Consumers have always influenced how payment methods evolve – stretching back centuries to the barter system, and extending, now, into the digital age.
And as payments are done in bits and bytes, across all manner of use cases, consumers prize convenience and personalization.
For merchants, it’s imperative to take stock of the existing (and evolving) payment preferences that can be markedly different across generations – but delivering a seamless experience is a way to cement loyalty and drive repeat purchases.
Bringing consumers and merchants together used to be a fairly straightforward process. Issuers sent cards to consumers and providers sent point-of-sale (POS) devices and terminals to merchants. But the lines of commerce have blurred, presenting both challenges and opportunities for merchants to engage with their targeted shoppers.
In the webinar scheduled for Jan. 13, Amy Parsons, senior vice president of global acceptance at Discover Financial Services and its payments brand, Discover Global Network, will discuss how laying the technological groundwork ahead of time can remove the barriers and disruptions that keep consumers from completing their transactions, even while navigating the in-person and online components of an omnichannel experience.
Retooling the Approach
Parsons will delve into how merchants can retool their approach to payments, developing a long-term mindset that can have a beneficial impact on top and bottom lines.
Attendees will learn that younger generations – Generation Zers and millennials among them, who wield significant (and growing) spending power – care more about payment flexibility (and options) than merchants might realize.
For example, 40 percent of Generation Z shoppers would rather have a fast, effortless checkout experience than a coupon. And 43 percent of Gen Z shoppers believe that the faster you can buy something, the better the quality of the company or the product itself.
Data, of course, plays a role in building customer engagement models that pay dividends, and machine learning and natural language processing will prove to be essential components of a strategy that creates context for consumers.
Fraud is always top of mind – and the webinar will address whether the digital age necessarily means higher vulnerability to attacks.
In the webinar, case studies will show how merchants can differentiate themselves by successfully bridging digital and physical retail settings. To do so, according to Parsons, businesses must embrace what she terms “an ecosystem of partners.” That ecosystem should be one wherein each partner brings expertise in different products or services – from inventory tracking to loyalty programs – and allows the merchant to focus on the end-user experience.
Attendees will gain the insights necessary to create what Parsons calls “the stream of consciousness effect” around the customer.