Customers have become more demanding when it comes to convenience and the shopping experience, wanting it faster and easier, according to data firm GlobalData.

Emerging trends which are all about removing barriers in front of the customer has resulted in retailers investing heavily into frictionless shopping initiatives and loyalty programs.

Frictionless/contextual shopping/commerce use data, technology and devices to integrate buying opportunities as seamlessly as possible into the shopper’s journey. This is designed to reduce the time and inconvenience involved in the steps between product desire and receiving it.

GlobalData retail market analyst, Vijay Bhupathiraju said the broad benefit of investing in frictionless shopping is that consumers are more willing to make a purchase if there is minimal ‘friction’ when progressing through different stages of the buying journey. “However, the concept of friction differs not only across the variety of individual shopper journeys but is also a subjective ideal that varies from shopper to shopper,” he said.

According to GlobalData, 46% of Asia-Pacific (APAC) consumers surveyed were making purchases through their smartphones and 44% were using laptop/desktop devices, clearly highlighting the shift in shopping preferences towards mobile in the region.

Factors of convenience such as frictionless payments, personalisation, relevant offers and delivery and fulfilment services, all play an equally important role. Where busier lifestyles have fueled ecommerce due to the convenience it offers, it gets important for retailers, both online and offline, to align their operations and offerings to demand rather than supply, so following customer preferences.