Every savvy merchant understands that catering to consumer preferences is a cornerstone of success. But, of course, this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Cost constraints, a lack of resources, legacy technology and a host of other issues can all create obstacles in merchant’s ability to adapt. Balancing the need to innovate with these challenges is no mean feat.
Catering for all customer groups is important, but when assessing which initiatives to prioritize and which will make a real impact in enhancing the customer experience, it’s even more critical to anticipate what consumers are going to want next. This means understanding and meeting the preferences and demands of the youngest groups of consumers – and finding a way to beat some key cost and technology challenges in the process!
In our new report ‘Preparing your Payments for the Future’ we explore that very mission. Bringing together trends and insight from our survey of 10,000 consumers across 10 major markets, with the core challenges that 1000 European merchants shared with us in our ecommerce merchant survey, we look at the common factors that need to shape merchants’ ongoing payments strategies.
Talking to a range of ecommerce merchants highlighted that the vast majority recognise the need to introduce payments innovations, but they’re struggling to balance this with the cost to serve. For example:
- 40% find implementing new payment technology into existing technology platform challenging,
- 35% are actively looking to diversify payment methods away from cards, and
- 32% said they need to reduce the cost of payments
Even a quick glance at the results from our consumer survey highlights that these innovation efforts are absolutely necessary for merchants who want to cater for younger consumers and garner their loyalty as they rise through the ‘buyer ranks’ to take their place as the most valuable buying generation.
Looking at the trends, expectations and experiences from Millennial and Gen Z consumers, it is clear that they place a stronger value on speed, security and transparency, plus they’re much more comfortable with digital technology. For instance:
- 81% of 16-24s and 85% of 25-35 year-olds prefer debit payments vs 73% of 56-65 year-olds
- 65% of under 35’s have abandoned an online purchase due to not trusting a site with their card details, but would’ve trusted it if they had the option to authenticate via their bank instead.
- 52% of 16-24 year olds prefer to authenticate using biometrics versus only 23% of over 65s.
There is a firm opportunity for ecommerce merchants to offer online banking payments as a way to cost-effectively cater for digital-natives, since they couple the preference for debit and the demand for slicker, more trusted checkout experiences, with ease and speed of innovation. Because they don’t rely on the card rails, heavy resources and integration with outdated card infrastructure isn’t a factor with online banking payments. This makes them a logical, (or you may even argue, a necessary) choice for ecommerce merchants seeking to make their payments process fit for the future.
If you’d like to delve deeper into the preferences of the younger shopper, or explore the associated benefits of online banking payments, download the full report.