Close
 

The path of least retail resistance

  • Opinion
  • April 26, 2018
  • Craig Herbison
The path of least retail resistance

The path of least resistance requires the least amount of effort, often referred to as ‘frictionless shopping’.

Focusing on removing friction is one way that bricks and mortar brands can grow sales quickly without the need to expand their physical footprint.

Amazon has built an entire retail empire, in large part, by removing effort from how we shop.

  • Instant search and relevant recommendations on their website reduce the time and effort usually associated with finding what you want online.
  • Fast and affordable delivery of goods, removes the effort needed to collect your goods.
  • Physical “buy now” buttons for replacing common household items remove the need to even go online.
  • A voice command speaker quite literally removes the need to even lift a finger when shopping.

It’s not just these solutions but these kinds of innovations, across a whole range of industries, that have changed consumer attitudes to shopping and made the path of least resistance more important than ever.

For Amazon, one of the things grabbing attention lately is its recent foray into physical retail, with grocery being their biggest play yet.

The recent launch, and possible expansion, of Amazon Go, the no check-out shopping experience, provides the strongest indication of how the online juggernaut thinks it can remove friction from physical stores, and in the process, create the path of least resistance for offline shoppers.

To remain competitive other grocery chains will have to accelerate the introduction of frictionless technology – and brick and mortar retailers generally will have to do the same - or risk seeing Amazon come after them next, and win the battle for offline sales as well.

Amazon is not the first to undertake this kind of innovation and it certainly won’t be the last. Brands with physical locations have made removing friction from the customer experience a key focus in recent years.

Ideas from some other brands are already proving very successful at attracting customers and growing sales:

Two years ago 7-Eleven in Australia launched the enormously successful “Fuel Lock” app, which removes friction from the process of finding and paying for the best priced fuel near you. Among fuel retailers it was awarded the “2018 Most Satisfied Customers Award” by Canstar - thanks largely to this world first innovation that drives value and convenience.

7-Eleven in Korea recently launched vein mapping technology at a single store to test if it can speed up the check-out process. Simply scan your wrist, which contains a unique pattern of veins that can be linked to a credit card, which hastens your exit.

Convenience has always been at the heart of McDonald’s brand. From kiosk ordering in restaurants to curbside delivery and the recently launched mobile order and pay; the restaurant giant is successfully reducing friction for millions of guests at its restaurants around the world, every single day.

In New Zealand, Foodstuffs has recently announced a partnership with IMAGR, which is creating a shopping basket that scans products as you shop and checks you out automatically at departure.

Hilton Hotels award winning loyalty app enables mobile check-in and allocates you a room which can then be opened using the app, which acts as a “digital key”, therefore removing the need to check-in via reception at all.

These sorts of innovations are designed to ensure that the customer experience requires the least amount of effort. The result is improved loyalty, more frequent visits, higher average transaction value, better brand scores and improved customer satisfaction.

Craig Herbison – CEO of Plexure

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

A challenger appears: Homegrown furniture giant Nido to compete with Ikea

  • News
  • January 21, 2019
  • The Register team
A challenger appears: Homegrown furniture giant Nido to compete with Ikea

Within a few weeks of confirmation that Ikea will come to New Zealand comes the announcement that New Zealand’s largest-ever retailer is set to open in Auckland. This new mega-retailer is nothing to do with Ikea, however: it’s a homegrown furniture and homewares concept store called Nido.

Read more
 
 
News

Getting drastic about plastic

Government plans to phase out single-use plastic bags have been heartily embraced by leaders in the grocery sector, but there are plenty of other ways ...

 
 

H&M extends footprint into Auckland

  • News
  • January 17, 2019
H&M extends footprint into Auckland

H&M has continued to strengthen its portfolio of stores in New Zealand. The Swedish fashion chain is now brining a third store to the Auckland region, to be located in Botany Town Centre.

Read more
 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 
Sponsored content

Why unified commerce changes everything

eStar chief technology officer, Matt Neale discusses why true unified commerce changes everything

 
 

Jack Ma to step down from Alibaba position

  • Who's Where
  • January 15, 2019
Jack Ma to step down from Alibaba position

Jack Ma, executive chairman of shopping platform Alibaba has announced plans to step down September of this year.

Read more
 

Bottoms up: Absolut Vodka takes a stance on sustainability

  • News
  • January 14, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Bottoms up: Absolut Vodka takes a stance on sustainability

A new responsible cocktail era is on the cards as Absolut Vodka introduces its new sustainability focused campaign, The Green Hustle.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}