- 22 Feb 2016
Technology for the modern consumer: filtering out the mundane
In a recent Retail Week Analysis piece on 8 trends transforming retail customer experience, one phrase stood out in particular: “filtering out the mundane”.
Smart technology has crept into our lives to provide an elevated customer experience surrounding some of the more routine, essential, yet unexciting aspects of our life. As a modern day consumer, two tasks are an absolute necessity that the large majority don’t like doing. Forgive the generalisation, but these are 1) the process of paying for items, and 2) groceries.
We have rounded up some top industry examples of leading technologies improving the everyday, by automating or simplifying parts of the customer journey.
Brits might be famous for queuing, but we certainly don’t like waiting in them. In fact, 40% of consumers would abandon a queue if they had to wait longer than 2 minutes. Starbucks’ Order and Pay app allows customers to pre-order their favourite items, and choose their preferred shop to collect from, enabling them to skip the queue.
Our CEO recently tweeted a great customer experience paying for petrol, at a Shell garage. The handy scannable code allows the driver to complete a quick mobile payment when in their car. As Dan points out, for drivers with children in the car, filling up can be a particularly difficult experience, and so the ability to pay straight away in the car is a breeze.
Will we ever see the day of preloading petrol? Ordering for a routine fill up every Monday morning, that’s automatically paid for and carried out as a service before you leave for the morning commute?
Westfield London boasts a fantastic example of RFID technology outside of the retail environment, using it in its car park. Its Express Parking service uses a smart tag/card which is linked to shoppers’ direct debit accounts, so they need neither to take a ticket when they park, nor pay at a machine before they leave. No queueing, no lost tickets, no hassle.
Anticipating what customers want at a specific time and place is helping to create much more useful, everyday experiences. Innovations in the grocery space are another good example of this.
Supermarket brands Waitrose and Tesco now have a “Scan as you Shop” functionality, whereby customers scan their products as they shop, removing the need to queue to check out. Our Head of Business Development took to Twitter to share his easy experience in Waitrose.
It may seem ‘lo-tech’ alongside more technologically driven innovations, but phone-cradles on trolleys are set to become big in supermarkets this year, because pushing a trolley while holding a mobile phone is hard work, right?
If your supermarket offers downloadable vouchers via an app, it’s a handy way to display them as you shop, to ensure you don’t miss out on your deals.
Boots has taken this a step further with vouchers that are automatically redeemed. Using your Advantage Card, you can preload your discounts and deals to your card online, so that when you shop, the discount is automatically applied.
Have you experienced any tech innovations from retailers that have made your routine tasks that bit less painful? Please share them in the comments box below.