The store of the future is already here. The way retailers create personalized shopping experiences for their customers with state-of-the-art technology used to be purely aspirational, a figment of our collective imagination. Now, the level of customer service that retailers have been able to deliver with self-service solutions, mobile shopping experiences and other technologies is exactly what shoppers have come to expect.
Future frictionless technology, when it’s at its best, doesn’t ask shoppers to fundamentally change the way they shop. While customers want retailers to use the latest technology in stores to help them shop faster and make informed buying decisions, they expect that technology to add value to the shopping experience and eliminate friction. Customers want retailers to continue to reduce friction during the shopping experience, but they’re not impressed with technology for technology’s sake – it must make shopping easier, more informative and more interesting.
Frictionless technology creates new opportunities for retailers to deliver great shopping experiences. The technology that we are deploying in stores today can be built upon gradually to create a fully frictionless, unattended store in the future. Each piece of technology provides solid value today and in the future. In a recent survey of retail executives that we conducted with Retail Dive, 89% of respondents said they believe that retailers that invest in frictionless store experiences are more likely to be successful in three years. And if they were to optimize their business’ technology to reduce friction, those same respondents said they would be most like to invest in data analytics (63%), artificial intelligence and machine learning (54%), alternative payments (41%) and self-service, including mobility and self-checkout (41%).
A successful frictionless store features multiple pieces of technology – like computer vision solutions, IOT devices, cameras and more – working together to create a brilliant, inspiring experience. And as the COVD-19 crisis continues to change the retail industry, frictionless shopping experiences are going to become even more ubiquitous – and fast.
For more on perspective on what retailers need to build engaging frictionless stores, read “In Pursuit of Frictionless”, an editorial by Yevgeni Tsirulnik, our Vice President, Strategic Alliances & Innovation.