After the recent struggles of many retail stalwarts, much has been made about the death of the British high street. But the ONS’ retail sales index shows that 82% of all sales still take place in store, confirming that bricks-and-mortal retail is still a
huge part of our shopping habits. So much so, that even online businesses like Amazon, Missguided, Farfetch and Bonobos have opened stores.
The key to success today is to make your store a place where shoppers want to be. Many stores now serve coffee, Sweaty Betty hosts yoga classes, and Nike lets you test-drive your trainers on its in-store basketball court.
Crucial to any shopping experience is a smooth payment process – and the store is no different. Make paying easy and your shoppers leave happy; add friction and your shoppers could leave without making a purchase at all.
One key cause of friction at the point of sale is not supporting the right payment methods.
The European Retail Report from Adyen found that UK retailers lost £422 million in sales over the past year, as a result of not letting shoppers pay using their preferred payment method. We also found that almost a third (32%) of consumers encountered a
retailer that didn’t offer their preferred means of paying and, of these, over a third left the store without making a purchase.
The research emphasises just how important payment methods are to British shoppers. And when it comes to adopting the latest payment experiences, we are well ahead of the curve. Of all the European countries surveyed – including Germany, Spain, Sweden, Finland
and Norway – the UK was revealed to be the market where people are most comfortable paying with contactless.
Offering a customer’s preferred payment method can improve the experience for international shoppers too. And it’s well worth the effort. Last year, nearly 40 million tourists visited the UK, spending a combined £24.5 billion. If these trends rise further,
the right payment methods will certainly help bolster sales.
Almost every country has its preferred method of payment, and it might be completely different from what we would consider the norm in the UK. In China, for example, Visa and Mastercard pale into insignificance compared to UnionPay (the largest card scheme
in the world) and mobile payment methods like Alipay and WeChat Pay – which are typically administered through a QR code at the point of sale.
Encouragingly, the retailers we polled as part of our European Retail Report, demonstrated that they are beginning to understand the importance of accepting new payment methods, with almost half (43%) looking to add the most relevant methods. But, when
it comes to serving international shoppers, it seems we still have some way to go, with only 27% planning to offer localised payment methods.
In a world where shoppers can pay with a tap of a finger, or by speaking to their device, payments can no longer be simply cash or card. Embracing new payment technology will not only enable retailers to easily accept new payment methods, it will help transform
their in-store experience for both domestic and international shoppers – removing friction from the process, encouraging loyalty and ultimately increasing revenue.