Adyen Agility Report Hong Kong ~ Chapter Three

No going back Maintaining your high standards

Learn more about shoppers' high expectations in the Adyen Agility Report Hong Kong

2020 brought with it the unprecedented actions of governments around the world ripping up their budgets and releasing vast sums of money to bolster economies during lockdowns. In the same way, businesses have been forced to accelerate the changes they were calmly rolling out over a three-year period. Suddenly, flexible, cross-channel journeys have been made available by necessity. For many consumers, this has been a positive change.

Technology has given businesses the agility to pivot fast, adapt to market conditions as they change, and keep their customers happy. And it’s technology that will ensure they’re ready for whatever’s next.

Pure is at the forefront of the industry because we want to bring the best experience to our customers. We were already developing PureCast, our online class offering, and Covid-19 has simply accelerated the delivery of that experience.”

Gavin Black ~ Chief Financial Officer, PURE Group

feel that if retailers can sell across multiple channels during the pandemic (e.g. in-store, on their website, or through social media), they should adopt the same, flexible approach normally

want retailers that opened an online offering during the pandemic to continue to maintain this even when they can open their stores again

Let your customers call the shots

Customer journeys are evolving all the time. What used to be online or in-store is now click-and-collect, cross-channel returns, endless aisles, in-app food orders, pay-at-table... it goes on. There are also new sales channels appearing all the time. From smart speakers to smart cars and shoppable social media posts, buying can happen from anywhere. Businesses were already under a lot of pressure to offer flexibility to consumers. Now it’s sink or swim. Our research shows that customers increasingly expect to be in control of how, when, and where they buy.

“The ease with which we could integrate Adyen’s technology in our operations was helpful in meeting the scaled-up online demand. Additionally, the shift to online also primed us to expand on our ecommerce offerings to our customers. From Pure’s cafes to exclusive deals with other retailers, consumers now have access to a more holistic ecosystem for their health and lifestyle needs.”

Gavin Black Chief Financial Officer, PURE Group

Amazing experiences win the day

We’ll never tire of saying it, offering a great customer experience is paramount to business success. In fact, now you could argue it’s more important than ever, especially when you’re looking to secure the loyalty of a more selective consumer. More than 75% of consumers say they won’t return if they have a bad experience either in-store or online. And more than half will go out of their way to visit stores that make shopping easier for them.

77% say they won’t shop with retailers where they’ve had a bad shopping experience either in -store or online.

18 - 34 yrs


35 - 54 yrs


55+ yrs


say they will go out of their way to visit stores that they know have no queues or that will make it easy for them to make a purchase

Online: Easy does it

The necessity of developing an online presence was not missed by those in Hong Kong, with retailers doing well to adapt quickly. But that is not the final step. Clearly the convenience of that experience is almost as important as being online itself. Hong Kongers overwhelmingly want their retailers to adopt technologies to improve the experience, and over a third worry retailers are too slow to adopt new technologies.

“Payments are critical from a customer experience perspective. It’s often simple things that make the experience more elegant. They've been crucial during the pandemic and will continue to be so."

Robbie Tutt ~ GM Digital and Technology, Aesop

% that say that when shopping online, the ease of use is as important as the quality of the product 







Hong Kong


18 - 34 yrs


35 - 54 yrs


55+ yrs


Frictionless checkouts

Where possible, keep the customer on your site and host the payment in your own environment. If redirects are necessary (in the case of chatbots or social media), make sure the payment page is consistent with your brand. Give your customers a relevant choice of payment methods based on their location and even the existing wallets they have installed on their phone. Most of all, ensure that there’s nothing on the path to payment that could form a hurdle.

will abandon their carts if there are too many steps in the checkout process

like to have a range of payment options available to them

expect the payment authentication process to be fast and require no action from them

Secure payments

Managing payment fraud can be tricky, but it absolutely cannot be ignored; over two-fifths of Hong Kongers (41%) want retailers to do more to protect consumers from fraud. Set your risk settings too low and you’ll leave your business vulnerable. Set them too high and you may inadvertently block legitimate customers. Use a smart risk system that uses data and machine learning to automatically find the perfect balance between security and conversion.

Note on Strong Customer Authentication:

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) helps protect consumers and businesses from the risks associated with payment fraud and is a vital element of any ecommerce strategy moving forward. While there is no formal regulation that enforces its use, unlike in Europe or other regions, there is a growing consciousness of payment security among shoppers and retailers in Hong Kong. Given many brands in Hong Kong have a global footprint, many have already adopted SCA as best practice or are using authentication methods like one-time password (OTP) or two-factor authentication (2FA). There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to applying SCA, but the right technology partner with a global coverage will be able to offer the right risk management.

