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Winning the future of frictionless: 5 key areas of retail transformation to consider

By : Kalyna Stiles

February 19, 2019 08:00 AM

Both physical and online stores have their strengths and weaknesses. Online, you can’t touch and feel merchandise; offline, it’s harder to compare products and prices between limitless brands and choices. With mobile, you can always be connected to the two channels, but sometimes these channels don’t connect experiences or content. To compete, the most successful retailers aren’t choosing one or the other; they’re using hybrid solutions to augment the overall experience, creating a digitally connected store.

 

But to do that, retailers must evolve their enterprise, and the transformation should cover these five core areas:

 

  1. Customer engagement: See the vision, strategy and execution through a customer-centric lens
  2. Frictionless checkout/“Buy anywhere” capability: Have the transactional capability to start and end purchases anywhere, but without the bumps and roadblocks
  3. Store design: Understanding that, to enable the next generation of experience, the physical store needs to change
  4. Stock loss protection: As the physical store changes and digital creates the interconnection, retailers also must change the way they protect against shrink or stock loss
  5. The enablement of the digitally connected store: Bridging the online and physical, making it simpler to buy anywhere anytime

 

So, how can retailers make these five core areas a reality, deliver superior customer experiences, optimize operations across the enterprise, and build for the future? By understanding and incorporating the emerging technologies that support these areas. 

 

For example:

 

  • Use technologies that enable retailers to provide cashier-less, 24/7 stores
  • Leverage AI-based computer vision technologies to enhance the checkout experience by streamlining self-service, while also helping minimize shrink or stock loss
  • Merge the customer empowerment of BYOD shopping with the convenience and ease of mobile payment, advanced trust algorithms and acknowledgement of when they exit the store
  • Ensure store associates are brought on the journey with real-time actionable data, AI-driven dashboards and online training tools, leading to greater associate satisfaction and customer engagement

 

As the world of “Walk in, walk out” becomes a reality, retailers are rethinking how customers enter/exit stores, and how stores can become stores within stores, paving the way for new ways to purchase 24/7 and more profitable fulfilment of online selections.

 

All enabled by technology advances making winning in the Age of Now a reality.

 

To learn more about ways we’re working with retailers around the globe to enable the future of retail, visit us at: www.ncr.com/retail

Kalyna Stiles

Global Director Store Transformation Consulting for NCR covering all Global regions

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Kalyna has over 25 years’ experience in key channels important to retailers, including physical store environments and enabling Digital Retail Transformation Solutions, the critical element in connecting and engaging with the customer.