The week’s biggest stories in retail technology.

It’s late August, the time where executives of all stripes decamp to their various beach homes. But, like Shia LaBeouf taught is Wall Street 2, money never sleeps in the world of Relationship Commerce. Check out the latest headlines:

The Shipping News

Bain & Co. has issued a hefty new research report detailing their read on the leading customer experience trends of 2018. The whole thing is worth a read, but our key takeaway is that retail execs are most bullish about three trends:

1) A substantial drop in cash transactions
2) Automated in-store checkout
3) Automatic shipping of products when customers run out

(Emphasis ours, naturally).


You Down with IoT?

From Retail Dive and Microsoft comes a rundown of five ways technology is reshaping retail. Spoiler alert: The Internet of Things is involved. But more importantly from our perspective is the continued trend of using technology to help drive personalized shopping experiences. Money quote:

“Consumers are ready and waiting for leading retailers to respond with faster, easier, and smarter ways to interact.”

[Retail Dive]

Brick Beats Click

Gallup released some surprising numbers from their survey on the grocery shopping habits of 1,033 American adults.

While 81% of respondents shop for groceries in person at a grocery or other store at least once per week, only 4% order groceries online at least once per week. In fact, 84% of those polled reported they never order groceries online.

Not every demographic is resistant to the allures of buying their food virtually, however — 14% of those with a child under 18 in the household get their groceries online.


Cart, Interrupted

Digital shopping cart abandonment is worse than you thought (even if you already thought it was bad).

According to several recent consumer studies, customers will walk away from their cart for any number of reasons: a difficult or lengthy checkout process, too many ads, and high shipping carts among the top culprits.

A solitary bad experience will make a customer not only refuse to return to a retailer’s website, but also their bricks-and-mortar stores: 39% of consumers in a study from Optimizely report that “a bad online experience would affect their likelihood of purchasing from the brand in a physical store moving forward.”

[Retail Dive]

The Enthusiasm Gap

Gap’s ten-month-old loyalty program has surpassed 1 million members, despite the fact that it’s only available in Atlanta, Dallas, and California.

Initially available only at Old Navy, the Bright Rewards program expanded in February include to all Gap Inc. brands — Banana Republic, Athleta, Gap, Gap Factory, and Banana Republic Factory.

Customers are rewarded with points when shopping online or in-store. For Gap Inc, it’s a way to better engage with consumers who “may not yet be ready for a credit card…”

[Digital Commerce 360]