How To Provide Touchless Shopping Experience In Retail
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How Retailers Can Provide a Contactless Retail Experience

12 May 2021

Retailers are revamping their business models to adapt to evolving market trends while addressing consumer needs. And, contactless customer experience is emerging as the focal point of their digital strategies today.
You must be wondering why? Creating a touchless retail experience right from order placement to payment to pick-up or delivery enables driving customer satisfaction & loyalty.

However, creating such an ecosystem is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The focus on customer experience and preparedness for touchless retail will define the success or failure of business strategy implementation.

Through this article, we’ll explore some of the essential facets of how retail businesses can develop & implement touch-free digital solutions that ensure success in the new normal.

Key Contents

  • What is Contactless Retail
  • Types of Contactless Retail Solutions
  • Benefits of Contactless Shopping for Your Business & Customers
  • Use Cases of Touchless Retail Solutions Across Industries
  • Key Factors to Consider When Developing a Custom Contactless Retail Solution
  • How to Implement a Contactless Retail Strategy That Stays Relevant Beyond the Covid-19 Crisis
  • How Rishabh can Help Companies Embrace the Contactless Culture

What is Contactless Retail?

Simply put, contactless or touchless retail can be defined as the mechanism that involves negligent human intervention across end-to-end customer buying processes.

It also covers different concepts as listed below that can be classified under the broad category and leverages a unique technology stack.

  • BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up in Store): This hands-free concept allows customers to skip the queue, physical surfing & the needless mingling with other buyers. Shoppers can head straight to the check-out counter and collect all the items purchased online. This saves time & greatly reduces the possibility of contact between shoppers and retailers.
  • eCommerce: These are online sellers or front-end stores like Target & Amazon. eCommerce offers the convenience of online order-and-delivery. Products are ordered from the safety of your home at the click of a button. They are delivered to the doorstep while ensuring zero contact. Drones are also getting used at some instances for product deliveries.
  • Contactless Payments: Mobile wallets and tap-to-pay allow customers to make in-store touchless payments. They eliminate any contact with any high-traffic devices like keypads and credit card readers to avert surface transmissions in store. Originally used as a data security measure, this payment mode is proving especially safe in the era of social distancing and sterile surfaces.
  • Curbside Pickup: This is the ideal solution for restaurants and cafes amid shelter-in-place mandates. It allows customers to place an online order or call a representative of the brand “curbside” to pick up their order. This limits the contact to the exchange between the employee and the customer.

Contactless Retail is the Future! Here’s Why

  • Contactless retail payments have increased by 150% from 2019
  • 87% of consumers prefer shopping at stores that offer a self-checkout or touchless payment experience
  • 74% of consumers globally say they will continue to use touchless payment options even after the global pandemic subsides
  • The market size of touchless retail solutions is expected to surpass US$4.60 trillion by the end of 2027
  • The market for contactless payments is expected to grow exponentially from $8.3 billion to $19.3 billion by 2026.

Types of Contactless Retail Solutions

There exist a variety of digital solutions that can be integrated into your contactless shopping experience mix to satisfy customer needs and expectations. The said systems will ultimately enhance your reputation and revenue in the long run. Here we go;

  • AR & VR
    Retailers are leveraging the potential of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to create virtual trial rooms that enable shoppers to try on apparel, footwear, cosmetics, and more. These digital pop-up stores offer the advantage of an immersive in-store buying experience to customers.
  • Scan-and-go
    Allows customers to scan the QR code on the products they want to purchase. Every item they scan using their smartphone gets added to the cart and once their shopping list is completed, they can make the payment online!
  • Self-service Kiosks
    The kiosks allow customers to scan products across categories. It also features a touch-free payment terminal where customers can simply tap their card and make the payments without needing a cashier or touching any device.
Types of touchless retail solutions
Types of contactless retail solutions
  • QR codes
    QR code payments are easy to integrate into a brand’s app. They allow retailers to offer shoppers the option to make easy payments via Venmo or PayPal (over the mobile app). Companies of every size with a mobile app can offer no-touch payments via QR codes to boost customer loyalty and revenue.
  • Online Shopping
    A web or mobile app that facilitates online ordering expands the business reach. It is also easy to integrate with key business processes like inventory management, accounting, sales tracking, and reward programs.
  • Contactless Food Deliveries
    Food ordering apps have digitalized everything – right from menus to order placements and delivery tracking to online payments. Whether customers are eating at a restaurant or home, there is no need to contact any staff.

