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The rise in frictionless commerce: Is it here to stay?

Four mobile payment solutions that are taking over the retail experience

June 22, 2021

The rise in frictionless commerce: Is it here to stay?
Long before COVID-19, retail business was already seeing a shift toward “frictionless commerce”—the use of smartphones, mobile apps, mobile wallets and contactless cards to replace a traditional checkout experience.
But since the pandemic, this trend—also called “frictionless shopping,” “frictionless payments” or “cashier-less shopping”—has all but exploded. 
Why? Customers love not only the speed and convenience, but also the built-in safety protocols. Shoppers have less contact with store employees, less time waiting in line and fewer objects they have to touch in-store.
Meanwhile, retailers are finding that frictionless checkout can help them streamline operations, increase efficiency and boost customer loyalty. There’s a lot to love.
A survey conducted by Mastercard in 2020 shows that contactless, friction-free methods of payment are here to stay, with 74% of contactless payment users stating they would continue to use contactless payment methods after the pandemic ends.
This forecast impacts retailers everywhere. But how can your customers adopt this growing trend? Here are a few examples of frictionless commerce options growing in popularity.
Curbside pickup and delivery – This is the ultimate convenience for most shoppers. Similar to buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS), curbside pickup takes convenience to a whole new level, since shoppers never need to leave their cars. Last year, with increased demand for grocery pickup and delivery services, Walmart registered a 74% increase in online sales and a four-fold increase in customers who used pickup for the first time.
Starbucks is another retail giant expanding its curbside pickup services. Last year, it added curbside pickup to 800 stores in the U.S., and announced plans to more than double that number to about 2,200 by early 2021. The company also plans to deploy handheld point of sales at the drive-through to improve wait times.
Scan & Go technology – This technology lets shoppers scan, pay and go using a mobile app—skipping the checkout line altogether. Stores such as BJ’s, Kroger and 7-Eleven have had tremendous success with this technology—with new retailers joining the list every day.
Mobile ordering and order-ahead solutions – In the early days of smartphones, restaurant mobile ordering options were extremely limited; but today, consumers who want to use their mobile devices to order for delivery or pickup on the go have exponentially more options. In fact, this frictionless shopping method is one key to success for today’s top-performing restaurants. One research report found that 92% of top-performing restaurants offer the ability to order using a mobile app, compared to only 31% of the lowest-performing restaurants. 
Connected cars – Mobile ordering has new meaning as more and more drivers order food, pay for gas and see offers from retailers while using the digital dashboards in their cars. Cars equipped with internet access make it easy for consumers to use online apps to communicate with retailers and restaurant chains like Starbucks, Applebee’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, TGI Fridays and Wingstop.
How can you help?
Today’s shoppers often do everything they can to save time, and retailers that fail to provide frictionless commerce options risk losing sales. To provide easy (and fast) shopping experiences, retailers need to work with payment processing providers to find solutions that help them maintain growth and outperform their competition. You can help by ensuring your customers’ payment devices are up to date and have all the latest capabilities.
For more information on frictionless payment solutions and how you can capitalize on this growing market, contact Amy Jones.


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