Jan 03, 2023
After ramping up efforts to reduce friction in the online shopping experience over the pandemic, retailers are now reportedly focusing their investments on the in-store payment process.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article:
- Halfords, the UK-based retailer of auto parts and bicycles, is exploring a technology that uses sound waves to enable digital payments via a customers’ mobile device.
- Kroger is testing smart shopping carts that enable customers to avoid the traditional checkout line, as well as exploring installing checkouts in individual aisles.
- Nordstrom is investigating payment via mobile phone.
Recent studies show consumers becoming more open to alternative payment methods due to the use of contactless payments over the pandemic.
A survey of U.S. consumers taken in December 2021 by Anyline found 76 percent of scan-and-go users started utilizing the offering because of the pandemic. Of those respondents, 79 percent plan to continue to do so once the pandemic ends. Thirty-two percent cited speed as their first priority when shopping in stores.
Among those not using scan-and-go, the top reasons were privacy concerns, cited by 35 percent; not wanting to go through the process of downloading an app, 32 percent; and the inability to use the app to buy certain products, such as produce and alcohol, 31 percent.
According to Marqeta’s “2022 State of Consumer Money Movement Report,” 71 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed used a mobile wallet in the last 12 months, up from 64 percent in late 2020.
Fifty-six percent felt comfortable leaving their wallets at home and taking their phones with them to make payments, according to the Marqeta survey. Among age groups, 59 percent of 18-24 year-olds expressed confidence with leaving their wallet at home, but only 36 percent of 51-65 year olds felt the same.
A Morning Consult survey taken in December 2021 identified some payment methods not gaining significant traction, including sending a payment directly through a social media platform, only 23 percent doing so; buying something within a game or virtual reality, 19 percent; paying for something using a wearable device, 12 percent; and shopping at a “just walk out” store, 11 percent.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will scan & go, smart carts, mobile payments or any other alternative payment method gain significant traction in 2023? Will most payments at the store level likely be made via traditional staffed cashiers and self-checkout terminals well into the future?
“Contactless, cardless and mobile payments are on a high-growth trajectory, and I just don’t see anything but more growth ahead in 2023.”