3 min read
While product quality remains important, today’s shoppers also expect a flawless shopping experience characterised by its seamlessness. In this guide, we’ll discuss what creates a seamless shopping experience across multiple settings and channels – and why it’s so important.
What does seamless shopping mean?
The shopping experience has changed. Not too long ago, you’d physically walk into a store to make a direct purchase. Today, shopping takes place across multiple channels. A customer experience encompasses all the touchpoints across these channels, from mobile apps to online checkouts and social media profiles.
So, what is seamless shopping in this context? A seamless omnichannel shopping experience ensures that the customer moves smoothly from one touchpoint to the next. They can interact with multiple channels during the shopping experience, each providing the same attention to detail and efficient service. Consistency is at the heart of seamless shopping.
What makes a shopping experience seamless?
While the definition of a seamless shopping experience will vary depending on the nature of your brand, a customer-centric approach is a common theme. The idea is to eliminate friction from the customer journey as a buyer moves from awareness to purchase.
Here are a few elements you’d expect to see in any seamless shopping experience:
Awareness of customer needs
Connection between online and offline channels
Consistency in branding between every channel
Personalised shopping experience based on past behaviour and preferences
Optimised shopping experience across multiple devices
Examples of a seamless omnichannel shopping experience
What does all this look like in practice? The goal is for a customer to access your services from any channel and receive the same shopping experience tailored to their personal preferences.
For example, Starbucks is an early adopter of the seamless shopping experience. This international coffee retailer offers its customers a wide range of different channels that cater to personal preference. Customers can pay with their choice of physical or in-app Starbucks cards and automatically accumulate awards points. They can use the app to pre-order beverages, send gifts to friends, or find in-person stores. The app also integrates with other services like Spotify to identify songs played inside the cafes, for a fully immersive omnichannel shopping experience.
How are brands using automated checkout for a seamless shopping experience?
Although seamless shopping often focuses on the online and mobile sectors, it’s equally relevant to brick-and-mortar stores. For example, you might be aware of using automated checkout for a seamless shopping experience. One example of this is the Amazon Go concept, enabling customers to make an in-person purchase without any cashier interaction. Amazon Go stores are equipped with weight sensors, artificial intelligence, and video cameras to track the items placed in a shopper’s cart. The cost is then taken from the shopper’s Amazon account for a truly seamless checkout. An increasing number of retailers are now experimenting with this model, merging physical spaces with online accounts.
Tips to create a seamless omnichannel shopping experience
Brands can use several tips to create a seamless omnichannel shopping experience all their own. Here’s how to get started:
Identify your touchpoints: Where do your customers spend the most time? Do you have both an online and brick-and-mortar presence? Do you interact with customers via social media?
Track customer metrics: You won’t be able to fine-tune your customer experience without the proper metrics. Check in with your Customer Referral Rate, Customer Retention Rate, Churn Rate, Customer Satisfaction, and others on a regular basis.
Invest in the right technology: Once you’ve analysed customer touchpoints and behaviour, you can determine which tools will improve the shopping experience. This might include a custom-made app, live chat box on your website, or virtual shopping assistant.
Improve your mobile experience: With a high volume of website traffic coming from smartphones and other mobile devices, a responsive design is a key component of any seamless shopping experience. Customers must enjoy a smooth transition between online and offline channels, without disruption and delay.
Offer a seamless payment experience: Don’t fail at the final hurdle of checkout. The payment experience should be as frictionless as the rest of your website or store. Streamline your checkout page, eliminating unnecessary fields and enabling guest checkout.
GoCardless can help create a more seamless shopping experience with an optimised checkout page designed to increase conversions. Take instant, one-off payments using Instant Bank Pay or recurring, automated payments using Direct Debit. We have customisable pages that integrate easily with your existing checkout, localised for over 30 countries.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.