online store and retail

Friction-free commerce: Is your buyer journey delightful?

Customer experience has seen a significant transformation in recent years. The rise of e-commerce and adaptive technologies have created new customer touchpoints, enabling users to interact with businesses through a complex network of channels and platforms. While this shift equals greater convenience for the customer, it makes providing a seamless customer experience increasingly challenging. To combat the risk of disjointed or confusing buying journeys, savvy businesses are making frictionless commerce a key focus.

In this post, we’ll go over what the rise in friction-free commerce means for your business. We’ll also discuss ways you can help your business succeed in the digital age by optimizing the customer experience. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about creating a delightful buyer’s journey with friction-free commerce, or use the jump links below.

What is frictionless commerce?

Frictionless commerce refers to the process of crafting seamless and convenient buying experiences that integrate as naturally as possible into a customer’s everyday activities. This is accomplished by analyzing data based on their shopping behaviors from devices, apps, and websites and using it to create fast, personalized, and hassle-free buying experiences. The goal is to ultimately get the customer to make a purchase as quickly as possible while still providing them with the best service.

Before we dive deeper, let’s take a look at the opposite: retail friction. Retail friction, as the name suggests, refers to the factors that lead to barriers during a customer’s shopping journey with a business. For example:

  • Too many input fields or pages during the checkout process
  • Out-of-stock items
  • Poor order fulfillment

As new technologies pave the way for faster, easier, and more convenient buying experiences, consumer expectations have never been higher. And with this comes the risk that customers will quickly seek solutions elsewhere if a particular brand can’t provide an ideal customer experience. Frictionless commerce helps drive customer loyalty by enabling “wow” experiences and exceeding—not just meeting—consumers’ expectations.

Frictionless commerce examples

So, what are some frictionless commerce examples? Below are three companies that are revolutionizing the checkout process and creating intelligent retail experiences for their customers.


In 2018, Amazon Go was created as a way to conveniently shop for groceries with a bit less human interaction. This “just walk out” shopping method integrates various technological components, including computer vision, sensor fusion, Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence, to create a frictionless shopping experience. From the moment you step into the store until you leave, Amazon Go keeps track of you in real time, along with the items you select. When you’re ready to leave with your items, the system automatically adds up your online shopping cart, charges your Amazon account, and sends your receipt to the app.


Whether you’re shopping online or at one of their retail locations, Apple delivers an exceptional customer experience with almost little-to-no friction. But how do they do it? Well, Apple leverages technology at brick-and-mortar locations to help customers find exactly what they’re looking for, making their experience there much quicker.

Moreover, Apple has their own method for mobile payments. You can make various purchases by simply using Apple Pay. For example, if you wanted to buy a game from Apple’s app store, you can buy it using Face ID or Touch ID. Apple Pay enables customers to pay with phones instead of having to pull out their wallets..


Starbucks’ mobile app makes it easy for customers to get their coffee at any time of the day. Customers can simply open the application, order their drinks and pick up their order when it’s ready. This allows customers to skip the line and order when it’s more convenient for them. By accepting mobile payments via their app, there’s no need to fumble with cash, credit cards, or debit cards either.

From an e-commerce perspective, a frictionless experience could be having an item delivered to your doorstep at the tap of a button from a mobile app. These examples make up the frictionless world that technology has enabled and what many consumers now consider to be standard.

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The importance of frictionless commerce

As consumers continue to gravitate toward digital shopping experiences, there’s no denying the important role customer service plays in that. Plus, less friction will help you achieve unparalleled experiences for your customers that’ll keep them coming back for more. According to PWC, 43% of consumers are willing to pay more for convenience, and 42% are willing to do the same for more welcoming and friendly services.

You see, convenience and customer service go hand in hand. When you make it easier for consumers to browse and shop your offerings, you’ll have fewer negative reviews and sour experiences to tend to.

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Frictionless commerce for SMBs

In today’s age, customers are expecting a convenient and efficient shopping experience. While you may be a small or mid-sized business (SMB), finding ways to streamline the customer’s buying journey from beginning to end is imperative. However, for SMBs, tackling the challenge of frictionless commerce can be daunting. How can you compete with the Amazons and the Apples of the world with limited resources and budget?

