How to Create a Friction-free In-store Retail Experience

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I think it’s fair to say that, in the history of retail, there has never been such a sharp focus on the consumer experience. Yes, e-commerce transformed the way we do business – and the pandemic accelerated adoption of technology and innovation in the retail space – but changes were already in the making; the pandemic acted as a much-needed catalyst.

As we continue this journey in 2022 and beyond, we certainly expect continued growth in online sales and acceleration of digital transformation. But consumers are coming back to stores with higher expectations for a seamless, friction-free experience. Are retailers ready? It requires overcoming widespread inconsistencies and inefficiencies across a complicated checkout process — a process full of friction. Retailers and consumers both are feeling the pain of closing the sale.

Ways to decrease friction instore and improve consumer experience

The checkout experience still relies on an underlying network connection and complexity in the IT environment that adds to processing delays. Most retailers depend on human interaction to solve transaction problems. Error-prone, manual processes are time consuming, and they lead to FRICTION.

7 Actions to Create a Friction-free Customer Experience

  1. Engage with consumers, ensure they are satisfied through the buying process and provide them a consistent experience.
  2. Create convenient ways for consumers to connect with you so you have a better understanding of what they are looking for and what could be missing from the product mix.
  3. Deliver a consistent brand experience at every touchpoint.
  4. Infuse automation where applicable and optimize products by eliminating manual tasks and redundancies.
  5. Realign your teams on strategic tasks and free them from simply chasing down problems and course correcting.
  6. Build a loyal consumer base with friction-free shopping across all channels will build a loyal consumer base.
  7. Listen to consumers by building a continuous feedback loop to improve your omnichannel strategy, build better product assortments and deeper relationships with your consumers.

Consumers have more choices today than ever. Retailers must create a seamless and consistent checkout experience across both physical and digital channels and meet new and always changing expectations of their consumers. Eliminating friction is increasingly critical to the success of your business.

ISG helps retailers reinvent their customer experience to prepare for the future of retail and accelerate growth. Contact us to learn more.

About the author

Sunder Pillai is based in Dallas, Texas and leads the Retail, CPG and Enterprise Practice for ISG with more than 21 years of experience.1He is an experienced Strategy and IT Consulting Executive with deep experience and expertise throughout the ITO sourcing process. He offers 21 plus years of results-driven IT outsourcing, consulting, digital business strategy and technology services industry leadership experience helping clients, within several industries, achieve their desired business outcomes.

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