The pandemic has drastically changed the tone of retailing. As a result, retailing businesses have suffered principal losses. The health crisis became a roadblock that leaves retailers, mainly medium and large, with only two options: to take a detour or injure themselves.
In previous years, one of the primary movers of digital transformation in retail is the rise of a more digitally inclined population, accompanied by fast-evolving technology that displayed a threat to traditional, physical retailing. This threat was later on called the “retail apocalypse” which is signified by a rapid hike of sales in online retailing.
The Retail Industry
If we observe, data from 2019 shows that around 9,300 physical retail branches were closed due to excessive numbers of them being built instead of going for online sales (Forbes). Such is just one of the numerous proofs that retailing has already been going online.
We are way past the introduction stage to digital retailing. However, the global health crisis has created a higher demand for change to retail businesses, particularly from customers.
A tremendous change in consumer behavior, the digital transformation that the pandemic called for is on a bigger scale. There is pressure for retailers to deliver their products through other channels, and still offer the most efficient service they could provide.
Nearly 50% of global shoppers are using digital payments more than pre-COVID. The majority of whom plans to continue doing so even after the numbers depress. E-Wallets and contactless cards are the top payment methods benefitting from this change, as consumers use less cash and make more purchases online (Global Online Payment Methods 2020 and COVID-19’s Impact Report).
The term “dirty money” pertains to not just unlawfully obtained money but to its by-the-book definition – unhygienic. In the United Kingdom alone, the use of cash was cut in half ever since their government banned its usage following the ascent of COVID19. Retailers are obliged to render contactless payments only, creating a cashless economy.
Before-mentioned synopsis emphasizes the pressure for the retail industry to provide more payment options. Retailers, therefore, should anticipate further developments from this point forward. Aside from its timely relevance of diminishing the need to do physical transactions, online payment has more to offer to the different stakeholders of retailing, which includes the following:
Since it can be done by using the user’s mobile device, capacitating your business with online payments will make way to faster transfer in comparison to a card or cash payment. With the technological upgrades that mobile devices have nowadays, executing the transfer can be seamless and can only take a short while.
Online payment gateways have now evolved to address security issues that worry the users. They are encrypted, with several layers of security, which include protecting the information of both the sender and the receiver.
Personalized customer experience
It lessens the necessity to wait in long lines and the inconsistency of each transaction time, which is influenced by human factors. It also allows the business to acknowledge customers’ needs in real-time, regardless of their category or level of priority.
Affects buying behavior
The possibility of customers to retreat from purchasing a product may be affected by the unavailability of the payment method that they prefer. So, if a good number of the retail market will go for online payment if it is in place, it will be a grave move not to equip your business with this ability.
As the global health crisis pushes the retail industry to change the ecosystem, shaping your business fit for online payment is a step towards survival.
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