We can expect a bigger divide in sales performance between retailers who have and who haven’t adopted successful methods to streamline the purchase and payment process.

The two biggest shopping events in the region, Single’s Day and Black Friday, have recently come to a close with record-breaking spending both in stores and online.

One of the biggest bugbears for consumers is a laggy and unintuitive purchase and payments process. Consumers this day and age expect a seamless, omnichannel experience more than ever, and merchants who fail to meet these expectations stand to lose US$190 billion in potential sales revenue from dissatisfied customers. 

2020 will be a year of reckoning; Adyen expects that we will see a bigger divide in sales performance between retailers who successfully adopted methods that streamline the purchase and payment process and those who have not.

DigiconAsia sought out some expert insights from Warren Hayashi, President, Asia Pacific, Adyen:

What are some key e-commerce trends from 2019, and what could we expect in 2020?

Hayashi: 2019 was the year of customer experience online and in-store, with retailers focused on making the shopping experience easier for consumers.

From creating a personalized, interactive shopping experience, investments in contextual commerce and a simplified web checkout process, retailers transformed the previously intangible online shopping experience, into one that let consumers interact with products (through VR, 3D imaging, AR technology) without having to step foot into a physical store.

2020 will be a year of integration and reconciliation, with all facets being integrated into one seamless experience regardless of whether it’s online, mobile or in-store. Retailers are realising that in order to achieve growth, they need to improve on the customer experience, so as to minimise dollars lost to abandoned purchases.

In 2020, we can expect to see:

  • Retailers adopting payment methods that enable quick and frictionless sale conversations at any point in a shopper’s journey, through any channel.
  • Shopping events becoming more common across the globe, with merchants such as Alibaba and Afterpay creating their own shopping days
  • Rise of mobile wallets and a demand for localised payment methods
  • New ways to sell through contextual commerce

Consumers today expect a seamless omnichannel experience, and merchants who fail to meet these expectations stand to lose potential sales revenue from dissatisfied customers. What are some examples of how businesses have effectively done this?

Hayashi: A few of our customers have enabled quick and frictionless sales conversions at any point in their shoppers’ journeys.

We have seen several successful online brands launch pop-up stores or expand to permanent physical stores to create a complete brand experience for their shoppers, with the store acting as a space for consumers to interact with, and experience the brand.

One of our customers has grown from an online-only retailer to offering its shoppers loyalty programs, store credits, and click-and-collect services across online and physical presences in multiple SEA countries, truly putting its customers first.

How could merchants leverage payment platforms to take advantage of the fast-growing number of ‘mobile-first’ shoppers?

Hayashi: Retailers need to tweak their retail strategy into one that takes ‘mobile-first’ shoppers into account.

Some ways retailers can take advantage of this include:

  1. Having a website optimized for mobile payments, or a mobile website with full capabilities as consumers are more likely to buy through a mobile-friendly website
  2. Enable customers to pay automatically through exiting via mobile point of sale (mPOS), given that nearly one third of APAC consumers surveyed would be more willing to shop-instore if they could pay immediately upon leaving the store     
  3. Have payment options that account for mobile banking and mobile payments such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, GrabPay and FavePay, given that one in two APAC shoppers have abandoned their purchase when unable to use their preferred payment method

To sum it all up, regardless of the channel retailers sell on, it needs to be a seamless continuation of the shopper’s journey so the buying process can proceed from any device and without drop-off. Doing so will enable them to reap the biggest rewards in terms of increased foot traffic, sales and consumer loyalty.

With a large unbanked population in Asia, how would the growth of mobile wallets impact the region?

The growth of contactless payments via cards and mobile wallets is a phenomenon that we see globally, especially in Asia Pacific where mobile penetration rates are high.

This means that more than ever, retailers need to offer payment methods that cater to the local population, as each country would have their own preferred mobile wallet, which is best used for certain purposes.

For example, in Vietnam, wallet payments may be used for digital subscription and streaming services. Even in Singapore, where most of the population have at least one bank account, wallets are a great option for loyalty programs. GrabPay and Fave Pay are some good examples.

In this environment, it’s tempting to speculate what the next big wallet could be. Retailers may find it difficult to keep up with the rapid developments here; instead of tracking specific wallets, retailers can hedge by utilizing payment platforms that offer key local payment methods, which include these wallets.