Half of retailers (52%) who have adopted mobile payment technology believe it encourages shoppers to spend more per transaction than using conventional payment methods, new research has revealed.
The report, based on interviews with 200 senior executives at major multichannel retailers from VoucherCodes.co.uk and WBR Insights, showed there was a clear consensus on the role of mobile payment technology as a positive sales driver in-store. The majority (81%) of retailers said they believe the technology encourages their customers to shop with them more frequently as it facilitates easier payments, streamlining the checkout process and removing friction.
In addition, 80% of retailers felt that mobile payment technology had directly encouraged shoppers to come back to the store more frequently. Installing this technology in their shops has been a big priority for retailers, and 74% have already fully or partially implemented mobile payment methods, with the rest planning to do so in the near future.
Of the retailers who took part in the research, 38% felt the biggest benefit of implementing mobile payments in-store was that they facilitate greater engagement with customers by improving convenience and customer experience in real time. Thanks to the use of mobile payments, retailers are experiencing opportunities to improve various elements of the customer journey; from purchase right through to aftersales.
Mobile payments have helped retailers to improve their internal processes. By making the process digital, staff are able to be more organised without worrying about paper receipts, on top of saving time by letting them process transactions quickly and allowing them to follow up with customers more easily thanks to digital receipts.
For 26% of retailers, these factors are the biggest benefit of the technology. Retailers view digital receipts as a key improvement in after sales care for customers as they offer a less intrusive way of requesting a customer’s email address, allowing them to follow up and re-engage with the customer with relevant marketing content and emails.
“The move towards mobile payments has arguably been the most significant single shift in customer shopping habits in the last five years,” says Jimmy New, Director of Marketing at VoucherCodes.co.uk. “ApplePay was introduced in most major European markets in 2015/16 and the sight of people tapping their phones on terminals in stores has fast become the norm.”
New continues: “These latest figures highlight how retailers are continuing to adapt to the growth of online and mobile spending. Technology and digital investment will be key to ensuring this growth does not come at the expense of traditional high street spend, as Artificial Intelligence and other popular innovations transform the overall shopping experience.”
The report also revealed retailers’ priorities for technology investment, highlighting potential areas for growth over the next five years. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology looks set for continued growth - it was deemed the second most important area for technology investment, according to 23% of retailers, just behind traditional mobile apps as the most important area (according to 28% of retailers).
Meanwhile, a quarter of retailers (27%) confirmed that they had already invested in Augmented Reality (AR) technology over the last 12 months in a rush to engage consumers in-store and via mobile.
New adds: “Whilst the future of the high street remains unpredictable, over the next 12 months we expect to see retailers continue to invest in tech and mine for more intelligent data to create an increasingly personalised approach. Mobile payments, AI, AR and many other exciting developments will no doubt be at the forefront of upcoming changes; however, meeting customer needs and expectations will be what drives activity and investment moving forward.”