Adyen AUNZ Country Manager Hayley Fisher talks through Adyen's latest report, a guide to peak season growth in Australia, to help retailers be prepared for the busy shopping season.
Coming out of covid and into the busy holiday period, this is a key moment of truth for retailers around the world. So how can they prepare for the peak season?
It goes without saying that the pandemic accelerated the adoption of online purchases and created a behavioural shift in the ways in which consumers shop. What’s interesting is that it hasn’t killed the Australian’s desire to shop in-store. Adyen’s recent survey of 2,000 Australian consumers (and 40,000 worldwide) revealed that 73 percent of Australians prefer to shop in physical stores – 14 percent above the global average.
With consumers embracing online shopping and rekindling their love for in-store shopping experiences, it’s important for retailers to stop thinking of channels as silos and instead focus on multi-channel experiences. Our research showed that 53 percent of Australian consumers are more loyal to retailers where they can purchase items online and return them in-store.
This is particularly crucial around the peak shopping periods when shoppers are more likely to be engaging more with retailers across various channels as they browse, shop and return items. Not offering seamless customer experiences will cost retailers. 66 percent of consumers will not return to a physical or online store where they had a bad experience.
According to the report, existing customers are demonstrating new purchasing behaviours. Can you identify the major changes in behaviour?
We’ve highlighted four changes in shopper behaviour:
- Channel-less shopping: Shoppers don’t see channels, they see a variety of ways to engage with a brand. Retailers need to put consumers first and create seamless and personalised customer journeys across multiple touch points and channels, all delivering a consistent brand experience.
- The era of personalised shopping: Consumers not only demand convenience, but they also expect a more personalised shopping experience with the brands they love. Thirty-four percent of Australian consumers prefer retailers who remember their preferences and previous shopping behaviours to create a more tailored shopping experience.
- Social commerce is growing:While still in its infancy, we anticipate that social commerce will take off. Sixteen percent of Australian shoppers frequently make purchases on social media or messenger channels such as Facebook, Instagram, WeChat etc., a number that’s growing steadily. Retailers should look to leverage the unmistakable synergy between social media and ecommerce to drive sales particularly during peak buying periods.
- The rise of contactless and touch-free payments: Contactless isn’t just about convenience, it’s also about reducing contact. Thirty-six percent of Australian consumers stated that they want to shop with retailers that use technology to reduce person-to-person contact like self-checkout with mobile apps or kiosks.
Why have these changes come to be?
We’ve seen a rise in consumer expectations matched with an intolerance for bad customer experiences. Consumers tend to be less loyal and will abandon shopping carts and shop elsewhere if they are dissatisfied. Consumers also had a taste of convenience driven by the pandemic and they expect that convenience to stay. Fifty-four percent of consumers stated that retailers should deliver the same cross-channel flexibility they provided during the pandemic.
How can retailers meet, and exceed these expectations?
Firstly, retailers need to ensure that they are curating the ultimate customer journey. The key is to put the shopper at the centre of everything they do. Offer them the flexibility to browse, shop and make returns in the ways which are most convenient to them.
The checkout process is really critical in delivering a superior customer experience and is all too often neglected. For online checkouts, it’s important to ensure there are minimal steps to checkout (26 percent of Aussie consumers will abandon a purchase if there are too many steps during checkout). In store checkouts deserve equal attention and queue-busting technologies should be considered such as mobile Point of Sale (POS) terminals and self-service checkout.
Consumers should also be able to make payments across different methods, depending on their preference. Popular local payment methods should always be front of mind as the checkout process is optimised. This includes digital wallets, Buy Now Pay Later payment methods, and QR codes.
And lastly, consumers want to be recognised and rewarded for their loyalty and they want engagement with loyalty programs to be easy. Our research supports this. Fifty-eight percent of Australians feel retailers need to use technology to make their loyalty or rewards schemes easier and more effective. What’s more, 50 percent of those surveyed want loyalty programs to be automatically linked to their payment card for convenience.
Is it too late to implement these measures coming into peak season?
It’s never too late! It would be hard to find any brand that feels that their customer experience is 100 percent perfect. Creating ultimate customer experiences is an ongoing journey and as long as you’re listening to your customers and making positive improvements, you’re on the right track.
Based on the report findings, what are the key take aways for retailers?
Communicate offers to customers as early as possible, make sure your website can handle an increase in traffic, and ensure that your main sales channels are ready for the peak season.
Here’s a great checklist to set you up for success:
- Communicate offers to customers as early as possible, make sure your website can handle an increase in traffic, and ensure that your main sales channels are ready for the peak season.
- Take a critical look at your checkout. Make sure you keep payments on your own page so you lose fewer customers and get more conversions.
- Build customer loyalty by offering targeted promotions and discounts.
- Make use of unified commerce. Make sure shoppers have consistent experiences on whatever channel they choose; whether it’s online, in-store, or in-app. And enable cross-channel experiences like click and collect, ‘endless aisles’ and buy online, return in-store.
- Implement the latest payment trends so you can offer visitors a perfect customer experience. Consider the use of QR codes, payment kiosks, and Pay by Link.
- Look at the flow of your physical store and determine which terminal and payment methods are best suited for it. This will also prevent long queues at the checkout when your shop fills up.
- Check your risk management systems or get information from a payment partner on how to guard against fraud.
- See how partners can support your different business processes. Even if you are busy with the peak season now, it is good to look at the long term.
To get your copy of a guide to peak season growth in Australia click here.