The influence of mobile technology on retail in this century has been truly astounding. By 2003, 95 million people around the globe made a payment via their mobile device. By 2015, there were 500 million users making 50 billion transactions for a total volume of 610 billion USD. With mobile wallet growth on the rise, could it be the next subset of mobile commerce to reap the benefits of a mobile hungry populace? Over the last five years, m-commerce has enjoyed a 30% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) that is showing little sign of slowing down. If brick and mortar retail is still king, what will it take to bring mobile wallet adoption out of the hands of early adopters and into the hearts and minds of shoppers worldwide?
In sector after sector, companies are asking how they can adapt to the digital world—how they can build more digital capabilities, create more digital offerings, and even become “digital first” organizations.
But for institutions that have served customers for decades in person and over the phone, digital too often falls short. After the debut of a new app, for example, a jump in sales may not be as big as expected, while hoped-for operational efficiencies—such as a reduction in expensive call-center and in-store customer-support requests—hardly materialize.
Executives naturally wonder why: aren’t customers demanding digital? Without question, they are. But not to the exclusion of other channels, which remain critically important.
That the retail world has changed very quickly and fundamentally in the last several years is no longer up for debate. The digital age has spawned customers that are incredibly knowledgeable about — and always connect to — commerce. The number of potential touchpoints a retailer has with consumers has increased exponentially over the past decade — and the dawn of the era of the connected device is set to expand it even further.
The good news for payments and commerce players is that this evolution has been an excellent catalyst for innovation and improvement — particularly in the pursuit of a better customer experience. The more challenging news is that delivering on that potential is a lot of work and typically requires a series of separate but connected efforts to produce one unified experience.
“Traditional brick-and-mortar merchants are realizing they need both a strong digital and social presence,” POPcodes CEO Gregg Aamoth told PYMNTS in a recent conversation.