While today’s digitally savvy consumers have been quick to embrace online shopping trends in general, most of these shoppers still prefer doing business with brands that have physical locations. Brick and mortar locations sacrifice the convenience of online shopping to offer customers the ability to touch, taste, see, and feel products before committing to a purchase. However, these physical stores also risk alienating their patrons through poor customer service and experiences. In a recent survey, more than 70% of respondents identified the retail checkout experience as their biggest pain point.
In response to these concerns, many retailers have started to utilize new technologies and innovative payment solutions to revitalize the checkout experience and provide multiple methods of payment to make the shopping and checkout process as fast and painless as possible.
“New technology allows consumers to pay for products in innovative ways,” said Clint Jones, SVP of Operations at PAX Technology. “Shopping has evolved in the past few years as we embrace emerging payment possibilities like cryptocurrency, Buy Now Pay Later, QR code payments, and curbside pickup.”
Buy Now Pay Later
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) has become an increasingly popular way for consumers to pay for their products. Like the layaway system of old, BNPL allows shoppers to pay for products in manageable installments, making large purchases more accessible to many more people. However, BNPL takes it a step further and allows shoppers to take their purchase home immediately, often after making a down payment, rather than having to wait for the payment plan to finish. An additional benefit of BNPL is that it is not merchant-dependent. Many banks, credit unions, and third-party services now offer BNPL options to shoppers.
Promoted during the early days of the pandemic as restaurants and retailers rushed to find ways to provide goods and services to their customers while keeping their employees safe, curbside pickup continues to be a popular option for businesses and consumers alike. Retailers like how the process streamlines and expedites the checkout experience for inside and curbside customers. At the same time, consumers enjoy avoiding crowds, speeding up the transaction, and even getting free shipping for online purchases. Recent shopping data from Adobe showed that “curbside pickups accounted for 18% of all online orders during Cyber Monday 2021.” To take full advantage of curbside pickup, retailers often turn to innovative handheld and mobile payment terminals, such as the A920 and D190 offered by PAX Technology, to take the checkout experience to the customer.
Cryptocurrency has emerged as a payment solution as it has become increasingly popular with tech-savvy consumers. This digital currency has many benefits that appeal to shoppers, from anonymous transactions to peer-to-peer convenience, but it has been slow to gain wide acceptance in stores. This stalemate could soon change as “more and more companies have come around to the idea of integrating bitcoin into their operations.” While cryptocurrency has traditionally been stored in a digital wallet that has impeded its use in traditional payment terminals, companies and exchanges have begun offering crypto debit cards that connect a user’s digital wallet to a physical card that can be used at any retailer.
The Future of Shopping
The landscape of shopping has been forever changed in today’s digital world. Nontraditional payment methods are on the rise, and if you have not yet been presented with an opportunity to use one, you will likely experience this soon. While businesses might be slow to adapt to emerging trends, consumers embrace them at unprecedented rates. According to data from pymnts.com, a combined 10.7% of consumers utilized cryptocurrency or buy now pay later—two relatively new payment methods—during Black Friday 2021.
The message to both businesses and shoppers is clear: do not be afraid to try new payment methods. Consumers can avoid crowded stores and expedite checkout by using curbside pickup, pay quickly and securely with contactless cards and digital contactless solutions, and make that big purchase a reality by spreading out payments using Buy Now Pay Later. Businesses can take advantage of these emerging trends to “[provide] more checkout options [and] boost customer satisfaction.”
To learn more about PAX solutions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with [email protected].