Benefits of Contactless Shopping for Your Business & Customers

The touchless retail solutions offer several benefits to businesses in the way they create experiences loved by customers. Further, they contribute to the bigger business goals from a macro perspective.

The growth opportunities include:

For Businesses

  • Improved operational efficiency & reduced overhead expenses
  • Ability to support a seamless omnichannel experience
  • Competitive differentiation
  • Technology integration opportunities
  • Retain existing customers with loyalty points and reward programs
  • Offering personalization
  • Increase the customer lifetime value

For Customers

  • Avoid long queues
  • Make payments quickly and easily
  • Save time
  • Shop the secure way
  • Lower checkout times

Want to Build a Touchless Solution?

Offer a frictionless shopping experience to future-proof your business with a custom retail software.

Use Cases of Touchless Retail Solutions Across Industries

Touch-free digital solutions are becoming a must-have for retailers across the globe even faster than how analysts are forecasting. It is because of their ability to make purchases faster & easier, support secure transactions, and hence boost revenues. Let’s look at some of the real-world case studies of companies that are leveraging technology to make the in-store experience safer, smarter & more enjoyable for their customers.

Biometrics is Eliminating the Need to Make Physical Payments

A famous US-based fast-food restaurant chain adopted touchless payments to accelerate their order fulfillment process while protecting the consumers during the pandemic. Equipped with facial recognition technology, the company used kiosks to helps customers make easy payments and redeem reward points across different locations.

eCommerce Solution is Enabling a Unified Purchase Experience

A UK-based retail brand implemented an eCommerce solution to provide a touch-free purchase experience. Designed to connect all the touchpoints, both online and offline, it serves as a single platform between retail enterprises and their customers. The unified solution provides fluid omnichannel experiences with total control over customer engagement, order fulfillment, product management & inventory management. It has not only elevated shopping experiences but also increased the brand’s revenue by 25%.

Self Service Kiosks are Encouraging Touchless Shopping

An international sporting goods brand recently introduced product display kiosks to give people the opportunity to look and feel the products before making the final purchase. They can complete the checkout process over the mobile application!

The contactless culture is certainly here to stay. Today’s consumer has already adapted to its speed, security, and convenience. So, if you are embarking on your journey of creating a touchless shopping experience, here are some key factors to make it robust, resilient, and future-ready:

Key Factors to Consider When Developing a Custom Contactless Retail Solution

Key elements of custom contactless retail solution
  • Compliance Concerns
    Certain retail businesses are subject to specific government mandates. Whether you own a department store, a restaurant, or an online store, be sure to adhere to the compliance regulations applicable to your business. Your custom-developed solution must help meet those unique standards.
  • Easy Integration with Existing Systems
    If you have software solutions already in place, the new touchless system should offer robust integration flexibility. For instance, you can make the most of touchless payment software and check-in solutions by integrating them with customer relationship management (CRM) software. A CRM system that integrates with a check-in solution offers an end-to-end view of the customer journey and enables you to serve them better. It is also much easier & cost-effective to have one centralized platform in place to manage all key functions instead of having disparate systems.
  • Scalability
    Delivering a contactless shopping experience across touchpoints is not easy. Customization is always required when developing solutions for unique business needs. Plus, any touchless solution starts with mobility. Keeping in mind the business projections, the solution must also support your growth. The selection of scalable and sustainable technologies is critical, be it for web or mobile platform(s).
  • Security Measures
    With enhanced mobility and customized offerings, consumers also need privacy and data security to trust your digital solution. This makes it important to implement a strict privacy policy and practice extra caution in handling consumer data. A trusted technology partner can help you develop custom software that integrates biometric access (facial or fingerprint recognition) and reliable cybersecurity protocols for online ordering, payment gateway integration, and even offline data access capabilities.
  • Voice-based Interface
    To offer a next-gen shopping experience, it is important to build a futuristic solution that facilitates voice search and supports voice-based interactions on a mobile device or at self-service kiosks.
  • Mobile-based Transactions
    To enable a touchless retail experience, mobile applications must integrate scan and go technology, an eWallet, or a QR code for making payments quicker and easier without needing any card swipes or manual scans.

