Expanding Customer Touchpoints – Delivering New Experiences
April 6, 2021
As the world locked down and even the most minor errands triggered a gauntlet of health and safety protocols, buying behavior fundamentally shifted. During the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers demanded a purchasing experience that was fast, safe, secure, and convenient.
Currently, safety is the driving factor in consumer demand for contactless purchasing. The Visa Back to Business Study found that 78% of consumers cite safety as the primary influencer of their purchasing behavior and almost half (46%) say contactless payment methods are “the most important safety measures for stores to follow.”
In response, more and more businesses adapted by improving their online ordering options, adding contactless payments, and offering curbside pickup. This popularity of an enhanced buying experience is undeniable, with many experts predicting these new behaviors are permanent.
Moving forward, consumers will expect simple, streamlined purchasing, and successful businesses will make sure they’ve incorporated the technologies and strategies necessary to provide a seamless buying experience. Here are a few customer touchpoints that will remain popular post-pandemic
Curbside pickup is here to stay
For starters, many consumers continue to remain at home instead of shifting back to in-person shopping and dining. Even in places with eased restrictions and significant vaccination rates, many consumers will continue to choose curbside pickup and other contactless options because they’ve grown accustomed to the convenience. That means businesses will need to continue to provide curbside pickup.
Curbside pickup has proven to be a good thing for everyone. Customers continue to choose this option because it is more convenient for them. Businesses like it because it reduces shipping and packaging costs and keeps consumers engaged and purchasing, even when they can’t or won’t come inside the business location. Curbside pickup also protects customers and employees, as it limits the amount of person-to-person contact.
E-commerce and the ability to shop online
Consumer behavior was already moving toward online sales, but the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated that shift. And while there will always be consumers who prefer to visit a physical location, their online experiences will also inform their onsite purchasing expectations. Consumers will continue to expect in-person shopping to be just as fast, easy, and safe as shopping online. For business owners, meeting those expectations will require the right e-commerce and payment technology and a user-friendly online presence. Customers will want the ability to make and track purchases on their mobile device using an app. They will look for businesses with customer-friendly services like same-day delivery, in-store pickup, and contactless curbside pickup.
Contactless payments drive purchasing choices
The pandemic drove the necessity to limit face-to-face transactions. This also led to a change in payment behavior and payment preferences, with an acceleration towards more options for contactless payment. According to the Visa study, 74% of consumers say they will continue to want contactless payment options post-pandemic. The ability to make contactless payments will also drive customer choices when selecting a business, with more customers opting to shop with companies that offer contactless payments. The study found that 63% of consumers would switch to a business because it has contactless payment options.
As the world continues to move forward post-pandemic, customer preferences will continue to drive further movement towards digitalization and less in-person contact. Businesses that continue to provide these contactless services while also evolving and expanding their market and product offerings to meet consumer demand will come out ahead.
At PayTech Trust, we offer secure merchant accounts and web-based solutions for businesses of all sizes. With our collaborative suite of services and world-class cybersecurity protocols, PayTech Trust has the experience and the expertise to help your business move safely into the world of online credit card processing.