Make sure your payment processes are omnichannel customer ready

The pandemic is not over, but in many parts of the world things are starting to improve. With more and more vaccines available, people are starting to resume their favorite activities.

For some, that means shopping in person. During the pandemic, consumers have grown accustomed to shopping on store websites, apps and social media sites.

Not only have people gotten used to shopping through different channels, but they’ve also gotten used to paying differently. In a recent survey conducted by and Cybersource, consumers said their use of digital shopping channels has increased by 60% since the start of the pandemic.[1] However, there is still a perception gap between the digital features that merchants should be using to keep their customers happy and loyal.[2]

Now, as consumers look to purchase their post-pandemic products, businesses expect retail resurgence.[3] As retailers look forward to this increase in purchases, they need to be prepared with the right payment options for the omnichannel customer.

Preparing for the post-pandemic buyer

The pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way customers shop and these changes have a significant impact on the way retailers operate in the future, said Ron Buchanan, vice president of sales, North America, Cybersource. , a Visa solution. “Customers want to shop seamlessly using multiple channels such as mobile, web browser, in-store, switching between channels during the purchase process, and having multiple payment options. In response, retailers need to adapt to a digitally driven environment and deliver a flexible, omnichannel payment experience for the omnichannel shopper.

Many retailers large and small were unprepared when the world switched to online shopping during the shutdown. Some had e-commerce capabilities but lacked a variety of payment methods. Consumers couldn’t use cash to shop online, and many didn’t want to use credit, Buchanan said. Instead, they wanted to use alternative payment methods like buy now, pay later; CashApp; Peer-to-Peer applications like Venmo or PayPal; Digital wallets like Apple, Google or Samsung Pay or checking account links. But when a retailer didn’t offer a payment method that the consumer knew, that was a problem. “For some retailers, these options either did not exist or were too cumbersome for the end consumer to understand,” Buchanan added.

Remember that shopping online was new to many consumers – one study found that 14% of consumers had not ordered online before the pandemic.[4] If customers couldn’t use the payment methods they were comfortable with, they wouldn’t make the purchase. “About 50 percent of consumers have abandoned an online shopping cart because of difficulty making a purchase,” Buchanan said.[5] “If, as a consumer, you’ve spent all that time on the site, choosing what you want and having a great experience. Why should this experience degrade once you get to the cart? “

Complexities of constructing the payment process

Before COVID, retailers focused on how they could retain customers in stores rather than creating a robust set of online payment options. , Buchanan said. Now, however, they are rethinking those decisions, realizing the complexity that exists with consumers expecting their preferred payment options.

Ensuring that your payments infrastructure meets customer needs can be complex due to the global nature of payments. Retailers need to determine if their processes are designed to satisfy people in different countries or regions with different preferred payment options, Buchanan said.

Retailers also want to upgrade their systems to digital technology first, but don’t want to disrupt their current processes. “Many retailers are reaching out [to us], saying, “We thought we knew how to do this, but when we started digging we realized we needed help. “

Ensure that the payment process is transparent, regardless of the channel

Every business should adapt and implement a digitally driven process, Buchanan said. Instead of putting point-of-sale terminals in 600 stores that aren’t connected, retailers should look to platforms specifically developed to connect digitally and enhance the omnichannel experience.

Even as retailers are pushing ahead to improve the checkout process, they shouldn’t be going too far too fast, Buchanan warned. “Create a plan that stays within your current budget while being scalable for future growth of your business. I see so many companies doing more than they can afford or have the resources to do. “

As retailers improve their checkout process, they need to think about the value they can deliver to their customers, Buchanan said. Even if the payment arrives near the end of the customer journey, it can still impact the customer’s current shopping experience as well as future ones.

Additionally, the checkout process is a great time to collect first-party customer data, which can help retailers provide more personalized service.

Since 2020, customers’ expectations and behaviors have changed dramatically, from the start to the end of their buying journey. Retailers must respond to this change and win the hearts, minds and loyalty of these customers by creating a fast, transparent and ubiquitous checkout process that merges omnichannel experiences.

[1], Cybersource. “The Global Digital Shopping Index-United States Edition.” November 2020.
[2], Cybersource. “The Global Digital Shopping Index-United States Edition.” November 2020.
[3] “Is retail gearing up for a resurgence? ” JLL, April 2, 2021,
[4] Namogoo. “Consumer survey: How COVID-19 online shopping habits are shaping the customer journey”. Namogoo, June 2, 2021,
[5], Cybersource. “The Global Digital Shopping Index – United States Edition. »November 2020.

About Matthew R. Dailey

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