Adopting these technologies and making changes now means your retail business will be well-positioned to adapt, thrive, and grow even as the future continues to evolve.

How to Implement a Contactless Retail Strategy That Stays Relevant Beyond the Covid-19 Crisis

The global pandemic won’t be around forever, but the concept of contactless shopping has become a permanent reality. Adopting new technologies while retaining the all-important human touch is the only way to future-proof a retail business. Here’s how:

  • Leverage the Potential of AI in Retail: Use the power of artificial intelligence to derive accurate and actionable data for personalizing the purchase experience, customizing offers, and boosting loyalty. The future of touch-free retail lies in AI-powered solutions like facial recognition & voice commands. Establishing the right connection between technology and customer insights – habits, interests and preferences will enable the delivery of great offers now and in the future.
  • Promote touch-free Orders & Pickup: Pandemic or no pandemic, customers have adopted the behavior of online shopping. Technology can be leveraged at every touchpoint – from order placement to doorstep delivery. However, it should be user-friendly, easy to navigate, and should communicate the steps of interaction.
  • Efficiently Manage Inventory & Resources: With customers accustomed to online shopping, it is crucial to ensure that all the items listed online are available in stock. Retailers can use their Point-of-Sale (POS) system and loyalty points data to forecast the need and ensure optimal stock levels throughout seasonal peaks.
  • Stay Ahead of Technology Trends: Retailers offering touch-free services have already started with voice-based services & self-service kiosks. If you’re still not implemented the touch-free model, you’re already lagging and losing out on a massive customer base. Investing in software solutions that serve your shoppers safely and efficiently is the only way to leapfrog ahead.

How Rishabh Can Help Companies Embrace the Contactless Culture

Whether you are a global store, an eCommerce brand, or a retail startup, our full-service software development cycle covers everything from UI/UX design and software architecture to development and testing. Every solution is custom-designed to enhance the consumer experience and boost operational efficiency.

We are fully equipped to develop enterprise-grade retail solutions, innovative platforms, and on-demand mobile apps by leveraging industry-leading technologies like AI, ML, AR, VR, IoT, and more.

Custom retail software solutions that we can help you build are:

  • E-commerce Management Solution
  • Custom POS Solution
  • AR-based Product Selection Solution
  • Supply Chain Management Solution
  • Multi-Vendor B2B and B2C MarketPlace and more

Our expertise in developing multichannel and omnichannel infrastructure can speed up your order processing time and reduce logistics expenses, in turn enhancing the brand value.

We also enable seamless integrations of POS terminals and online payment gateways. These integrations make managing reward programs, invoicing, and inventory management more effective.

Having assisted international retail brands with tailored software solutions, we are fully armed with all the knowledge and resources needed to help you anticipate customer needs faster and surpass your competitors.

When you choose Rishabh, you get much more than a custom retail software solution. You get the expertise of our team, extensive industry experience, superior service quality, and growth opportunities.

Elevate to the Next Stage in Retail

We can fast-track your journey to a touchless future with frictionless retail solutions.