In the current payments environment, the customer experience is a concept on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Behind the endeavours made in order to keep the customer base engaged and growing, there is a lot of innovation on the technological part. However, cutting-edge technology is not the customer’s concern, yet the outcome of it might be when it comes to convenience, which is another keyword of the moment. The personalization of payments is an important selling point for each merchant that aims for high customer retention, as well as for each payment service provider that seeks to stand out from the competition. One makes a difference by providing a full journey customization. By offering consumers payment methods that suit their ability to pay, ecommerce websites can increase conversion by reducing cart abandonment.
A consistent experience equals an online shopping experience that is geared to the unique needs and expectations of the customers. In the payments context, this means that merchants have to offer adaptive payment methods and options. The checkout technology for ecommerce merchants is of reference in this matter. As an example, PayPal has introduced a new feature that includes the most relevant payment method for each shopper, making the life of retailers easier in terms of adding alternative payment methods, like local wallets and country-specific options. The checkout experience is key in the whole process, being the last stop but not a less important one. For instance, it is somehow crucial to have the currencies displayed in the same place, so as not to make the customer open a currency converter online, and thus creating some sort of inconvenience due to too much friction.
Many federal government employees have been going without pay due to the ongoing US government shutdown, and T-Mobile has announced that it wants to help the employees stay connected during this time. Customers who are Federal government workers and need short-term account assistance can collaborate with T-Mobile Customer Care representatives on solutions tailored to meet their needs. This includes flexible payment options that allow customers to spread their service payments over time, with payment deferral also being an option.
These are just two examples of how the industry is becoming more and more customer-centric, as the commerce environment is based exactly on that.
The value of data
According to the Experience is everything: Here’s how to get it right study of PwC, 48% of US consumers consider friendly, welcoming service a sign of success in the industry. The same study shows that 43% of consumers would not give companies permission to collect their personal data to allow for customized experiences. However, for a service they say they truly valued, 63% said they’d be more open to sharing their data. If we look at these stats, we realize that the price for convenience is a big one on the consumers’ side as well, as data is a valuable asset that no one trades easily.
In any event, offering adaptive payment methods and options requires a significant amount of data related to geolocation, authentication, and behavioural analytics. Apart from that, the research is also extremely useful when it comes to preferred payment methods across the world. For instance, in Europe, the majority of shoppers use Visa and Paypal, while, if we look at South Asia, cash or credit card are the popular choices. This is something that a merchant must take into account, especially when expanding the business internationally, in order to gain customers above all, and then creating a strategy of retention.
To sum up, if merchants want to successfully meet the challenges posed by the growing ecommerce industry and demanding shoppers, they should consider the checkout, the omnichannel experience, the in-store experience, the optimization of payment options, and the rise of mobile payments.