by Kevin Brown
November 09, 2018

US shoppers are ready to use a wealth of resources if it means finding a better deal or making their shopping experience faster and more convenient. Understanding how to create their own integrated mobile / eCommerce / in-store experience can help retailers stay a step ahead.

For our second Consumer Insights Survey of 2018, we zoomed in on how consumers use various payment methods and mobile devices to shop online and in-store. Our 500 respondents provided us with deeper insights into just how much convenience influences their payment decisions, and how they create their own mobile-physical integrations in-store. Here are five of our most important takeaways – and what it could mean to your business.

Click here to view an infographic of the results

1. Smartphones significantly change in-store behavior

About half of consumers regularly enhance their brick-and-mortar experience with their own mobile devices. What draws them to the tiny screen?

  • Looking for better prices
  • Downloading coupons
  • Reading product reviews

What it means to retailers: As a merchant, you can make these tasks easier in a number of ways. Because 65 percent of respondents said they appreciate receiving notifications about discounts and coupons on their mobile device, making it easy to opt in to receive alerts can make finding those offers quick and convenient. You could also integrate the digital experience into your store design with kiosks and shelves outfitted with product information, reviews, and special offers. Wirecard’s partnership with SES-imagotag has made this a reality in the EU, and our test flight at shop.org gave retailers a glimpse of the possibilities here in the US.

Wirecard US Consumer Insights Survey - phones boost brick-and-mortar shopping

2. When reaching out, don’t annoy your customers

When it comes to receiving notifications, our respondents overall indicated that they prefer retailers to keep to information about discounts, coupons, special offers, and personal account information. Furthermore, they prefer to receive messages the old-fashioned way:

  • 69% email
  • 43% text

What it means to retailers: Interestingly, our survey participants reported low preferences for beacon technology, push notifications, and in-app notifications, indicating that consumers like retailers to be alert to their needs and preferences – but to be unobtrusive about it.

Consumers are particular about how and why you contact them

3. The days of cash might be counted

Many respondents reported that in store, they still use cash as much as they use debit or credit cards.  However, while American consumers still perceive advantages to cash, they’re also quite flexible, turning to different payment methods in-store, online, or at specific online shopping sites. The results also indicated a possible generational influence with 18- to 24-year-old respondents using cash less frequently than other age groups.

What it means to retailers: Merchants have a huge opportunity to realize the future of cashless payments. These methods are cost-efficient, fast, and highly secure – a win-win for retailers and consumers alike.

Are we seeing cash’s final days?

4. Need for speed and convenience: that’s what shoppers desire most

Consumers from their late 20s through 40s use their mobile device to shop – frequently. They are even more likely to shop online when it comes with perks:

  • Free or fast shipping
  • Free returns
  • Wider product selection

Meanwhile, the incentives and features that motivate respondents to shop in-store revolve around tactile experience and – again – speed:

  • Immediate product availability
  • Ability to interact with the product before purchase
  • Product selection
  • No lines/easy checkout

What it means to retailers: Whether in eCommerce, m-commerce, or IRL-commerce, it is vitally important to provide a seamless experience that reliably delivers the speed and convenience shoppers desire most. When providing buy online/pick up in-store and similar options, make them easy to take advantage of, and design experiences that bridge the physical/virtual divide:

For busy adults, it’s (still) all about convenience

5. The more consumers shop online, the more important the payment ecosystem becomes

Our survey respondents told us a lot about how shoppers use online and mobile payment options. Interestingly, respondents across every demographic say they prefer secure electronic payment methods like PayPal:

  • 59% of Gen Z (ages 18 to 24)
  • 69% of Millennials (ages 25 to 34)
  • 71% of Gen X (ages 45 to 54)
  • 61% of Baby Boomers (ages 35 to 44)

This suggests an interesting correlation. Consider that Gen Zers shop online less – monthly – as opposed to a few times a month or weekly for older age groups. Similarly, about 25 percent of all consumers regularly use merchants’ native online payment platforms like Amazon Pay. Frequent and more experienced online shoppers place more value on having a secure, quick and convenient payment option.

What it means to retailers: If you make shopping online an attractive alternative, and your payments easy, quick, and secure, consumers may be more likely to join your payment ecosystem. And when you’re ready to ramp up your eCommerce and physical/digital integration, partner with the global leader in innovative payment solutions. Contact us to find out how we can help.

It's all about convenience


Click here to view an infographic of the results

Wirecard US Consumer Insights Retail Integration Infographic_high-res