How to avoid putting the friction back into frictionless
In 2020, retailers rushed to accelerate their adoption of self checkout and contactless systems in store to reduce friction for customers, and ensure their safety and convenience during the pandemic.
Existing data points on adoption have all been skewed by the effects of store closures, temporary openings, changed traffic patterns, unsual customer behaviour as a result of shifting sentiment, and unpredictable overall numbers during Peak.
As a result, the global self-checkout systems market size that was valued at USD 2.8 billion in 2019 is now expected to register a CAGR of 13.3% from 2020 to 2027, according to Grand View Research.
As retailers look through 2021, they are now faced with twin challenges, of trying to continue to provide a frictionless service to increasingly demanding consumers, whilst at the same time managing stores to keep them and their own staff safe.
This desire for less friction by both retailer and customer is accelerating the adoption of more forward-looking technologies. As a result technologies with a strong business case are now compelling, as retailers try to manage a more diverse set of shopping journeys.
This has seen an acceleration in the adoption for instance of contactless checkout, self-checkout and mobile checkout as several market dynamics have merged – the savvy customer is able to take greater control of more aspects of their in-store journey, the retailer wants to give the customer more choice, and continued concerns over health and safety in the shadow of COVID-19 which give contactless even greater relevance.
At NRF 2021, we saw that several companies are going in the same direction as Amazon Go, with technologies focusing on biometric authentication to remove the last elements of friction, machine learning to create recommendations for returning visits, customer loyalty, promotions and merchandising.
Sensormatic Solutions demonstrated its own solution these challenges with VisionWorks, a cutting-edge collection of video based analytics designed to deliver near real-time operational insights. Specific uses cases such as audience measurement, occupancy, queue social distancing and mask detection help store keep their checkout process frictionless and safe.
Sensormatic ran a webinar on during which our experts discussed the different facets of the enabled store. The episode focused on the current status of frictionless checkouts, as well as benefits and risks involved with their adoption, including the current outlook for self-checkout adoption in the market, an overview of different systems and processes on the market, and, the risks associated with the deployment of frictionless checkouts and how to minimise them. Access the recording of the webinar here.
Any doubts that these developments are temporary and will recede as the world gets back to normal are dispelled by research from Bain & Co, which predicts a percentage of consumers — as high as 35 to 45% — will maintain the habits formed during COVID-19.