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Retail’s Zero Friction Future

Technology has changed a lot about the way we operate as businesses, with the ability to manage stock, serve customers anywhere in the world and connect to those new hard-to-find consumers. 

It has also fundamentally changed the way we are as people. Most of us are now hard-wired with the expectation to be able to get what we need instantly, and have in-store and online experiences tailored to them. 

However, there is often still a massive gulf between what we as consumers have been trained to expect, and what we as businesses are offering to them in terms of an experience. We often see the terms ‘Chat Now’, ‘Book Now’ or ‘Buy Now’ on neat looking buttons on websites offering a painless path to purchase, but more often than not it’s a misnomer – leading to more forms and faff for customers. How many times have you wandered around a store unable to find an item where it logically should be?

More than 80% of Australians surveyed by GfK said they had experienced friction in either the discovery, purchase or post-purchase phase of their shopping journeys (1). And that friction is costing retailers of all types a lot of money – $4 billion in 2018 (2). 

Given more than a third of Australian grocery shoppers surveyed (3) pointed to queues at the till and not enough cashiers as a friction they experienced – it’s fair to say a seamless experience will put your store higher up in the consideration set and steer shoppers away from dumping their trolleys.

In today’s world, companies are not just competing on a local level, but on a global scale, so benchmarking against the best in the world and understanding how to define success has never been more important. How are the best-in-class staying ahead of the curve and leaning into customer needs before they even know they are needs? 

To explore these topics Facebook has partnered with global strategist Anders Sörman-Nilsson, the author of the book Seamless who works with Fortune 500 companies to help them future-proof their customer business strategies, to create a video series where he discusses these findings in-depth with business leaders from Canva, nib, KFC and MINI.

In our first episode KFC’s South Pacific marketing head Michael Forster joins us to discuss how the group is adapting to all the new ordering processes to deliver finger lickin’ chicken to customers in more ways than ever.

Canva founder Melanie Perkins joins Anders for episode two to talk about removing friction from the CMO department by giving entire companies access to design tools that keep consistency for their brand.

In our third episode nib CEO Mike Fitzgibbon addresses the oft-ignored issue of employee engagement, discussing how the health insurer has streamlined processes internally.

MINI Australia and New Zealand marketing head Alex McLean rounds out the series discussing how the brand wins new customers by delivering exceptional service to people as they await to drive their new wheels off the forecourt.

In this series you will hear from business leaders with one thing in mind – making the human experience better to help drive more sales. 

To help you understand how you can start your business along the journey towards a zero friction future we have created a trove of resources detailing some of the simple steps you can start to make. 

Click here to start your journey towards a frictionless future for your customers.

(1,3) Facebook IQ Source: “Zero Friction Future for Retail” by GfK (Facebook-commissioned study of 400 respondents, ages 18-54,Australia), Mar-Apr 2019
(2) Boston Consulting Group Data Analysis, Mar 2018. Exchange rate used as $1 USD = $1.49 AUD from, Sep 2019

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