Omnichannel Retail 2019: Why Mobile Payments Will Become Table Stakes

As 2019 arrives, it’s time to reflect on the impact mobile technology had on retail in 2018. While mobile was already predominantly used in ecommerce to create personalized consumer experiences, the role of mobile apps reached new heights. For example we’ve seen retailers such as Walmart utilize mobile apps to empower associates to promote productivity.

We also saw an increase in mobile scan-and-go checkout. Beginning with Amazon Go and continuing with Macy’s, Target and even 7-Eleven, various retailers have turned to mobile to add an additional layer of payment convenience. So, what can we expect from the world of mobile payments in 2019?

Mobile Checkout Will Improve

With mobile payments now playing a central role in both online and in-store shopping experiences, it’s important to look at how we got here in order to look ahead.

Last year Baymard Institute reported an estimated 69% of all online carts are abandoned, with 95% happening at the payment stage. One major barrier: The long and clunky process of entering personal and payment information. Research shows consumers have little patience with the repetitive and detailed payment process, especially in the smaller form factor.

Consumers also increasingly want to use their mobile phones to check out in store if a retailer offers that option, rather than stand in long lines.

Buy Online, Pickup In-Store Will be a Consumer Payment Requirement

Retailers such as Target, Petco and Kirkland’s offer convenient checkout options such as BOPIS. While it is definitely a logistical play, it also gives shoppers an additional checkout and payment option as well as being convenient and fast. In 2019, consumers will continue to demand the ability to buy online and pay via the retailer’s mobile app or website. Those that fail to deliver a variety of payment options will lose share and attention to competitors.

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 not having to re-enter their information for every purchase. The solutions are as simple as scanning a credit card or thumbprint.

Credit card scanners allow shoppers to use their device camera inside the app to snap a quick photo of their card, which automatically reads the information and fills it in. With just a tap, shoppers can 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 on their devices, with the app accessing their payment info. PayPal is the most popular and widely-used digital wallet for shoppers, boasting a 70% higher checkout conversion than other forms of payment. However smartphones have their own built-in wallets, with options like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay making it easier than ever to purchase on mobile. In addition, retailers should offer payment options through emerging tools like Square, Venmo or Zelle.

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 need to offer fast and easy solutions. Other tech-savvy industries have picked up on the need 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 will continue to push for even faster transactions to check out their carts, both in store and online.

Casey Gannon is VP of Marketing and Services at Shopgate