“Our biggest shift was in enabling new payment methods and improving fraud loss. Adyen helped ZALORA in integrating a variety of new payment methods including major e-wallets and improved invalidation rate substantially. On fraud we saw a significant decrease in chargebacks, and we were able to optimize revenue while keeping our fraud rates low. With implementation of dynamic 3DS we now have a smart and secure approach to digital transactions across the region."

Rostin Javadi  ~ Chief Operations Officer, ZALORA

In-store: A journey worth making

Many consumers are keen to visit stores and restaurants – in fact 72% look forward to shopping in-store for pleasure again. But in a world where ecommerce is ever-more mainstream, your store or restaurant will have to shine if you want to entice customers out of their houses. Consumers they have high expectations and will go out of their way to visit stores that they know have no queues or will make buying easy for them. Store layout is also important, with half saying they want to see a thoughtful curation of items rather than just stacks of products. You can go online for that.

say the layout of a store is important; They believe that stores should be curated more like a gallery, rather than racks or stacks of products

say they will go out of their way to visit stores that they know have no queues or that will make it easy for them to make a purchase

Experiential technology

From personalized digital greetings to full-blown robotics, more experiential technologies are emerging quickly and are very popular in Hong Kong. Almost three quarters of shoppers say they are more likely to shop with retailers that use technology to improve the shopping experience. 50% like it when retailers use advanced technologies such as augmented reality or smart mirrors to improve the shopping experience – and in the context of the pandemic, these technologies can be seen as a way to make the shopping experience safer and more hygienic.

In the F&B space, high expectations can be met by delivering a fast and efficient service. Failure to do so comes with a monetary loss. The Cebr modelling showed that improving unified commerce by 5% could add HK$582 million to the sector.

would like restaurants to use technology to improve the experience (e.g. implement self-service checkouts/kiosks or pay-at-table technology)

% that are more likely to shop with retailers that use technology to improve the shopping experience

% that want retailers to use technology to make the experience more interesting (e.g. virtual reality, augmented reality, in-store cafes, etc.) 










Hong Kong









18 - 34 yrs



35 - 54 yrs



55+ yrs



“During times of uncertainty it can be harder to maintain a clear direction of where you want your business to be within the consumers mind and within retail. Having the right governance and processes in place, and ensuring transparency so the voice of your customer shines through – and drives change – allows the business to be adaptable, to test and pivot. Transformation isn’t something that should ever actually stop."

Alexa Anastassi  ~ Head of Digital Product, Jurlique

Technology behind the scenes

In some cases, the best application of technology is behind the scenes. Data-driven loyalty programs, bespoke offers, and tailored messaging can add a dash of magic to the buying experience. And in that way, you still have plenty of room for good old-fashioned service.

“Apart from providing dedicated service to our customers, we also wanted to focus on helping our valued brand partners tide through the ongoing crisis. As a data-first company, we recognise how crucial it is for firms to tap on data in order to effectively anticipate consumer trends and needs. To that end, we launched TRENDER in April 2020 – a data-solutions service that enables our brand partners to tap on our trade data and leverage insights on consumer demands and preferences amid COVID-19. Additionally, with the rise in orders placed online, we also launched One Stock Solutions (1SS) service a month after - a “Fulfilment as a Service” solution that is offered to strategic brand partners to help them deliver products and reach a wider customer audience more effectively."

Rostin Javadi  ~ Chief Operations Officer, ZALORA

Want to explore how payments tech can help create magic behind the scenes?

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Looking further afield: In-store tech enthusiasts

It’s probably not surprising that Hong Kongers are some of the more devoted tech enthusiasts globally. 

In Hong Kong, most people like it when retailers use technology to improve the shopping experience. 73% said they’re more likely to shop with retailers that use technology in this way, such as providing kiosks for customers to check stocks or in-store technology like digital mirrors. This was over 20 percentage points more than the global average (51% globally). This compares to 76% of Singaporeans, 45% of Australians, 41% of Brits, and the global average of 51%. 

Hong Kongers are on board when it comes to more advanced technologies such as augmented or virtual reality. Half (49%) like this technology in-store, compared to 29% of Australians, 26% of Brits, 29% of Americans, 59% of Singaporeans, and the global average of 39%.

The enthusiasm has also spread to in-store m-commerce as 76% said they would like to see more stores let you pay in-store using their app compared to 68% in Singapore, 36% in the UK and 47% globally. Only Brazil matched Hong Kong’s appetite for this – with 76%.

“While the online trend is here to stay, online cannot replace the physical classes which offer a different atmosphere, and the all-important human interaction. Being able to cater to customers’ new needs and habits, while meeting their expectations, is key for businesses."

Michelle Mui ~ Group Financial Controller, PURE Group

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