How to Address Challenges and Opportunities in Frictionless Commerce
Frictionless commerce is all about seamless user experience while shopping online and offline. The core objective of frictionless commerce is to enable buyers to complete their purchase within a few clicks as possible and make the complete process seamless and hassle-free.
Amazon which offers one-click checkout and same-day delivery has mastered the art of frictionless commerce and has been in the forefront of technology when it comes to ecommerce. Companies that are planning to implement frictionless commerce should first identify friction points in their system and try to fix them with technology.
Types of Frictionless in eCommerce & Retail
Easy Access & Fast Exit: Frictionless shopping should focus on non-stop experience. Users should be able to seamlessly navigate each phase of checkout without any delays or waiting period. Both the entry and exit of the ecommerce process should be both convenient and fast.
An ecommerce business entity should offer all possible types of payment methods to the users. New payment wallets are emerging frequently and ecommerce gateways should cope up with the emerging trends and stay up to date for smooth customer experience.
Omnichannel marketing is now replaced by omnichannel sales. Now people are making product enquiries and placing orders via voice controlled devices like Amazon Echo and Google Nest. If you want to succeed, then your business should be able to take orders from multiple channels where customers are present.
Delivering highly customized shopping experience is no longer a value addon, but a must-have for ecommerce companies to stay ahead of their competition.
Security and Safety
Frictionless commerce doesn’t end with just smooth checkout experience but also should be 100% secure. Customers should feel really safe and secure to use their credit cards or wallets and this trust has to be ensured by the brands.
Challenges & Opportunities in Frictionless Commerce
Frictionless commerce is applicable to both brick-and-mortar stores and also for ecommerce businesses. There are numerous opportunities in their existing shopping model that can be modernized to avoid friction points and offer a superior shopping experience for customers.
Consumers prefer stores where the time taken to shop and exit is less compared to shops that have longer queues for billing. Frictionless shopping experience has become a consumer need these days.
Solution: Modernization should include frictionless checkout points where customers need not wait in a queue to make payments.
Privacy and data security
The core of frictionless commerce is based on the underlying data that is getting collected. Consumers are becoming increasingly weary about their data privacy and safety. Mobile apps interact and play a vital role in frictionless commerce and are prone to malware attacks that can lead to data leakage.
Solution: Frictionless commerce implementation should enable DevSecOps that guarantees data privacy and safety.
New roles for in-store staff
When frictionless systems are implemented, the role of the employees in a store changes completely. Roles of cashiers will be replaced to those assisting customers to find their items quickly, organising foot traffic and managing last-mile fulfilment. Employees who have been working in the billing counter will find it difficult to fit into different roles and might lead to demotivation among the employees.
Solution: The business should upfront engage with employees and explain them about the benefits of frictionless commerce and their new roles in the organisation. Once everything is properly communicated to the employees they should be trained in their new roles and assigned suitable tools to fulfil their responsibilities.
Prevalence of standardized solutions
There are multiple ready-made frictionless shopping systems available in the market. These are highly suitable for smaller supermarkets and convenience stores but when a small business decides to install this, they are more likely to face problems. These ready-made solutions come with a standard set of functionalities and doesn’t offer customization. Many businesses have tried to modernize their shopping experience using these readymade platforms and failed due to lack of customization.
Solution: When a business plans to invest in frictionless commerce they should select tools and technologies that will help them develop highly customized solutions based on their business model and working methodology.
Significant investment required
Retailers and supermarkets are suffering lower business margins mainly due to two main factors namely higher inflation scenario and cost required to sanitize stores on a frequent interval. Implementing frictionless commerce requires significant investment and considering their cost overheads already, it is becoming difficult for them to invest in new technology.
Solution: Though frictionless commerce comes at a cost, the business should look at the possible boost in sales and smooth customer experience. If they select the suitable technology for frictionless commerce, they are more likely to benefit sooner than expected.
Supply chain chaos
Covid-19 lockdown and Russia-Ukraine war has resulted in multiple supply chain disruptions across the world. One of the important factors of frictionless shopping is product availability, but with supply chain bottlenecks, it is becoming difficult for brands to offer all the products to their customers.
Solution: At the time of implementing frictionless commerce, the business should focus on collecting and analyzing customer data to better understand the demand scenario and optimize their supply lines accordingly.
Reasons why Frictionless Commerce is here to stay
Though frictionless commerce came to the limelight during the pandemic, it is no longer a safety measure but an experience that customers have got addicted to. Customers who have experienced frictionless shopping are no longer going to forego this. This has become more of a necessity now.
Preference for a safe and hassle-free shopping experience
People visiting to shop their products have developed a liking for contactless shopping. They prefer to visit stores where they can enter and exit within a short period of time. Frictionless shopping is not only safe but also offers a seamless user friend experience for shoppers.
Ultra-convenient one delivery at a time
Hyperlocal delivery startups are growing at a rapid pace like never seen before. Pandemic led to customer stay at home and preferring home delivery of products. Consumers now prefer immediate delivery that is likely to happen for hyperlocal commerce and frictionless plays a vital role.
Expectation of cost-savings amid inflation
Customers tend to prefer stores that offer low cost products and this is possible only when the businesses themselves reduce their costs. When frictionless commerce is properly implemented it will reduce costs for the business in multiple ways. The store can then pass on this cost reduction to customers.
Low cost of switching
The preferred way of shopping by each customer keeps changing dynamically and a business should offer frictionless shopping not only through their website, but also in multiple channels like physical stores, social media platforms, etc.
How Can Your Store Prepare For The Future Of Shopping
The retail industry is undergoing a transformational shift wherein physical and digital customer experiences are converging. Frictionless commerce entails that all the paths to commerce converge into an omnichannel environment where the consumer is at the center and the path to purchase is seamless across all channels. You should first understand and identify various friction points in your business model and try to fix them wherever possible.
TAFF is a leading global player in developing and implementing digital transformation and zero friction across all physical and digital touchpoints for retailers. We will analyse your existing shopping flow to identify friction points that are potentially slowing down customer experience. Get in touch with us for a free consultation.