Payment Pain Points – a fraction is too much friction for shoppers

With demand for friction free payment transactions, such as contactless payments, using cards and digital wallet, are predicted to grow by 300% globally over the next five years¹, retailers need to diversify and reimagine the traditional point of payment in-store and online, RetailEXPO’s latest report suggests.

Original research of 2,000 UK consumers in the Retail Trends: How retailers can harness digital to capture the consumer in 2020 and beyond’ Report from RetailEXPO revealed that year-on-year in-store queues remain consumers biggest irritation with, 53% of shoppers identifying long lines to pay as the primary cause of in-store basket abandonment.  Over a quarter (28%) of in-store shoppers say that retailers still have work to do to make the payments process in-store as friction free as online. 

The impact of ecommerce experiences on in-store expectations is reflected by the 15% of shoppers who said they would like retailers to offer buy-now-pay-later options available for in-store purchases.  At the same time, the future of cash-only payments looks increasingly tenuous with 77% of 18 – 34-year-olds saying they don’t see a place for physical notes and coins, compared to 56% of the 55-plus age bracket. 

With payments made with Apple Pay on track to account for 10% of global card transactions by 2025², its little surprise self-checkout options (24%) and ‘scan and go’ facilities (27%) were the two top technologies that shoppers identified as improving customer experience (CX) when shopping in-store. 

More than a third of shoppers (34%) said they would welcome the opportunity to pay with an in-aisle payment app.  This figure increases to 44% of 18 to 24-year-olds and grows again to 50% for shoppers living in London.  However, retailers looking to rollout scan-and-go payment solutions need to ensure they address shopper anxiety around the new technology with a third of consumers worried they would be charged incorrectly, while 31% expressed concern that they may be wrongly accused of shoplifting.

Online, Amazon’s pioneering one-click ‘Buy-Now’ purchasing option has heightened expectations with a fifth of shoppers saying that retailers should do more to make the online payments process more friction free.  Nearly a quarter (23%) of online shoppers say they would abandon their purchase if the retailer didn’t offer their preferred payment method with one-in-ten saying they would go elsewhere if one-click payment is not offered on-site. 

More than a quarter (28%) of shoppers get annoyed when online checkout takes too long and a similar percentage (27%) are irritated if the online address and personal details capture process is too onerous.  

Matt Bradley, Event Director at RetailEXPO, commented: “There is no doubting the impact Amazon has had with shoppers wanting speed and convenience at every touch point of the in-store or online journey – and nowhere is this more pronounced than at the checkout.  It’s clear the key ingredients for the perfect online payment include a mix of choice of payment option, speed and security.  Retailers who miss one of these elements as part of their online payment solution may fatally undermine the customer’s journey to purchase at the critical moment, just prior to conversion.”

1 Juniper Research, 11th February 2020.  

2 According to trend data compiled by research firm AB Bernstein. 

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