What Your Business Needs to Know About Frictionless Technology

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By Lindsay Bisel

If you haven’t been to an Amazon Go, you’ve heard of Amazon Go.

A customer walks up to an entry gate and scans a QR code to check in to the store. They browse the store, decide which items to purchase, and leave. Shortly after, they get a receipt from the Amazon Go app giving them a summary and total of their purchase.

This is the frictionless technology of the future, and it’s now a very real force shaping the present retail environment.

What does that mean for the rest of us?

In this post, we’re going to break down what you should know about frictionless technology and how you can implement it in your store.

What is Friction in Retail?

To understand frictionless technology, we first need to think about the word “friction.”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines friction as a “force that resists relative motion between two bodies in contact.” In simpler terms, friction prevents constant movement.

Friction in the retail and grocery industry is “anything that causes delays, frustration or extra effort for shoppers.” It brings to a halt the quick in-and-out experience that customers want.

Some examples of friction in retail are:
1. Locating items
2. Long checkout lines
3. Label scanning difficulties
4. Pricing discrepancies

What is Frictionless Technology?

Frictionless technology – in retail terms – is any form of technology that makes the shopping experience convenient, smooth and easy for the customer.

Amazon Go’s “Just Walk Out” technology has become the gold standard for frictionless technology. It makes the shopper’s experience seamless by eliminating the traditional checkout experience. There’s no waiting in lines or reaching for your wallet. It’s a simple walk-in and walk-out process.

But what does that mean for the rest of us? Will our businesses still be relevant?

How Can I Incorporate Frictionless Technology in my Business?

The long-term success and sustainability of Amazon Go and similar frictionless stores is yet to be seen, but what we do know is that it’s whetting the consumer’s growing appetite for convenience and “wow” experiences.

The good news for companies that don’t have an Amazon-sized budget is that there are other types of frictionless technologies that can improve your store’s shopping experience.

See our list of examples below to help you get started.

1. Handheld Mobile Technology: If locating items is a pain point for your customers, arm your employees with handheld mobile technology that will help them quickly locate items in-store. These handhelds could also be used for looking up product information and scanning prices. Because 75 percent of shoppers believe equipping employees with technology will improve their shopping experience, this is a sure way to increase your customer satisfaction.

2. Kiosks: Kiosks are a great way to help customers save time by providing convenient self-service options. They can be used to address several customer pain points: price checks, payment transactions, online orders, product information, item locations, etc. With 66 percent of shoppers saying they prefer self-service over employee interactions in a recent SOTI survey, kiosks will become more in-demand as retailers are working to meet customer expectations.

3. Self-Checkouts: One of the top complaints customers have is long lines. According to a report from Ayden, a payment platform, an estimated $37.7 billion in sales is being lost by retailers due to long checkout lines. One way to combat this is by utilizing self-checkouts in your stores. Customers like using self-checkout because of the convenience and speed that it offers. They can skip the long lines at traditional lanes and get a faster transaction through this self-service platform.

Request a consultation with us today to see how we can help improve your customer satisfaction with our Self-Service Technology products. Our solutions will help reduce your store’s friction and enhance your shopping experience. (270) 783-3900