Staying ahead of consumer habits amid COVID-19

Monday 26 July 2021 08:38 CET | Editor: Raluca Constantinescu | Interview

Martine Berden, Payvision: 'When consumers have a great experience at a certain retailer, they then expect others to keep up, such as offering one-click payments, real-time stock levels, or same-day delivery.’

With the pandemic generating a decade worth of advancement in digital payments, consumer behaviour is changing beyond recognition. Consumers are increasingly adopting an ‘anytime, anywhere’ mentality towards their shopping experiences. This, in turn, is forcing retailers to invest in technologies that blur the lines between online and offline. 

We sat down with Martine Berden, Head of Marketing and Communications at Payvision, to discuss how consumer behaviour is evolving and what’s the future of retail payments. We also discussed about what merchants can do to keep their finger on the pulse of this evolving landscape. 

How are consumer preferences changing? 

Changing habits were already being spearheaded by Millennials and Generation Z – today's biggest consumer groups. As their spending power grows, a greater emphasis is put on convenience and technologies that accommodate that. During the pandemic, consumers became more open to new payment models, such as buying physical products on subscriptions or using e-wallets, because it’s easy and it saves time. 

Now we're seeing that consumers who were reluctant to try out new payment methods or channels were forced into a different shopping experience during the pandemic. So, we're in a position where consumers are becoming more open to trying new experiences, and if they have a great experience at one retailer, they then expect the rest of the market to keep up, such as offering one-click payments, real-time stock levels, or even same-day delivery. Technology makes these possible, and consumers expect them everywhere – which can create problems for a lot of retailers who wish to remain competitive. 

Today, consumers are more proficient in digital experiences, which means they will have the freedom to explicitly choose which part of their shopping journey they want to perform online and for what part they want to go to a physical store. 

What can retailers do to engage consumers? 

First and foremost, retailers must speak with their customers and find out their preferences. SMEs are at a particular advantage when it comes to branding and experience. There is a reason why certain consumers prefer this type of merchants. So, they should investigate what is that shoppers like from other retailers and try to replicate it based on what fits the merchant’s brand. 

Alongside that, in the case of a multichannel experience, investing in mapping the customer journey will translate into easy wins. Understanding how customers are already engaging with the brand and unifying channels will create a seamless and more convenient buying experience that keeps customers coming back for more. 

What payment trends should we be keeping an eye on post-pandemic? 

Expect the lines between traditional and contemporary to be blurred, as retailers will need to rethink their payment models. At Payvision, we recently held a consumer survey which found that choice and convenience are important both online and in-store. For online channels, supplying alternative methods like Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) will be a must to satisfy younger generations. 

By embracing frictionless payments and BNPL options in-store, retailers can use cross-channel user data and insights. This business intelligence can provide personal and exclusive offers – that consumers appreciate online – back instore. Lastly, with the use of invisible payments in the driving seat, retailers will eventually be expected to offer these payment methods alongside their traditional mix. 

What advice do you have for retailers? 

Map the journey. Start with working out which roadblocks are standing in the way of offering the most convenient experience on every channel, then work backwards towards which technology you’ll need. 

Constantly speak with the customers. Retailers should regularly speak with their customers and understand what makes them be the preferred ones over other similar retailers. Ask what else they like from other stores that they shop with and take a close look at the competitors to see who is doing what well. 

Don't rely on how things have always been done. Keep investing and moving forward. Think about the shopping experience you want to offer your customers of today and tomorrow. Have a goal to improve tomorrow's shopping journey, and keep in mind that convenience, omnichannel, and offering the right payments mix are important parts of that journey. 

About Martine Berden 

Martine has been Head of Marketing and Communications at Payvision for two years. A Business Administration graduate from the University of Tilburg, Martine formally has spent 14 years in Marketing at ING. With an extensive background that joins marketing and fintech, Martine has expertise in developing marketing strategies by combining customer needs and market trends – and aligning them with a company's products and services. 


About Payvision 

Payvision is a global payment processor that is driven by a passion for technology and simplifying payments. With one single, secure platform, we power transactions for businesses across the globe. We know our way around the latest techniques in artificial intelligence, omnichannel strategies, and advanced fraud prevention. The dedication to our clients shows – this is where we truly make a difference. By enabling an intuitive and flawless customer experience on all channels, we bring a unique beat to payments. 

Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we’ve grown over the past 17 years into an international team with offices in North America and Europe. In 2018, ING bought a 75% stake in Payvision, allowing us to offer an unstoppable combo of the fintech and banking worlds put together. This partnership means cutting-edge innovations and a startup mindset backed by ING’s expertise and global network.

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Keywords: COVID-19, retail, digital payments, merchants, payment methods, BNPL
Categories: Payments & Commerce | Ecommerce
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce