How mobile payments impacted the retail experience in 2018

As 2018 ends, it’s time to reflect back and see the impact mobile technology has made this past year in the world of retail. While mobile technology was already predominantly used in an eCommerce setting to create a personalized experience for the consumer, 2018 took the role of mobile apps to new heights. This year alone, we’ve seen retailers such as Walmart utilize mobile beyond just the customer experience and empower its in-store associates through unique mobile apps to promote associate in-store productivity.

We also saw a particular trend begin to take hold in 2018 – mobile scan-and-go checkout. Beginning with Amazon Go and continuing with Macy’s, Target, and even 7-Eleven, retailers across different verticals have turned to mobile during the peak sales season to add an additional layer of payment convenience for its shoppers. Let’s take a look at why we can expect mobile payments to continue to grow in 2019.

With mobile payments now playing a central role in both online and in-store shopping experiences, it’s important to take a look at how we got here and what’s ahead for 2019. In 2018,  Baynard Institute reported that an estimated 69% of all online carts are abandoned, with 95% of those at the payment stage. One major barrier to successful mobile website sales is the long and clunky process of entering personal and payment information. Trends showed that consumers are growing impatient with the repetitive and detailed payment process. This also translates to in-store retailing: consumers have grown weary of long lines during peak shopping seasons and opt to abandon the product rather than wait in line to finalize the purchase.

Enhance Your Mobile Payment Features

Mobile apps show a clear advantage in the convenience category, as they can deliver features that are attractive and useful for retailers and busy shoppers alike, especially those who don’t have the time or desire to re-enter their information for every purchase. The solutions are as simple as simply scanning a credit card or thumbprint.

Credit card scanners allow shoppers to use their devices’ cameras inside the retailer’s app to snap a quick photo of their card, allowing the app to automatically read the information and fill in the information. With just a tap, shoppers skip the clumsy process of manually entering numbers on their smartphones, and an easy transaction is secured for both shopper and retailer.

With digital wallets, shoppers can store personal and payment information in devices, so they can instantly allow the shopping app to access their payment info. PayPal is the most popular and widely-used digital wallet for shoppers, and it serves retailers well, boasting a 70% higher checkout conversion than other forms of payment. However, smartphones have built in their own wallets, with options like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay making it easier than ever to purchase on mobile.

Mobile Will Drive Retail Growth in 2019

With features like these, it’s clear why mobile is driving the biggest retail sales growth and mobile payments will become a staple in retail as we move into 2019. So, what’s the next step? Recognizing the shopper’s desire for convenient payment processes, retailers in 2019 will expand on offering simple solutions that are fast, easy, and user-friendly for all consumers. Other tech-savvy industries have picked up on consumers’ demand to save time and effort: restaurants save customers’ favorite orders on their websites, and streaming services offer handy queues that allow viewers to continue last night’s TV binge with just a click. With conveniences like these permeating every area of our lives, it only makes sense that shoppers are longing for even faster transactions once they fill their shopping carts both in-store and online.