Voice of the Industry

Five technology trends that will shape retail in 2019

Thursday 20 December 2018 09:46 CET | Voice of the industry

As 2019 approaches, Adyen’s CCO Roelant Prins looks at how retailers will set themselves apart from the competition

2018 was the year of customer experience in retail – global merchants realised they needed to up their in-store experience to complement the convenience of ecommerce. As 2019 approaches, we wanted to look at how retailers will set themselves apart from the competition. With technology and improved customer experiences the cornerstone of differentiation in the new year, here are five things to look out for in 2019 in the world of retail.

Retailers unlock the full potential of unified commerce

In the new payments world of 2019, unified commerce is king. Rather than a source of competition, retailers will start to see bricks and mortar and online as one unified channel.

Key to this is understanding the power of payments data that can unlock new revenue. Data consolidated from across channels enables retailers to create a clearer picture of their customers and build more compelling loyalty offers or personalised shopping programmes. For example, using unified payments data, retailers can find customers that haven’t shopped with them for a while and apply the right initiatives to entice them back.

That’s not all. Payments data can also help retailers understand their loyal customers’ channel preference, average transaction value and shopping frequency, which helps retailers optimise their retargeting efforts.

The customer experience continues to evolve

With customer experience being one of the key battlegrounds in 2019, retailers will need to innovate to stay ahead of the competition. Three key areas of focus will be:

1) Smart devices to boost sales

Much has been made about the potential of home assistants such as Amazon Echo or Apple’s HomePod to transform retail. But in 2019, the opportunities created by other connected devices such as televisions and gaming consoles will be fulfilled. For example, a customer could be watching TV, see an advert for a product and purchase it immediately with one click of a remote control.

2) Unified commerce to tackle queues

As more retailers truly embrace unified commerce and create a seamless link between the online and physical stores, customers will be able to start transactions on one platform and finish on another. This can help to vastly reduce queues in-store, a huge benefit for shoppers and for retailers.

3) Wearables to streamline checkouts

With their rise in popularity, wearables will continue to streamline checkouts and also create new customer experiences – particularly in the hospitality and entertainment retail sectors. For example, in a bar or resort, instead of leaving a card with staff, customers could be given wearable devices to enable them to pay quickly without having their card or phone present.

New legislation drives new opportunities for innovation

In 2018, we had GDPR. In 2019, the next phase of PSD2 will come in effect, with new legislation that payments providers and merchants will need to comply with. The retailer sector should consider this an opportunity as newly created APIs can help merchants to better understand their customers and offer new customer journeys.

Focus on local payment methods increases

In an increasingly global marketplace, merchants will continue to look further than their home market to sell their goods. And by adding local payment methods, they can appeal to shoppers from all over the world to scale-up their businesses.

On ecommerce platforms, merchants will increase their focus on different payment methods and ensure they are optimised based on the different preferences of their customers across the globe. In-store, retailers will adopt more international payment methods, recognising the value of offering a familiar payments experience for tourists. Chinese payment methods such as QR code-based digital wallets will be top of the list.

Innovation makes fraud prevention more customer-friendly

Adyen’s research shows that fraud is on the rise, with 60% of retailers experiencing an increase in fraudulent activity in the past year. Previously, some security measures such as 3-D Secure (3DS) have not been consumer-friendly, but that will change for the better in 2019. 3DS 2.0, which will be implemented widely in the coming months, will help improve both fraud prevention and customer experience.

Thanks to new APIs created under PSD2, payment providers will be able to run fraud checks in the background as customers complete their purchase, creating a seamless payment experience. Transactions that require strong authentication will be streamlined, so customers can confirm their purchase using biometrics such as fingerprint recognition, voice recognition or facial scans, as well as SMS-delivered two-factor authentication.

It’s exciting to think about the opportunities 2019 presents. Although it’s hard to predict exactly what lies ahead, what we are certain of is the importance of delivering a high-end customer experience by continuing to invest in new technology – something retailers will need to stay on top of to survive the competitive market.

About Roelant Prins

Roelant Prins is the Chief Commerce Officer at Adyen. Roelant is responsible for the commercial activities at Adyen. After starting his career as a consultant, Roelant moved on to the online payments industry in early 2000. Throughout the years, Roelant has held various international management roles in sales and business development for companies providing payment solutions to international ecommerce businesses. Just before joining Adyen, Roelant lived in London. There he managed the team responsible for corporate sales in the UK for the payments division within Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

About Adyen

Adyen is the payments platform of choice for many of the world’s leading companies, providing a modern end-to-end infrastructure connecting directly to Visa, Mastercard, and consumers globally preferred payment methods. Adyen delivers frictionless payments across online, mobile, and in-store channels. With offices across the world, Adyen serves customers including Facebook, Uber, Spotify, Dunkin Donuts, Joe & The Juice and Domino’s.

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Keywords: Adyen, Roelant Prins, retail, unified commerce, QR code payments, digital wallet, ecommerce, biometrics, fraud prevention, China, local payment methods, wearables, marketplace, Unified Payments, merchant, fraud prevention, GDPR, PSD2, SCA
Countries: World