By Lee Jones, Director of Sales and Business Development, Ingenico Enterprise Retail
2019 was a milestone year for many in the payments industry, and the good news doesn’t end there. The consumer drive for seamless experiences is continuing to push the industry towards new innovations that will change the face of payments. So, what will 2020 hold for e- and m-commerce?
Consumer Behaviors in the New Year
The verdict is in and it looks like convenience is high on the agenda for consumers. In fact, over 50 percent of U.K. consumers are now shopping online, and online spending is forecast to increase by nearly 30 percent between 2019 and 2024.
Consumers want to be able to make purchases at the click of a button. They also want assurance that their purchase is secure, and their details are safe. So, merchants should ensure that their checkout experience is in safe hands when customers are paying online.
However, security isn’t the only thing on consumers’ minds. Frictionless payments are also on the agenda and, as customers are constantly on the go, they want to be able to make purchases quickly, with as little effort on their part as possible. In response, invisible payments are on the rise, eradicating the need for inputting card details as apps already store the relevant consumer information.
Additionally, we are likely to see an increase in Scan & Go systems. Such systems are seeing a resurgence on consumers’ own mobile devices—they have been used in supermarkets previously, however, they required the use of an external device. As some stores make use of systems that significantly speed up the shopping process, retailers should be aware of the need to provide a payments system that appeals to consumers, to avoid driving them towards competitors.
Finally, the environment will be a clear concern for all sectors moving into 2020 and beyond. Consumers have made it clear they are paying increasing attention to the impact their purchases are having on the natural world. Recent research found that 29 percent of U.K. shoppers have started shopping with retailers that have more ethical or sustainable practices. Retailers should be aware that the drive towards environmentalism will result in many customers choosing to shop with stores that implement ethical practices, such as sustainable packaging and delivery methods.
On this note, retailers should consider how they can best communicate to their customers that they are taking their environmental responsibilities seriously. For example, setting up micro-donation technology which gives card users the option to make a small donation at the point of sale allows customers to have a positive social impact as they spend. Micro-donations charity, Pennies, in partnership with Ingenico, has raised some £2 million ($2.6 million) since 2011 simply by offering customers the option to donate their rounded-up transactions.
This preference for environmental consciousness is spreading across the retail sector, as big stores such as Marks & Spencer introduce motivational schemes to encourage customers to bring their own containers. Clearly then, the shift towards more responsible practices in 2019 was only the beginning, and in 2020 retailers should prepare for the environment to become a top priority in 2020.
The adoption of immediate delivery services by retailers will be key to providing convenience. Making this ethical by establishing more localised delivery hubs and pedal power completing the last mile with limited or zero packaging will tick a lot of boxes for consumers.
Significant New Developments in the Payments Sector
First up are subscription services. Three of every four organizations selling direct to consumers will offer subscription services by 2023. As a result, the competition is fierce and convincing customers to subscribe to a service is likely to be a harder sell, but ultimately more rewarding.
However, this means the pressure for a seamless checkout experience is higher, as there’s even more riding on a single purchase. With the continuing rise in contactless payments making checkouts quicker and simpler, there’ll be a greater swing towards the use of mobile payments in 2020, with the adoption of P2P payments via both cards and mobile devices. As all these factors culminate, consumers will begin to expect an increasingly seamless checkout experience, meaning merchants must move with the times.
This year also will see further advancements in voice commerce technology, which is moving into the mainstream. In 2018, $2 billion was spent on voice commerce in the U.S. market. But by 2022, that number is predicted to have increased to a massive $40 billion. While voice commerce has long needed advancements in technology to aid its further adoption, 2020 is likely to see an improvement in services and the immediacy of the method make it an attractive feature for shoppers.
However, to that end, it is increasingly important that consumers feel their payments methods are secure no matter the payment type. So, make sure you seek an experts’ guidance if you’re looking to reap the benefits of this trend.
As a result, security and regulation will continue to take up space in the conversation in 2020. As we close in on the final SCA compliance deadline, merchants will need to update their systems and ensure they are fully in line with the new rules in order to strike the right balance between security and a frictionless customer experience.
Prepare Yourself for a Prosperous 2020
In 2020, we expect to see an even greater shift towards a cashless society, making the retail experience quicker and more convenient overall. As a result, merchants must make the consumer experience their top priority as trends shift towards simplicity and convenience, ensuring online and mobile payments processes are as secure as possible.
Ultimately, the retailers that don’t stay up to date will lose customers to those who do. And this is true across all businesses and sectors – whether hospitality, parking, vending, retail; whether large or small - the seamless payment experience is crucial to excelling in 2020.
Lee Jones is the commercial leader for Ingenico Enterprise Retail in Northern Europe. He and his team help organizations deliver a reliable, secure and fuss free checkout experience, leading Ingenico into new markets, where the introduction of cashless payments is just starting to emerge. Ingenico Enterprise Retail helps businesses reduce the cost, complexity and burden of PCI while assuring their revenues and enabling them to increase their customer satisfaction scores.