This articles aims to answer the 5Ws of Friction less commerce i.e. Who, What, When, Where and Why.
What is the most non-renewable resource today? It’s TIME. People have started valuing their time more than ever. No longer can businesses control how we spend our time. Wasting too much time on things as simple as shopping creates friction among the consumers. This leads to a poor conversion rate i.e. a potential buyer may not actually turn into a buyer. Apart from this buyers have become smarter now. They want better pricing, alternatives, and convenience. While the Internet has already been driving the first two factors, convenience is something that needs to be worked upon.
Frictionless commerce also referred to as contextual commerce comes into play here. It is a method of using data from devices, apps, and websites to integrate buying opportunities as impeccably as possible into consumers’ everyday activities and environments. The goal of frictionless commerce is for any customer to buy a product or service at their convenience with as few clicks/steps as possible. For example, the signup process of a travel website that requires too many steps would create unwanted friction, potentially causing the user to abandon and choose some other travel website. If there is existence of friction in every part of the business, it will challenge the existence of business soon.
Intelligent Retail: The Rise of Frictionless Commerce.-Jamshed Dubash, Consultant & Advisor - IoT
The basic premise of frictionless commerce is that consumers who don’t take extra time to think about what they are buying or how they are buying it may be more willing to make a purchase while using an e-commerce website. Some major brands such as Starbucks, Uber, Pinterest have inbuilt credit card connectivity; Amazon’s 1 click purchasing stimulate impulse buying which can be attributed as a result of ‘frictionlessness’
Frictionless commerce was emerging on various fronts prior to the pandemic, but shelter-in-place and social distancing measures have drastically increased the demand for retail experiences that minimize time in-store and proximity to other people. In fact, the brick and mortar retailer can also implement this by buying or renting an AI-driven, pop-up kiosk.
One of the various industries that have been hit hard by the COVID pandemic is the hospitality industry. How ‘Mint House’ has managed to proliferate its booking graph in such times is a textbook example of how frictionless approach can cause wonders. Implementation of tech solutions was talked about earlier also but it was far from being a reality. They pitched their no-interaction check-in model to various target groups such as healthcare professionals, who soon made Mint House a home away from home. In this new world of contact less travel, guests want safety as much as they and need space, and tech solutions can deliver that. If 2020 has taught us anything it is that we need to be flexible, we need to deliver according to changing needs and respond to the new circumstances accordingly and this way we can lead our way to recovery.
Not everyone can attain such a level of frictionlessness as Mint House overnight. So what’s way out? Remember that most of us have just learned to get work done while locked at home. From getting everything delivered at the doorstep to learning to new skill sets for survival and not letting our professional life affected by all this, we have managed with ease and adjusted to the new normal in a very short time. This has accelerated even more frictionlessness to come. We’ve all together realized the benefits of the digitization of office life and the need for frictionless workplace. Friction needs to be eradicated everywhere you find it. So there’s nothing to fret about because we know how to do this. We just did it!
Now we know what we want exactly where we want it, and we want it all now. So all we have to do is look around us since Friction is what costs us; frictionlessness is invaluable.