The behaviour and expectations of consumers are currently experiencing a major change – also in the furniture industry. It is therefore also becoming increasingly important for brick-and-mortar retailers to create an optimum process for what may seem trivial in sales, such as the payment method.
Demand is increasing
Consumers are buying a greater number of products online and this also applies to the furniture segment. The brick-and-mortar retail business is losing its position as supplier. Everyday items can be purchased with just a few clicks on the PC and now conveniently via mobile devices for the most part. Despite this, surveys and studies from recent months show that consumers still enjoy going to shops.
At the same time, however, higher expectations are being placed on stationary retailers. Today, consumers who set off to a store of their choice expect a positive shopping experience. Product worlds and how the goods are presented should aim to surprise and inspire. In addition, comfort and convenience are absolutely essential.
Long lines and cumbersome payment methods lead to lost sales.
In the 12 months prior to the “Retail Report 2018”, retailers lost a total of EUR 16.3 billion in potential sales because customers abandoned their purchase due to long wait lines at the cash registers. Approximately four out of ten consumers consider anything longer than five minutes unacceptable. Retailers can provide significantly better service by using mobile payment systems and self-service checkouts. However, they are reluctant to do this – only around 30% offer modern payment methods.
Important to note in this connection is the fact that checkout is often the last stage of the in-store purchasing process. A poor experience at the register is therefore also the last impression that the customer takes home with them and associates with the retailer.
Cross-channel payment is crucial
Whether online or stationary: Convenience and seamless processes are just two of the key factors to ensure a positive shopping experience. If the customer can check the availability of products online before going to the furniture store, this is viewed as positive. The ability to reserve a product online for in-store purchase or picking up goods bought online at a branch (click&collect) are well-known examples of cross-channel shopping.
Implementing this however requires the retailer to use payment systems that allow such models. This is something to definitely take into consideration when selecting a service provider.