In the past, consumers relied on cash, check or credit cards to purchase goods, but changing payment technologies have transformed the availability of merchandise for consumers. As a result, customer service strategies have evolved to adapt to the new technology. Serving customers not only relies on relationships but also an eagerness to simplify the shopping experience by offering mobile payment options.
Ever-Changing Payment Methods
The landscape of how generations were raised directly impacts how merchants must accommodate consumers. For example, millennials currently outnumber Gen-X and Baby Boomers. This is a crucial recognition for retailers, as millennials have been raised with the push for instant gratification. Millennials want their merchandise to be ready at the tap of a button, so requests for mobile payments have experienced a significant surge.
The Rise of the Mobile Wallet
Merchants offering mobile payments are expected to meet the needs of consumers as more and more shoppers adopt the mobile wallet in 2017. These types of payment technologies allow consumers to replace their credit cards with a virtual wallet, offering a secure and fast payment option for goods. Consumers are ditching the plastic for a more convenient payment method that reduces the risk of misplacing credit cards. This industry continues to boom with the creation of Samsung Pay, Android Pay and Apple Pay, making the technology accessible for virtually any type of mobile phone. The mobile wallet's popularity shows the need for payment technologies, especially as Apple Pay alone has reported growth that exceeds 1 million new users each week, according to Scott Blum with Total Merchant Services.
The On-Demand Consumer Culture
Customers are no longer willing to wait days or weeks for an order to arrive. In fact, the surge in online shopping has indicated that standing in line is a thing of the past. Payment technologies are absolutely vital to meet this demand and guarantee a quick turnaround with prompt payment. Customer service strategies must revolve around utilizing mobile payments for "order ahead" purchases while enabling tracking to alert businesses of a customer's arrival. This on-demand consumer culture relies heavily on payment technologies that simplify the purchasing process while also reducing the hassle of obtaining goods. Merchants can also expect a rise in the digital assistant in 2017. Google data simplifies the process for consumers to interact with their digital devices and make purchases based on recommendations that pull from the buyer's habits and patterns. Companies in tune with how, why and when their consumers purchase are more readily able to provide on-demand services.
Technology not only affects what consumers buy — but also how they buy. By offering payment technologies that cater to the increasing use of the mobile wallet, merchants can take advantage of opportunities to increase their sales.
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