The current retail environment is characterized by digital transformation. Shoppers who’ve gotten used to the fast-changing market now expect more convenience, speed, a range of options, alternative payment methods, and contactless delivery methods.
For merchants, the challenge is to meet the above expectations and beyond. So what are the driving forces behind the current shift to digital platforms?
The Driving Forces
Both consumers & retailers are fueling the current digitization in retail and e-commerce markets.
Customer expectations change and increase by the day as merchants target a bigger share of the market and operational brilliance.
The major seismic force fueling the transformation is the notable increase in expectations among shoppers.
Second, merchants looking to seize a bigger market share are struggling to offer an Omni-commerce experience. Data shows cross-channel purchase alternatives rake in more than 90 billion dollars; no wonder every merchant is out to have a slice of the cake. The competition is so cut-throat that retailers who fail to offer an omnichannel experience lose to their swift counterparts.
Another factor fueling the digital evolution is the chance tech has offered businesses to improve their business processes.
For instance, with mobile capabilities around, retailers can now engage clients better and reduce the business-customer gap. On top of that, implementing a comprehensive inventory management system can ensure better inventory management and minimize expenses.
A global Pandemic Fuels the Shift
Coronavirus has further paced the shift to digital platforms. Payment technologies that were performing just fine pre-pandemic are now hitting the roof.
Web-only sales at ACI merchant customers went up over 81 percent YOY from May 2019 to May 2020.
Doorstep delivery has also become relatively popular. But curbside pickups (and other forms of buy-online pick in-store) are hot on its heels. These are just a reflection of the impacts of COVID-19 on customer habits.
The pandemic also saw customers in the US adopt contactless payments. The United States has been slow to implement this method, but paranoid customers now prefer paying through contactless and other ways they see safe.
How Payments has changed
The digital transformation has impacted many aspects of retail, but none has seen as much change as Payments.
So what are some of the must-do transformations for any merchant looking to thrive in today’s market?
- Contactless business.The goal is to reduce contact in the entire buying process. Merchants can meet this expectation by implementing such methods, e.g., by taking mobile payments, doing away with signatures, etc.
- Satisfying the Customer’s “Payment convenience” expectations. Shoppers expect different convenient levels at checkout. Implement trending methods to satisfy your dynamic shopper base.
- A Frictionless Process. Retailers must offer a frictionless payment process but not at the expense of security. While you want to approve every transaction, don’t forget to keep an eye on fraudulent payments that may affect your business.
Now you know what it takes to survive in today’s marketplace. Identify what works for your niche and prepare your brand to thrive in a new era of business.
Author Bio:- Payment industry guru Taylor Cole is a passionate payments expert who understands the complex world of ecommerce and retail merchant services complaints. He also writes non-fiction, on subjects ranging from personal finance to stocks to cryptopay. He enjoys eating pie on his backyard porch, as should all right-thinking people.