Voice of the Industry

Get invited to go outside and play – exploring new payment experiences

Monday 8 November 2021 10:31 CET | Editor: Simona Negru | Voice of the industry

Sally Baptiste, Founder at Payment Operations Group: 'Did you just assume that everything will return to pre-pandemic norms? It will not, so it is time to redesign the user experience – again'

You are proud of your company for quickly transitioning to an online pandemic position for shoppers. Your customers, your leadership, and your company’s profitability relied on this shift and you delivered. Across the world, we seem to be closer to the end of the pandemic than the beginning. As various parts of the world fight through expanding cases, variant growth, vaccinations, and loosening restrictions, are you ready for post-pandemic shopping patterns? Did you just assume that everything will return to pre-pandemic norms? It will not, so it is time to redesign the user experience – again. 

In this piece, we discuss some factors to consider as you build your newest version of ‘normal’. 

Be portable 

Your consumers are about to race out into public to re-connect with everyone and everything they have missed for, well, over a year. Go with them. Convert them to your mobile experience through incentives, special offers, or additional features. Then buckle up and collect those new data points. 

A little introspection and potentially a new feature can be combined to incent a conversion to your mobile, in-app experience. Find a way to ‘ask’ your non-app users to go out with them, encourage their trips, and be taken along. If they have an app, sensing they are out can prompt an alert of excitement to be joining them! 

Be sharable 

Your consumers are about to tell their friends and family what they’ve been doing for the last 18 months. So let them bring up pictures of what they previously purchased and share that amazing find with everyone. 

Before your consumer base expands their communications to ‘in person’, your company can assist their efforts by crafting a story of their individual experience during lockdown through the lens of your brand. Early on, you sought comfort by buying W, later you leaned into fitness with X, cooking with Y, and home improvement with Z. When they open this crafted story, offer a referral coupon so they can instantly send the story/coupon/app to their friends. 

This is just a suggestion, of course, but try to find a way to help consumers reconnect through the lens of positivity you can offer. Look at your user experience and identify a way you can become a conversation instigator as they re-expand their world. 

Be accessible 

As your consumers go out, help them celebrate by inviting them to upload pictures and plans of what they intend to do and what they did. Celebrate their re-discovered freedom – it will help you know whether to feature sporting apparel or wine selections as they venture back out. 

For many of your customers, they may not be out for a while, but they are definitely thinking about it. Expand your experience to include anticipation. Help them think about and plan their ‘new normal’ and include your brand in any way possible. Site visits do not always have to be about the sale – it can be about the anticipation as well.

Be available

Just because a customer can go to a retail outlet, it doesn’t mean they want to. Check to see if your website, product offering, or retail footprint adds a positive, sharable experience. Or would your users like to continue with the convenience they discovered during lockdown? Be the answer they seek.

Your brand has added value and convenience, in addition to protection, during these difficult times. It’s time to re-assert your available services as the convenience they can continue to be. Pinpoint and re-market your features and services to enable your consumer base to save time, reduce hassles, leverage your shoppers, or even auto-renew pantry basics. Find the best new reason to use your pandemic services beyond the pandemic – and tell someone!

Be patient

A short dip in site visits or purchases may be just that: short. If you built an addictive user experience, your customers may just be busy but they will be back very soon.

Customer communication does not have to be sales-driven. Craft messages for the areas they are in, discuss opportunities they may have as their local restrictions are lifted and as events re-emerge. It may not be on-brand but encourage their new freedom as it arrives and they will be sure to remember your positivity when life settles back into that ‘new-normal’.

Now is the time to re-examine your entire experience, re-package it for yet another normal, and be ready when your consumers go back into the world they have craved – and be invited to go with them.

This article is part of the Payment Methods Report 2021 – Latest Trends in Payment Preferences, a comprehensive overview of the payment methods in scope for 2021, as well as best practices for checkout optimisation and customer conversion by addressing digital transformation, security, and localisation.

About Sally Baptiste

Sally Baptiste co-founded Payment Operations Group. Having run merchant payments for 16 years and worked for an acquirer for 13 years, she is able to leverage multiple perspectives to deliver comprehensive approaches to payment processing for audiences around the world.


About Payment Operations Group

Payment Operations Group is a consultancy of payment professionals with over 40 years’ combined experience in the payments industry – from acquiring and ISOs to merchant perspectives. Our focus is on educating our clients with our end-to-end approach to payment processing, helping them navigate the complex ecosystem, and strengthening their position in their chosen processes.


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Keywords: online payments, customer experience, pandemic, ecommerce
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce