Shoppers’ continued need for speed

Brought to you by Retail Insider and K3 Retail

Even before any customers had actually been allowed into the first Amazon Go store in Seattle a whirlwind of publicity had been created, which forecast the advent of real frictionless shopping. Commentators loved the idea of people simply walking out of the store with their goods and their bank account being automatically debited for the relevant amount.

The fundamental appeal of the Go store is the removal of queues. Waiting in line at the checkout in-store has long been the chief bugbear for shoppers. When Tesco many years ago initiated its ‘One-in-Front’ policy to open up extra checkouts when any person was queuing behind more than one other customer it was widely copied. Having experienced queue-free shopping customers quickly began to demand it across the whole of the retail industry.

Along with Amazon the likes of Waitrose and Zara are undertaking work to implement queue-Less systems involving electronic tags, handheld scanners, and smart-phones with the retailers’ app downloaded. These moves are fuelling a significant reduction in the number of transactions undertaken at traditional Point-of-Sale terminals. According to Zebra the number has fallen from 71% of all transactions in 2012 to 52% in 2017. The desire to queue at fixed PoS is diminishing at a decent clip.

There is also evidence that consumers are becoming more willing to spend a greater amount with a specific retailer if this ultimately saves them time – especially among older shoppers. Recent IGD ShopperVista research found that 54% of post-millennial shoppers would buy from their nearest store even if it is more expensive. This will be music to the ears of convenience store operators.

Regardless of whether it is through having the closest store to the consumer, or having state of the art technology that removes the checkout, the conclusion we can draw is that consumers continue to have an insatiable appetite for speed when shopping.

Glynn Davis, editor of Retail Insider

K3 Retail deliver multi-channel solutions that enable retailers to create joined up shopping experiences for their customers whether they choose to buy on-line, direct, in-store or via mobile. It has over 20 years’ experience delivering award winning solutions, to more than 175 internationally recognised retail brands