Retailers and service providers are well aware that their success depends on delivering what customers want when they want it. Unless they offer the right inventory or service, their chances of attracting and keeping clientele are jeopardized. But what about meeting their customers’ payment expectations — isn’t that important, too?
According to the recent Retail Social Listening Study conducted by MasterCard®, the answer is “yes”. The study concludes that retailers are under increasing pressure to adopt new payment technologies as shoppers demand simpler and more innovative ways to pay.
Released in September, the study analyzed 1.6 million unprompted online conversations about shopping and retail across 61 markets to understand consumer experience over the last 12 months. It identified some key trends within the shopping and retail space, providing retailers with a greater understanding of their audience.
Key findings from the study indicate that retailers are experiencing a shift in consumer expectations, requiring new and richer experiences that will enable consumers to shop at the “speed of life”, summarized here:
- Convenience through technology innovations ranked high with respondents in shopping and retail-related conversations. “Consumers specifically highlighted their preference for not necessarily needing to take their wallet on every trip and being able to use mobile payments when they travel,” the study noted.
- Being rewarded was the “most vociferously and positively discussed” topic when it came to shopping and retail, with consumers expressing their eagerness for further acceptance of NFC payments allowing them to receive rewards.
- Demand for increased acceptance was the second most discussed topic, reflecting consumers’ desire for retailers to integrate new payment systems like contactless acceptance and mobile payment capabilities.
Carlos Menendez, executive director for international markets at MasterCard, concluded, “The wave of social engagement we see every time new payment innovations are rolled out truly reflects the demand and desire for new and more convenient ways to pay. It also shows that payments have really moved into the heart of the shopping experience – causing frustration when not accepted and engagement when fast, easy and personal.”
Isn’t it time to reflect on whether your business can do a better job of meeting your customers’ payment preferences? For example, is your processing system EMV® and NFC capable? Do you accept all major credit and debit cards, including American Express®? Do you participate in a gift card or loyalty card program?
A TransFirst® can help you review your options and provide you with the tools you need to meet your customers’ expectations.
EMV is a registered trademark or trademark of EMVCo LLC in the United States and other countries. www.emvco.com. TransFirst, LLC is a registered ISO/MSP of: Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA; Synovus Bank, Columbus, GA; and Deutsche Bank, New York, NY; for Visa® and MasterCard® transactions only.