“Over the coming months, retailers also need to prepare for the continued — and maybe even swifter — move to mobile.”
Omnicommerce is new to millions of consumers and small businesses. And as Blackhawk Network Global Head of Commerce Brett Narlinger said of the pandemic’s effects, “This situation has just helped accelerate retailers’ realization of the need to meet consumers’ eCommerce demands in order to survive and thrive in this environment.”
The following is an excerpt from How 35 Execs Are Powering The Great Digital Shift Of 2020 (And Beyond), contributed by Brett Narlinger, general manager of payments for Blackhawk Network.
Many consumers are trying omnicommerce solutions for the first time, and still expect the highest levels of service and availability. Brands that thrive, and will continue to do so, are those that actively look for ways to overcome new challenges by creating enjoyable, seamless experiences to engage customers across the channels they find most valuable. This includes prioritizing a truly seamless experience and choices like in-store pickup, curbside delivery, and expedited shipping at no additional cost.
Over the coming months, retailers also need to prepare for the continued — and maybe even swifter — move to mobile. Mobile wallet adoption was already on the rise before the crisis, with the potential to generate billions in the U.S. by 2021.
With this digital shift, there will likely be fewer retailers accepting cash, but there will still be a need or desire for consumers to spend cash, creating demand for a way to push cash through to the digital marketplace.
We recently conducted some research to examine how U.S. consumers want to pay at the point of sale (POS) to provide retailers with more clarity on closing the gap between digital and physical shopping experiences. According to our pre-COVID research, seven in 10 shoppers surveyed said they were interested in adding cash to an app or digital wallet like iTunes, Netflix, or Uber while in-store, and if they were able to, 68 percent of those surveyed said they would shop in the store more often than they normally would.
At Blackhawk, we’re working to allow a consumer who is a gamer at home to add their cash to their PlayStation or Xbox account via a pre-staged barcode on their phone. They can walk up to the grocery store, scan the barcode, hand the cash to the cashier and have it deposited directly into their PlayStation or Xbox account. We’re seeing use cases like that globally, and we expect to see them proliferate.
Although there will still be a disconnect between digital payments and in-store POS at many retailers, I suspect adoption will increase at a much faster rate as we emerge from this crisis. This means a huge opportunity for engagement and for driving foot traffic to stores by leveraging omnichannel payments experiences and better acknowledging the digital shopper.
The transformation and shift toward digital has always been inevitable. This situation just helped accelerate retailers’ realization of the need to meet consumers’ eCommerce demands in order to survive and thrive in this environment. As retailers start reopening stores and bringing employees back, optimizing eCommerce solutions will likely be a priority for many, if it wasn’t already.
Read more executives' insights on the COVID-19 crisis in How 35 Execs Are Powering The Great Digital Shift Of 2020 (And Beyond).