The good news is that scalable technology enables businesses of all sizes to compete with big names more effectively than ever before and create seamless buying experiences. This technology is incredibly accessible, so no matter the size of your business, you can provide clients with a seamless shopping experience.

How to provide friction-free commerce

With everything we’ve said so far, there’s no denying the importance of offering friction-free services. But how do you create a frictionless commerce shopping experience? We’ll take a look at the steps you can take as an SMB to enhance the buying journey for your customers.

Provide convenient buying experiences

You can create a convenient and simplified purchasing process with the help of integrated commerce platforms and tools. SMBs can now offer customers the ability to make purchases at the click of a button or request automated deliveries. From subscription boxes to wholesale items, clients can buy the items they want without lifting a finger.

To create this kind of experience, however, you need to have all essential parts integrated into one system–from inventory management and e-commerce to point of sale and shipping. This also means most, if not all, of your business processes should be automated.

Even when resources are limited, it’s possible to provide a highly convenient buying experience. This type of technology has become widely accessible to SMBs. Now, there’s a much more level playing field for your e-commerce business to compete with larger companies that are accustomed to providing smooth shopping experiences.

Be everywhere your customers are

Thanks to the advent of smart inventory management systems and third-party logistics providers, selling across multiple channels and locations is easier than ever before. This means no longer having to pay exorbitant costs for warehousing and resources that may not be needed on a permanent basis.

QuickBooks Commerce, for example, offers a central hub to manage inventory and orders across all sales channels and locations effortlessly. By using QuickBooks Commerce, SMBs can easily:

  • Route orders and update stock across multiple warehouse locations
  • Upload products to all sales channels in one go
  • Centrally manage orders placed on different sales channels

In other words, even with a small team on the ground, SMBs can seamlessly manage sophisticated customer networks and provide frictionless buying experiences on a larger scale.

Focus your efforts toward micromoments

Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to their devices, whether that’s a smartphone, tablet, or computer, to learn, do, discover, watch, or buy something. With these micro-moments, users are looking to get immediate answers to their questions via online chat or buy something with one click via a mobile-enabled e-commerce store. An increase in technology enables businesses, both large and small, to effectively cater to those intent-rich moments through fast, intuitive, and seamless customer experiences.

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Future trends in frictionless commerce

E-commerce, social media commerce, and mCommerce (also known as mobile commerce ), have already changed the consumer landscape enormously and helped drive more convenient, hassle-free experiences for consumers. But what exactly is in store for the future of friction-free commerce? Here are some of the key trends to keep an eye on for the next wave of frictionless commerce.

Mobile commerce applications will encapsulate the entire retail consumer experience

In the United States, more and more people are using their mobile devices to make purchases online. In fact, smartphone retail sales are expected to surpass $432 billion. Looking forward, mCommerce will become increasingly sophisticated to provide end-to-end user experiences with the following capabilities:

  • Mobile payments
  • Order-ahead functionality
  • Order for delivery
  • Check-splitting calculators

All these features will seamlessly integrate with brand loyalty programs and retailer operations.

“Zero UI” will grow in popularity

Zero UI is an umbrella term to describe experiences that don’t require any type of screen interaction. QR code scanning or device tapping on a sensor is an example. Amazon has already achieved this with its Amazon Go services. Amazon is at the forefront of this trend, and other companies are taking notes. More businesses are expected to look into providing personalized and checkout-less experiences. As businesses partake in this trend, consumers will expect integrated online and offline shopping options and see this as the standard.

Hyper-personalization will become the norm

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vision technology can recognize consumers’ purchase histories and product preferences. As these technologies become more widely used by businesses, every aspect of the buying journey will be automatically personalized, from messaging to online storefronts and payment options.

Creating a frictionless experience with QuickBooks Commerce

There’s no denying the fact that we’re currently in the age of immediacy, meaning consumers far and wide are expecting little-to-no interruptions during their buying journey. That said, how can QuickBooks Commerce help your business provide a frictionless shopping experience? For starters, QuickBooks Commerce seamlessly integrates with top e-commerce platforms, including Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify, and Squarespace, so orders and inventory are managed in a single platform.

With QuickBooks Commerce, you’re empowered to work smarter and streamline time-consuming tasks. From payment to fulfillment, you’ll be able to get through orders much quicker, giving your customer that fast-paced service they expect. Get started today and see how QuickBooks Commerce can set your business up for a successful friction-free commerce experience.

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