Holiday 2021: Imagining A Truly Frictionless Retail Future

By Krishna Motukuri - December 01, 2018

As many retail industry experts predicted, this year’s holiday shopping season is already shaping up to set records. From Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, more than 165 million Americans shopped either in stores or online, and the National Retail Federation (NRF) is predicting total holiday sales will increase up to 4.8 percent over 2017.

According to the NRF’s 2018 Holiday Spending Survey, while 55% of people said they'd be shopping online, the same amount said they’d be visiting brick-and-mortar stores to buy gifts.  55% said they will shop department stores, 51% will shop discount stores and 44% will even buy gifts at supermarkets this year. Already, across the first holiday shopping weekend, more than 89 million people shopped both online and in stores, up nearly 40 percent from last year.

Despite the growing prevalence of e-commerce, millions of us will still, inevitably, find ourselves at the mall or waiting in long lines at crowded stores over the next few weeks. At some major retailers, there are efforts underway to get shoppers in and out faster than ever.

According to a recent Associated Press story, Walmart, Target and others are deploying workers to checkout customers via mobile devices, while Macy’s is testing a system to enable shoppers to scan and pay for purchases on their smartphones. In many cases, however, the burden is being put back on the shopper to scan goods, and it’s not going over favorably.

The Ghost of Holiday Shopping Future

What if you could fast-forward to just three years from now: a future holiday shopping season dominated by truly frictionless retail experiences? Imagine stopping at your local grocery store to pick up the fixings for your Christmas dinner or Hanukkah feast, checking “in” at the entrance, filling a few bags with the needed ingredients and zipping right out again?

Perhaps you need to drop by another store to grab last-minute stocking stuffers and a few gifts, but instead of spending 20 minutes checking social media to kill time in a ridiculously long cashier line, you simply swipe your credit card to enter, grab the items and leave - getting a receipt on your phone within in seconds.

Imagine if you could simply tap in a specific desired item - by brand and/or product name - into the store’s app and receive turn-by-turn directions to that product within the store itself, without having to search the packed aisles for a store employee?

All of this and more, is on the horizon as more and more savvy and forward-thinking retailers and real estate owners catch the wave of checkout-free shopping solutions like Zippin's.

If you’re a retailer and would like to see this future in action today, please contact us here for a demo.



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