When you’re trying to make sure your business gets every dollar it can, one of the best things you can do is remove the barrier between your customer and your customer paying you.
The online retail ecosystem is evolving quickly as shoppers reach for the nearest digital device as they hunt out a bargain.
Today’s shoppers review products online at home, and use their smartphones as personal shopping assistants – switching between online and offline channels at ease.
It’s this change in shopper behaviour which led to development of mobile-friendly sites and retail apps.
It’s unthinkable that a retailer doesn’t have a website optimised for mobile these days, and there’s another shift in behaviour coming which will force retailers to change again: the rise of the e-wallet.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen a massive shift from using cash for purchases large and small to plastic as people start to use cards for purchases as small as a cup of coffee in the morning.
Online, we’ve seen people use a range of methods to pay for purchases.
More than half of respondents to a global Nielsen survey on payments said they had shopped online in the past six months.
Of those, 53 percent paid with a traditional credit card, around 40 percent used a digital payment system such as PayPal, 39 percent used a debit card and 38 percent used a direct debit from their bank accounts.
However, there are noticeable differences around the globe.
Nielsen found that, unsurprisingly, that in countries where there either wasn’t credit card penetration or people simply didn’t trust purchasing online – that they used cash instead.
The message here is that if your customer sees buying from you as either difficult or a risk, then they simply won’t transact with you.
More than likely, they’ll choose to buy from a vendor they can trust or makes it easy for them to buy.
This is worth keeping in mind when thinking about how your customers are going to pay you tomorrow: eWallets.
An eWallet is a digital wallet which enables your customers to buy items online or using their smartphone in store.
You know those people tapping their phones against the payment terminal to buy things? They’re using an eWallet to make that transaction happen.
The customers’ bank account or card can be linked to the wallet, along with their driver’s license, healthcare card, loyalty card, and other ID documents.
Their credentials can be passed to a merchant’s terminal wirelessly to process the transaction.
There are all sorts of eWallets out there, including some made by the likes of Apple, Samsung, and Android – meaning that they’re becoming pretty serious business.
According to payment processors WorldPay the use of eWallets is slated to account for 46 percent of global payments by 2021, up from 18 percent in 2016.
So it’s probably a great idea to get ready sooner rather than later to make sure that you don’t miss a single sale because you didn’t offer an option for customers to pay via eWallet, or they didn’t trust your ability to process transactions safely.
Invariably, no matter the technology it’s the retailers who are able to offer customers ease of payment and security of payment who will have the best shot of securing the sale before the customer gets frustrated and walks away.