With drastic shifts in consumer behaviour, technology advances and the emergence of new payment methods, retailers offering flexibility and mobility in transactions will gain advantage.
By DataMesh Group CEO Mark Nagy.
Covid-19 has accelerated change within the retail industry at an unprecedented rate, leaving many retailers playing catch-up across all aspects of their business and forced to innovate and to do so quickly.
Today’s consumers have been more and more exposed to a wide range of alternatives to cash, such as digital wallets and rapid growing BNPL instruments including AfterPay, Klarna and ZipCo.
Regardless of all trends, however, and despite the distancing restrictions of the Covid era, 85% of retail transactions still occur in-store within physical establishments.
To enable merchants to be truly mobile and to capture customers across every touchpoint, the retailers performing best are those that can transact seamlessly across all channels, in-store and online, while offering the payment types their customers want to use – with the added advantage of interacting with them in the way that best drives engagement.
This means retailers must continuously innovate and look at new technologies to deliver a truly flexible system that can offer their customers all payment types, including an integrated online experience involving a mobile POS to interact with customers away from queues and away from the counter.
DataMesh helps retailers revolutionise their payment systems, working from the ground up to solve pain points, enhance customer experience with a new breed of safe, secure and smart payment products and, as a consequence, provide unique data analytics.
To keep up with payment technology and look at a holistic view of the customer experience, retailers will soon be forced to consider new payment technologies that offer mobility and flexibility in transactions.
Mobility is the future
Covid-19 has driven significant changes in customer experience and the way businesses are engaging with customers – for example, in-store with the building of transparent Perspex or glass barriers between cashiers and customers to minimise physical contact and germ spread. Customer service operators retreated behind the counters and away from the customer.
The traditional shopping experience of driving customers to the counters has led to greater levels of customer queuing, which in today’s lens is viewed as unsafe, thus lessening the customer experience and satisfaction.
To cater to customer needs, supermarkets and other retailers are implementing payment solutions that are fully mobile, so customers can be ‘checked out’ in the aisle, on the shop floor or in the car park, rather than being forced to queue alongside other shoppers with the risk of infection.
DataMesh’s technology means retailers are no longer tethered to the counter and can interact with customers in the way they like, how they like, free from tech limitations.
Flexibility is the key
As online commerce continues to grow, despite the vast majority of transactions still occurring in-store, it’s imperative that retailers focus on getting this core interaction right for their customers.
As online purchasing has taken off, delivery mechanisms and non-contact click-and-collect options, including drive-through collections, have grown rapidly. This has generally improved customer experiences with businesses that have implemented the order, payment and delivery process in a seamless way.
Retailers need now to consider new technologies that enable device flexibility. No longer tied to a traditional payment device, retailers have the flexibility to conduct payments using a phone or tablet.
This solution not only enables retailers to be more flexible, it also future proofs a business as feature upgrades and further development of legacy payment devices are becoming unreliable, costly and far less frequent.
The retail and convenience landscape in Australia will significantly evolve and change in the months and years to come. Those looking to further enhance their engagement with customers, attract them back into physical stores and improve their safety will need to implement the right payment technology that not only allows for full mobility but also reduces costly errors and, more importantly, increases customer engagement.
About Mark Nagy
Mark Nagy is CEO of DataMesh, an Australian owned and independent payments processing company revolutionising current payments systems to help merchants save money and make money. Mark previously worked with Commonwealth Bank as the head of merchant development and innovation. He has more than 30 years of experience in building and creating successful companies from the ground up.
About DataMesh Group
Sydney-based DataMesh Group is focused on revolutionising the current payment systems available to Australian merchants, delivering integrated payment capabilities and valuable customer insights through bespoke payment and data processing solutions. The company’s proprietary financial switching platform (UnifyTM) is the world’s most modern and powerful cloud and terrestrial-based financial switching solution available on the market. For more information, visit datameshgroup.com.