Today’s customer expects a more personalized, user-friendly retail experience. The pressure is put on retailers to keep up with the on-demand expectations of their customers, and emerging technology can add to those expectations.
Retailers can’t let themselves fall behind. To keep up, they have to provide the latest payment options, including mobile wallet services such as Apple Pay and Android Pay. Donna L. Embry, Chief Payments Advisor at Payment Alliance International, recently spoke about payment options at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. In her presentation she quoted Marshall McLuhan, "The medium is the message." She added that retailers having payment options available for their customers sends the message that they want the customer to be able to choose and easily use their payment method of choice. Not having newer forms of payment mediums available sends a negative message to customers. Donna went on in her presentation to explain the history of payment methods and that retailers have been integrating new forms of payment for as long as multiple payment methods have existed. She ended by saying that if she were a retailer retrofitting for EMV, she would make sure the system accepts the mobile wallet as well.
Today's customer also expects their retailer to have an online presence that is connected with the in-store experience the retailer provides. Buying online and picking up in the store is a customer trend that is increasing in popularity. The process must be seamless and requires a customer-friendly e-commerce retail experience partnered with an easy in-store pickup. And while timetrade.com says in “The State of Retail 2016” that consumers prefer to purchase items in-store, it also says that 79% of retail decision makers do look to social marketing campaigns.
Retailers should view the on-demand expectations of their customers not as a burden, but as an opportunity to grow their businesses. And while not all customers are equally demanding, most people appreciate having more options and easy conveniences. By meeting the expectations of the most demanding customers, a retailer will secure for themselves the means to satisfy all customers.