The growing importance of omnichannel

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in the A decade of digital transformation in 12 months, 46 C-suite executives spoke to PYMNTS for their Q2 eBook about what the world will be like when recovery and the next iteration of normal rollouts begin. In this excerpt, says Dave O’Brien, CEO of Agreement express, discusses how payment companies that challenge each other for speed and direction will succeed.

Read the entire eBook here.

Apple has invested a decade in research, development, and marketing to make FaceTime easier for aging baby boomers. In just a few months, Zoom became a household name for online video conferencing. The payments industry has also had a transformative impact from the pandemic, and the industry is adapting to create a better, streamlined consumer experience.

Consumers surrounded by chaos have found convenience in a digital experience that is completely seamless, almost instantaneous, and contactless when needed. To meet these customer demands, merchants must adapt at record speed to create the ultimate experience: one where the consumer intervenes at the time of the transaction in the same way as they would when buying online.

The industry is already being shaken up by companies that are moving fast in the face of changing expectations at all levels. As the global crisis created new customer demands, companies have been constrained by market disruptions that limit the resources available. You can’t just hire a ten-fold increase in underwriters to get more traders on board faster – you need the latest digital tools to streamline and automate the onboarding process with existing resources.

As if that wasn’t difficult enough, the market continues to change as we gradually enter a post-pandemic era when consumer demands are likely to change again. ROI has become more important than ever as companies struggle to break into an uncertain market.

Fortunately, spending on this type of back-end processing generates a tremendous proven return on investment. According to a survey by Cornerstone Advisors, 76 percent of lenders believe their payment services are above average, while only 41 percent of customers say their needs are met well or very well. You can rest assured that digital demands for a seamless user experience will persist long after the payments industry pandemic.

Today, a seamless consumer experience requires a merchant to stay connected to store a customer’s cart across all digital channels and devices they may use. Payment intermediaries used to rest on the “one-hit wonder” of merchant e-commerce: Consumers only had to make digital payments to merchants on individual websites or in-store platforms.

But the times have changed. According to the McKinsey Global Payments Report 2020, sales from omnichannel marketplaces will account for 60 percent of all global digital payments by 2023. That means consumers want the ability to buy products from multiple merchants or multiple ecommerce stores when listings appear on Google or YouTube – and those payments should go smoothly. This seamless user experience is at the heart of the recent partnership between Square and Google’s Merchant Center.

While an omnichannel experience may seem straightforward to the customer, the process is very complex for merchants and PSPs trying to manage it themselves. Simplifying the omnichannel experience becomes easier thanks to outsourced software and other end-to-end onboarding solutions. In the past 12 months alone, we’ve seen incredible improvements in the tools we use for risk research, underwriting, merchant rating, and payments processing. The latest innovations in the field of digital payments have made it possible for companies to quickly involve more merchants with existing resources and without additional risk.

The best part is that the market is still changing and these tools are smart enough to adapt to those changes. Payment companies that are ready and willing to constantly challenge each other in terms of speed and direction now have the tools to face the unforeseen future.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: MAKING LOYALTY WORK FOR SMALL BUSINESS STUDY – UK EDITION

About the course: UK consumers see local shopping as key to supporting the economy and protecting the environment, but many local high street businesses struggle to get them on the door. In a new study, Making Loyalty Work For Small Businesses, PYMNTS surveyed 1,115 UK consumers to find out how offering personalized loyalty programs can help attract new shoppers on the high street.



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