It’s important that small business owners understand why contactless payments are on the rise and how they meet customers’ desires for convenience. By incorporating contactless payments and other online features, businesses can improve the online customer experience—and their bottom line.
A 2021 Visa study1 showed that more than half of consumers use contactless payments whenever possible, and nearly two-thirds say that post-vaccine, they would prefer to use contactless payments as much—or even more—than they are currently.
The takeaway: Prioritize consumer satisfaction
Consumer satisfaction increases with online features that include product reviews, rewards, store pickup options, and varied payment options like contactless payments. As your business moves to meet customers’ online shopping and contactless payment preferences, be sure you have a payments partner that will help encourage checkout completion—whether online or in person—through simple, seamless and secure features.
Who’s shopping online?
It’s no surprise that young people account for a large portion of those who shop online; millennials make up nearly 40 percent of shoppers who begin and complete their shopping journeys using mobile phones (“mobile natives”) and 28 percent of those who those who begin and complete their shopping journeys using a computer (“online natives”).
Surprisingly, Gen Xers (ages 40-55) and Baby Boomers (ages 56-74) are just as likely to be online natives. In fact, all consumers under 55 now shop online more than they do in brick-and-mortar stores. This shift is resulting in all age groups expecting more features that will make their online shopping and contactless payment experiences more satisfying.
Why the shift to digital?
At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. saw a rapid shift to online shopping to minimize health and safety risks associated with shopping in stores. When consumers couldn’t avoid brick-and-mortar stores, they at least tried to minimize the time spent inside, using services such as buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup.
In a three-month period in 2020, curbside pickup grew from 10.8 percent of digital purchases to 15.5 percent. Other digital features that experienced big usage increases included product availability tools, mobile order-ahead and contactless cards or digital wallet payments.
But while safety precautions related to the global pandemic have played a role in consumers shifting to digital-first shopping experiences, it is the flexibility and convenience that will keep them there.
Consumers crave convenience
Wherever they shop, consumers crave convenience. Online channels have done a good job providing it:
- When shopping in stores, consumers must walk through aisles to find the product they’re looking for; online, a product is just a click away.
- In stores, it can be hard to find an employee to assist; online, there are often instant chat features and customer reviews to help fill in information gaps.
- If the store has an item out of stock, you don’t know when it will become available. Online you can be given a back-in-stock date or be redirected to similar products that may meet your needs.
The availability of these and other digital features have resulted in online shopping garnering satisfaction scores more than double those of in-store shopping. In fact, the more online features consumers use, the more satisfied they are. And the more they shop online, the less satisfied consumers are with in-store shopping.