Sunil Tuli, Managing Director of King Power Group (HK), said frictionless shopping puts the consumer in control, and means taking the opportunity to get rid of anything that doesn’t add value to the shopping experience, such as paper receipts and making the consumer rummage in the wallets for loyalty cards. Airports can no longer rely on travellers choosing to spend their spare time browsing, he said, and a significant 75% of passengers now plan their purchases beforehand.
The three micro “moments that matter” were detailed by Xin Deng, Managing Director of Global Smiling. Firstly, the customer looks for ideas about what to buy, then they consider which product is the best, and finally they want to buy. While many retailers focus on this last phase, it is less important for a customer to be present in the store than for the store to be present at each of these retail moments, he said. Matthew Brennan, an expert on WeChat and co-founder of China Channel, stated that technology was now augmenting traditional retail. While people were accustomed to speaking of online to offline, today online and offline sales channels are merging, and in China, the retail giants are now moving offline. Mobile payment has moved into the mainstream and half of people in China don’t carry cash.