Brick and mortar merchants today have a huge opportunity for long-term growth by adapting to current consumer habits. The holiday season is a chance for companies to jump years ahead in terms of digital transformation. With more shoppers overall expected to devote more time and money to in-store purchases for the holiday season, a company’s adoption or non-adoption will be tested. The lockdowns restarting in regions of Europe call for more merchants to be ready for contactless or mobile-friendly purchases. How can retailers effectively prepare for the management of customer turnover, maintain safe levels of distancing, and ensure the highest level of convenience? How can they adjust to customer habits that are more digitally integrated into their everyday life?
With year-to-year sales expected to grow by 1-1.5% (from Deloitte for the US) for the closing quarter of 2020, merchants have to plan appropriately as social distancing has disrupted the checkout time and space to occupy. On the opposite side, consumers this year have more disposable income to spend than in the previous years. They have more because of the restrictions and lack thereof of spending on leisure travel. Consumers are looking for ways to get out of their homes, with leisure activities limited; they will look to spend more in other areas. Brick and mortar establishments will be competing with online e-commerce to win consumers' wallets more than ever.
However, one shift from previous shopping years is the drastic habit changes from consumers. We have seen a stronger acquiring of technology during these past months; users are more comfortable using them during their purchasing journey. For example, according to PwC, Click & Collect should increase by 13% compared to last year's holiday shopping. If merchants want to come out ahead, they must integrate digital tools into the purchasing experience to promote current trends of safety and convenience. In 2020, those who are in-store view safety producers as important (from PwC Consumer Report). A McKinsey survey found 82% of US consumers have used their smartphone in making a purchasing decision. Merchants have to think of innovative ways to meet these new expectations because doing so can pave a path to long-term sustainability in the future. Digital integration will construct a clear plan for increasing convenience and future profitability.
A step to building or complimenting retailers’ current digital plan is with a tool that improves the above-mentioned areas. WL Scan & Pay is a digital self-checkout that puts the whole cashier functions into any smartphone with a QR Code. Replacing the cashier function with a smartphone and QR Code supports situations where closed stores, because of the current situation, can use Click & Collect as well because it replaces the need for a physical point of payment. A digital tool that promotes safe shopping for consumers to feel secure and no longer have to deal with the most frustrating part of shopping, checking out. The solution bridges together the benefits of buying online and the experience of shopping in-store. Retailers can also engage more with their customers directly while they are in store. WL Scan & Pay can meet the new needs of their current and future customers.
These unprecedented times have provided an opportunity for merchants to acquire new digital tools that will put them on the path of long term growth, and this holiday season will be the perfect window to get a preview of this. For more information on WL Scan & Pay, click here.