Digital Transformation: Moving Toward Frictionless Commerce

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By CSN & EnsembleIQ Research Solutions - 11/19/2018

From one-click shopping on a mobile phone to in-store apps with instant answers, frictionless commerce is no longer an idea ahead of its time. The frictionless future is here, thanks to a digital transformation of retail that enables increasingly immediate gratification for consumers.

The next two years, in fact, could see a brick-and-mortar customer experience—especially in smaller store formats like convenience or grocery—become far more intelligent and connected.1 While many of the tactics, tools and techniques for frictionless commerce are already out there, the key going forward is harnessing them into one integrated package of services, making it easier than ever for consumers to shop online or in-store.

Aperion and EnsembleIQ have partnered to provide the industry with a common lexicon, best practices, and case studies shaping the digital retail experience. In this paper, learn more about how digital transformation is helping to both enable and expand the frictionless retail shopping experience.

Hyper-personalized messaging

The ability to communicate on a one-to-one level truly makes it possible to remove friction from the relationship between shopper and retailer. And digital technology is turning personalized messaging and customer feedback into business as usual for retailers.

Mobile phones, smart watches, smart carts and other devices are ready and able to connect shoppers to retailers via synced-up loyalty programs. Software in retailers’ apps and social networks can communicate with technology providers to execute highly personalized programs. Ads can be delivered to mobile phones with hyper-personalized messaging based on the shopper’s location, loyalty card information, buying history, time of day, and even what sports team he or she roots for.

Even displays can now provide targeted promotions to specific types of shoppers. Panasonic, for example, uses video-based people recognition to distinguish the number, gender or age of a person in front of an in-store display screen. Based on that information, it’s then possible to change the content of the screen.

Mobile advertising firms with platforms and networks that activate a brand’s or retailer’s mobile ads can now analyze first-party and third-party retail data to promote ads to shoppers based on location (such as ZIP code), delivering personalized coupons, promotions and offers related to purchase history and more. These sorts of partnerships have been growing among retailers as consumers have been using mobile phones more, but combined with artificial intelligence (AI), they will enable retailers to continue pushing out a more personalized omnichannel experience.

Knowing how to execute and correctly communicate a personalized message, however, may actually be the tough part: McKinsey & Co. studied mobile diaries of 60 shoppers to understand what they wanted in a message,2 and found that maintaining relevant offers that surprise shoppers and talking to them when they’re in a shopping mode work best.