June 21, 2021
7 min read

Touchpoints to Create a Touchless Retail Experience

Touchpoints to Create a Touchless Retail Experience https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-credit-card-3907161/

Today’s “store of the future” is often considered to have technology like self-checkout shopping carts and camera-filled stores à la Amazon Go that allow for a completely touchless experience.  

It’s obvious that COVID-19 accelerated the demand touchless retail as a result of consumers’ sanitation and safety concerns. Now, 87% of U.S. consumers prefer to shop at stores that have touchless or robust self-checkout options. 

As counterintuitive as it may sound, touchless technology offers retailers additional – albeit contactless - touchpoints to interact with customers at every step of their journey. As of April 2021, 71% of U.S. consumers felt safe going to a physical store. But retailers can be doing more to ensure that every step of the customer journey is touch-free. 

Entering the store 

When a consumer enters the store and chooses to shop contactless, they can either open up the retailer’s app, or scan a QR code that is located at the entrance of the store. From there, the shopper can be identified and loyalty information can be accessed.  

Shopping 

Once the shopper has grabbed their basket, retailers have a number of touchless ways in which they can continue to interact. 

As a shopper scans barcode items, their pending order total will automatically update. In addition, mobile devices can alert shoppers of existing promotions on products they have already scanned, or share offers on similar items to increase basket size. For example, this could be a discount on salsa if chips are bought.  

Another way retailers can serve their customers from afar is by providing item information and item location online. The retailer’s app can be set to the shopper’s current location or preferred store, allowing them to check item availability as well as the specific aisle it’s located on. This allows the shopper to continue their journey without having to locate an associate and ask them for assistance.    

Checkout 

Once a shopper is ready for checkout, they have two options: first, they can choose “check out” on the app. From there, they move to a payment prompt and can complete their purchase. Second, shoppers can opt for the “just walk out” method, where no interaction is needed and their account is charged automatically. This may seem like technology of the future that giants like Amazon have already implemented, but all a retailer need is an integrated POS and payments solution. 

Touchless payment modes can also speed up the purchase process, a common pain point for retailers. The same technology can also encourage customers to sign-up for loyalty programs all at the same time. 

Post-purchase 

To further drive loyalty, many retailers miss the final touchpoint, which is after a shopper has left the store. Digital receipts can be sent via email or SMS, and may contain targeted offers or an update on loyalty points to incentivize a customer to return to the specific retailer.   

Focus on every step of the customer journey 

Retailers with a strong mobile app presence are one step ahead when it comes to ensuring a completely contactless in-store shopping experience. However, retailers now have the option to integrate app-less technology across their business. This eliminates any barriers for customer interaction. 

Regardless of which shopping method a consumer chooses, retailers must focus on every step of the customer journey – from when a consumer enters the store to when they are sent a post-purchase receipt. By eliminating friction and providing shoppers multiple options for how to shop, retailers are establishing a convenience and flexibility that will drive loyalty. Are you ready to get started?