What you need to know...
  • The time taken from the first point of contact between a retailer and a consumer, up to the point the consumer possesses the desired product, can (generally) be described as unwanted “friction” for the customer in the shopping journey.
  • For any given shopping journey in both the offline and online channel, this can encompass a wide variety of issues: till-queue length, the inability to easily locate products, slow delivery times, unsuitable payment processes, etc.
  • As well as circumnavigating the need for a consumer to deviate from their daily routine to visit a physical location, online retailers usually allow for shoppers to easily store payment information for quicker order placement in the future.
  • To say that this process is resonating with shoppers is an understatement, and little other evidence is needed than the success of global e-commerce titan Amazon – whose success is founded on continuously forging ahead of competitors in breaking down barriers within the shopper journey.

But while bricks and mortar retailers are generally suffering at the hands of online specialists, there are certainly topics within frictionless shopping that they can excel at. Most notably, the ability to get rid of the waiting time for the delivery of products to the hands of the buyer; although same-day delivery services are impressive, a suitably motivated shopper will likely be able to find a comparable product in a much shorter amount of time at a store.

GlobalData’s Frictionless Shopping in Retail – Thematic Research report explores this is greater detail.

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