Now more than ever, customers are hooked on a shopping experience that’s smooth and unhindered by time-consuming steps, no matter where they are or what they’re buying. In fact, shoppers don’t even want to think about how they’ll pay for services or products at the checkout – the less friction there is, the more they’ll buy.
Unsurprisingly, this customer behavior is driving today’s tech innovations to shatter the boundaries of how a payment is made. It’s not about cash registers and handwritten checks anymore. Soon we’ll be waltzing in and out of stores at the drop of a hat without passing the checkout, or auto-restocking our groceries through voice configuration on our fridges.
But let’s be honest. All these new payment technologies can be a bit overwhelming. So where do you start when you’re looking to offer a seamless buying experience? Here are three of the biggest game-changers in today’s reality to keep you up to par, now and in the future:
1. Enable contactless checkout or bust
If you don’t already offer contactless payments at your in-store checkout, add it to the top of your to-do list. These days, shoppers expect to pay with just a tap of their card. In the UK, half of all debit transactions are now contactless. And by the end of 2019, there will be more than 1.3 billion mobile wallet users worldwide. For all brick-and-mortar retailers, we recommend you get on board, or risk falling behind the pack.
2. Make mobile shopping a piece of cake
There’s a new clear favorite and immediate way to browse and buy, and it’s not between the aisles. More than 40% of all e-commerce purchases happen on mobile devices, with the UK seeing a 141% increase over the past year. And in the US, three-quarters of shoppers just head straight to Amazon to get exactly what they’re looking for.
We’re living on our mobile devices now more than ever before, and it’s not just our social media addiction. A recent study says 27% even shop while eating dinner, and 20% while watching TV, giving “Netflix and chill” a whole new meaning.
We also love getting on our phones in a physical store to check pricing, products, or the competition. Wherever we are, our phones are in hand – and that’s a powerful thing for e-commerce merchants. It’s crystal clear now that having a mobile strategy is a must, whether it’s a faster, frictionless checkout, a seamless shopping experience from online to offline, or an app that users love.
3. Join the new era of biometric payments
Fingerprint, voice and facial recognition, eye scans… The use of biometric authentication in payments is now commonplace and will only keep growing over the next decade. The possibilities are endless.
Mobile wallets are already integrated with facial and fingerprint recognition, allowing us to become better acquainted with this tech when we buy. But how else are people actually using biometrics today, and what are some of the new and creative ways merchants are implementing it in their business models?
Let’s take the Seattle Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field, for example. Sports stadiums are packed with thousands of fans who don’t want to wait in lines. This giant hub of activity demands elegant logistics and coordination.
That’s why this year, they introduced biometric authentication to the experience. Now fans can sign up for a membership to get express lane access for entry and concessions stands using fingerprint and eye scans, including for alcohol purchases. This new and smarter way to make a transaction means less wait time, happier fans, plus an increase in attendance and purchases.
Welcome to the future
How do you get yourself on track for the future, make payments frictionless with the newest technologies, and keep shoppers happy and coming back for more?
We’ve covered some of the tech that’s already in use, but buyer behavior is constantly shifting. We’re spending more on smoother, faster experiences, and even more through our smartphones. So, what’s next?
Invisible payments. The demand for sleek, unnoticeable transactions is giving merchants a clear opportunity to elevate revenue. Creating a strong payments setup is the bridge to move from frictionless to invisible payments. That’s why streamlining the most important part of a customer’s journey—when people pay—is crucial to boosting your conversion and staying ahead of the competition.