How Frictionless Shopping Is Transforming Retail

How Frictionless Shopping Is Transforming Retail - AccuStore

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, finding innovative ways to enhance the customer experience is key. Frictionless or cashier-less shopping helps customers save time while allowing retailers to gather detailed customer data and boost revenue. From connected cars and curbside pickup to mobile ordering and Scan & Go technology, these time-saving solutions are delivering mostly positive results. 

Popular Frictionless Shopping Options

  • Connected Cars—cars equipped with internet access—make it easier to order ahead or pay at the pump. U.S. drivers spend $212 billion during their commutes, connected cars help drivers seamlessly utilize apps that communicate with retailers. Applebee’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, TGI Fridays and Wingstop are just some of the retailers exploring how their customers are using connected-car systems.
  • Mobile Ordering and Order-Ahead Solutions help retailers increase sales and loyalty—Starbucks loyalty is up 13% year-over-year—while customers enjoy the convenience. Some order-ahead apps, like the Chick-Fil-A app, even account for user errors. If a customer arrives at the wrong Chick-Fil-A restaurant, employees are automatically notified, and the order is moved to the current location to accommodate the customer.
  • Scan & Go Technology lets customers scan, pay and go using a mobile app. Stores such as BJ’s, Kroger, and 7-Eleven keep busy shoppers coming back by offering Scan & Go. And although it wasn’t a hit with Walmart customers, Sam’s Club is seeing success. A nearly 5-star rating from 57K Sam’s Club shoppers proves the retailer is doing it right.
  • Curbside Pickup and Delivery is by far the ultimate convenience for most shoppers. Walmart’s leading the soon-to-be $35 billon curbside with free grocery pickup service with 3,100 stores by the end of next year. Mass market retailers like Kroger, Target (about 1K stores) and Whole Foods are also adding curbside delivery to its locations.

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How Frictionless Shopping Benefits Customers

Customers will do anything they can to save time, and retailers failing to provide frictionless shopping options risk losing sales and customers. According to these stats, 86 percent of customers avoid entering stores with long lines and 74 percent of customers will shop at a competitor’s store to dodge lengthy checkout lines. Today’s tech-fueled conveniences empower shoppers and offer more seamless experiences.   

How Frictionless Shopping Benefits Retailers

Juniper Research forecasts that retail spend at frictionless payment stores like Amazon Go will grow from an estimated $253 million in 2018 to over $45 billion by 2023. The research company expects most of these transactions to be in convenience and general stores, with an average transaction value around $30 per visit throughout the forecast period.

How Frictionless Is Causing Friction

Though curbside pickup and mobile ordering is driving additional sales, cash-free shopping isn’t welcome in all U.S. cities and states. Critics and legislators argue that cashier-less QSRs and stores raise privacy concerns and discriminate against lower-income customers without bank accounts, bad credit or no credit. With areas such as Chicago, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Massachusetts, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. banning or attempting to ban cashless technology, Amazon Go recently announced it will start accepting cash. Another way to keep shoppers happy is by digitally transforming while still providing customers payment alternatives.

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