The evolving consumer journey with Jemima Bird

The Cashless Experience is Bouncepad’s podcast special, where we delve into the cashless debate. We spoke to industry experts to get a holistic round-up of when we will become cashless and how it will affect everyday life: from customers, to retailers, to the elderly.

To kick-off the discussion, we spoke to Jemima Bird, the former Co-op Customer Director and independent retail expert, about transitioning into a cashless society. Jemima advises retail groups and tech start-ups, so talks of going cashless aren’t new to her.

Brushing upon the focus on convenience shopping, especially among the younger generations, Jemima explains that cashless is an important step in reducing queue time: “Younger generations are moving at the speed of light and want to get on with their lives."

The journey of a consumer has evolved meaning these customers are now hungry for a tech-enabled life. They want to visit a store to select and try something on and then they want it delivered to their home, so they can wear it out that night. Jemima suggests now is the time for retailers to get involved – as a minimum they must have contactless tills at checkout.

Weighing up the cost effectiveness of allowing contactless involves the benefits of less security needed (because there is no physical cash on site), smaller queues and it frees up employees so they can concentrate on customer service. Negatives include the cost of processing transactions and the spend on the technology to make it all possible. Jemima thinks this is a cost worth taking, pointing out that if you don’t collect that data or offer that speed of service, you won’t be able to hold on to your customers.

Suggesting that the high street has a huge opportunity for growth here, putting tech at the heart of what it does rather than being an afterthought, Jemima urges retailers to tag in tech so that the humans can spend their efforts being at the heart of the customer journey. She warns that if ignored, these brands with struggle to stay afloat in a tech-led future.

In the data debate, Jemima explains that shoppers are happy to give away their data if they are repaid with a better and more personalised experience. She cites a survey claiming as many as 60% of us are happy to part with data so long as brands use it responsibly.

Although supporting the move to cashless from a retail perspective, Jemima points out concerns over the elderly, warning us not to exclude people. She also expresses worries about the homeless population – how will people donate to them in a cashless world?

According to Jemima, we’ll be embracing a cashless world within the next five years. Press play to watch the interview or click to listen to the full podcast.