What are the two payment trends that retailers need to start integrating into their business models in order to keep customers satisfied? Tyson Hackwood (pictured Below), head of braintree’s Asia-Pacific division, explains.
It wasn’t that long ago when ‘online’ was considered the last frontier in a customer’s search for a product or service. Only after you had trawled every Westfield or local shopping centre would you then jump online.
Fast forward to 2016 and the customer’s journey to purchase has been rebooted. For many Aussie businesses however, the path to purchase hasn’t kept pace with the rate of change.
While data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics states that the percentage of offline payments is greater than those made online or on a mobile device, it’s becoming clear that the intent to purchase, or the moment a customer sees an item of clothing, gadget, appliance – whatever – and has an intent to purchase it, begins long before they step into a shop.
Over the course of a month, the average Aussie spends almost 50 hours browsing websites and apps on their computer, smartphone or tablet, and it’s during this browsing time that their intent to purchase begins.
If a customer’s journey to checkout now begins long before they step inside a shop, or might never include them stepping into a physical shop, then there is a real opportunity for retailers to step up their offering to match the ‘real-world’ experience and re-wire the customer path to purchase. A critical part of this experience is payments.
The reality for businesses operating in 2016 is that customers want to be able to shop when they want, how they want, and with whatever payment option they choose. And the lines between online, mobile and in-store shopping have all but disappeared.
Retailers need to keep in mind that for consumers, payment is no longer just about the checkout. The payment process needs to be effortlessly threaded through the entire purchase experience, making it as easy as possible for the consumer to pay, where and how they want to pay.
There are two trends which demonstrate how payments can be seamlessly threaded through the entire experience that retailers need to start critically thinking about integrating into their business models.
The first is contextual commerce, or buying experiences that are automatically embedded into everyday activities.
Pinterest is a great example of contextual commerce. If you see a chair or a cushion you like on Pinterest, instead of leaving the site, opening a separate tab then starting a wild goose chase for the chair online, with Pinterest’s buyable Pins, one touch and those Pins become purchases.
So what does this mean for retailers? Consumers are now thinking about their next purchase long before they reach the checkout, so retailers need to stop trying to bring customers to them and instead reach customers where they’re already hanging out, engaging with products and transacting.
The second trend is the rise of mobile payment technology. The launch of Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay in the last twelve months has redefined what it means to make a payment in the physical world. We carry our smartphones with us everywhere we go, using them to communicate, consume content and now tap in-store to make a payment. And while this technology has some way to go before consumers are instinctively tapping their phones at the checkout, the potential is massive.
So what’s the implication for retailers? Consumers are quickly becoming hard-wired to seek out innovative and seamless buying experiences, so it is critical that retailers look at their own online or mobile experience and ask themselves, is it seamless? Is it innovative? After all, it’s only loyalty and sales that are at stake.
While contextual commerce opportunities for local retailers still have a long way to go and consumer comprehension is still quite low, there are affordable opportunities available for Aussie retailers at the touch of a button.
An already widely-adopted product is PayPal’s OneTouch – developed with Braintree – which allows users to be ‘remembered’ on their mobile device, allowing them to easily switch from one merchant site to another without having to be redirected to PayPal or enter their password and ID every time they checkout. More than two million merchants and 25 million consumers have enabled this feature and are experiencing faster checkouts with less friction.
Whether they’re shopping in-store or online, customers have always demanded easy, quick and secure ways to pay for a good or service. The opportunity for businesses now is to offer this level of service across every consumer touch point – from the register to the checkout, and from Facebook to Instagram.