How Can Retailers Create Frictionless Shopping Experience ?
The increasing unpredictability of customers is posing a serious challenge for brands and retailers. Technology has changed the way people shop and convenience dictates the world of retail business. When people can get things done in just a few clicks, it becomes all the more necessary for retailers to adopt omnichannel marketing techniques, incorporate technology into their strategies, and focus on customer experience to provide what they call “a frictionless shopping experience”.
After price and brand, the key differentiators in a world competing on customer experience are speed and convenience. Customers want their shopping spree to be fast and comfortable, they are driven by a desire for personalization and convenience. If they do not get the kind of experience they’re expecting, they are quick to turn to alternatives for buying what they want since there are so many options available. As such, it is wise on the part of retailers to understand that these qualifiers are equally important in conventional stores as they are in virtual business.
E-commerce behemoth and the world’s largest virtual store, Amazon has raised the bar for customer experience. When the company’s founder explains why Amazon has emerged as one of the most successful businesses of the world, it boils down to one simple basic – exceptional customer service. One of his famous quotes outlines the same –
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”
The ultimate goal is to provide customers with the ability to interact and shop across channels, creating a seamless and fluid brand experience. Here’s how it can be done –Connect Physical and Digital Experiences
The customer journey is no more linear. Customers are on the go; they are constantly moving. In order to remove friction from their shopping experience, it is important for brands to be where their customers are. Brands that fail to have an omnichannel presence cease to exist.
Retail stores need to create seamless experiences that connect touch points between mobile, desktop, and in-store engagements, and find answers to questions like –
- How do customers research their buying decisions?
- What channels do they use for inquiries?
- Do they shop online or in the store?
- How do we create a journey that can be picked up anywhere?
Brands can use their web and mobile resources to improve in-store foot traffic. They can use customer data to inform and inspire store shopping and integrating online and offline data in a way that drives store visits.Improve The In-Store Experience
What turns off a customer’s in-store shopping experience? Research state that the top-five point of friction inside the store are:
- Inability to locate the product
- Unavailability of the right product
- Not enough information to make the buying decision
- Sales executive interrupting the flow in some way
- Too long a wait at the checkout counters
Customers expect the same seamless experience at a physical store as they get at its virtual counterpart. Retailers should focus marketing efforts around building excitement about being in the store. Many brands are using technologies like AR, VR and AI to provide unique in-store experiences and boost sales while there are others that are using smart marketing solutions to facilitate in-store navigation, provide product information, and notify customers about deals and offers while they’re shopping in-store. Implementing technology is also enabling retailers to smoothen day-to-day operations while offering seamless services to its customers.
Summing it up!
‘Frictionless Shopping’ was one of the big retail predictions for 2018. Retailers are doubling down their efforts to win this customer’s business. But the winner is one who offers the best information in the most eye-catching manner and provides the most convenient opportunity to complete the sale.