Retail trends 2024: Four expectations retailers need to exceed

From endless aisles to BNPL, discover the key retail trends shaping the industry in 2024 and how retailers can exceed customer expectations.

April 15, 2024
 ·  7 minutes

Retail trends are constantly changing. And retailers that want to gain a competitive advantage need to keep up. Retail trends in 2023 showed that shoppers increasingly preferred hybrid shopping experiences. This retail trend is here to stay. Shoppers crave convenience more than anything else. Whether they're browsing online or walking the aisles of your store, customers expect a seamless, unified journey across all touchpoints. Omnichannel retailers are uniquely positioned to offer these integrated experiences. But what's the most efficient way to go about it? The answer lies in offering faster, reliable payment solutions.

Keep up with the latest retail industry trends to provide the experiences your customers expect. In this article, you'll discover:

  • Flexible cross-channel shopping

  • Quicker checkout lines

  • Personalized shopping journeys

  • Diverse payment options

  • Where to start with Adyen?

Flexible cross-channel shopping

Consumers want to shop anywhere, anytime. And they want the experience to be seamless and fast.

From endless aisles to click-and-collect to buying online and returning in-store, shoppers value experiences that give them flexibility and choice over how they spend their money. That's why almost half of them (49%) become loyal customers to retailers offering these cross-channel shopping journeys.

Adopting Unified Commerce is one of the top retail trends. It connects in-store and online payments in one system, giving shoppers the omnichannel convenience and flexibility they crave. It also streamlines business operations for retailers since there's one consolidated system with cross-channel insights and automated reconciliation.

Quicker checkout lines

46% of customers prefer shopping in-store. But they prioritize smooth and fast checkout experiences if they are to complete their purchase.

Speed is a key retail trend this year. That’s why reducing friction at the point of sale is important. It has far-reaching implications on customer lifetime value. An uninterrupted journey saves shoppers time and frustration. It reduces cart abandonment and increases the likelihood of repeat purchases. 

There are tried-and-tested ways to efficiently speed up the checkout process. They allow shoppers to pay anywhere in-store, removing the dependency on fixed point of sale (POS) registers. These include:

Mobile point of sale (mPOS)

Mobile POS solutions streamline the shopper experience. They’re compact and light, so store associates can carry them with ease, letting shoppers pay wherever they are in the store. 

This enables faster payments and shorter checkouts. Just think: more sales, happier customers, and better usage of space.


Self-checkout gives shoppers more options and control over how they complete their purchases. 

Shoppers in a hurry can skip the cashier and scan products in self-service kiosks or through the store’s app on their phones.

This frees up the time for store associates to offer a hands-on checkout for shoppers who want assistance or more interaction, improving everyone’s overall experience. 

Personalized shopping journeys

Next up on the list of retail trends is personalized shopping journeys. 43% of customers prefer retailers who remember their preferences and use their purchase history to create more tailored shopping experiences. 

But less than a third of retailers (32%) can recognize shoppers and curate personalized offers and discounts. They don’t have the data to understand shopper behavior across sales channels. 

Financial technology offers a fast and scalable way for tailoring shopping experiences. Payments are more than just transactions. They’re gold mines that can help retailers unlock shopper insights and nurture relationships with returning customers.

Two important AI-driven solutions in this regard are:

Payment-linked loyalty programs

Retailers can reward shoppers for their purchases without needing a separate loyalty card or app. 

This happens by linking the shopper’s preferred payment method — like credit card, debit card, or digital wallet — to the retailer’s loyalty program. 

Retailers can then automatically recognize shoppers at the point of purchase, offering them points as well as tailored discounts and rewards. And all of this happens without interrupting their payment journey.

Shopper insights

Retailers can also use payments data to connect transactions across sales channels. This gives them a more comprehensive view of shopper behavior and preferences.

Retailers can then improve the personalized experiences they offer shoppers based on their purchase history. This includes better product recommendations and promotions, which translates into higher conversion rates. 

Diverse payment options

55% of shoppers leave a store if they can’t pay how they want. Another 57% abandon their online cart for the same reason.

When we zoomed in on what these preferred payment methods are, we found that 49% of shoppers use digital wallets, Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services, and other payment methods that didn’t involve cash, cards, or bank payments.

In addition, international shoppers prefer using payment methods that are popular in their countries when purchasing, like Alipay (China), Diners (USA), PIX (Brazil), and Afterpay (Australia).

Offering diverse payment methods helps retailers cater to a wider range of payment preferences, reducing cart abandonment. 

But it’s crucial to activate these new payment methods with speed to keep up with changing consumer trends. This way, retailers can attract new segments of shoppers and quickly expand into new markets.

Where to start with Adyen?

The retail landscape is constantly changing, with new shopper expectations waxing and waning. Retailers that want to gain a competitive advantage and offer new experiences to their customers need a reliable and scalable solution.

Adyen’s single platform gives you this. You can depend on it to:

Activate Unified Commerce

With our financial technology platform, you can give shoppers more flexible cross-channel payment journeys. Connect online and in-store payments in one system and offer your shoppers the experiences they expect, like endless aisles and click-and-collect.

Reduce checkout lines

Get your hands on cutting-edge mPOS solutions, like turning your iPhone into a payment terminal (via Tap to Pay on iPhone) or having an all-in-one terminal to run your business and accept payments (via AMS1). 

This is especially important if you’re handling a high volume of transactions, where every sale counts.

Personalize offerings

Unlock shopper insights using Data Connect for Marketing. It analyzes the first-party payments data you have from your transactions to give you a comprehensive view of how your shoppers buy in-store and online. This way, you can figure out what returning customers are looking for and improve the product recommendations and personalized experiences you offer them.

Accept diverse payment methods

You can activate a myriad of payment methods on our single platform. This gives you speed and reliability. The faster you offer the payment experiences your customers want, the happier they get. And because you’ll rely on a single platform, you’ll only need one integration, which reduces system downtime and increases authorization rates. 

Rely on stable payment processing

We built our platform in-house. This helps us reduce the risk of errors and maximize our uptime as there are no third parties. 

What this means for you is you’ll have a stable infrastructure to capture and process your payments. You can deliver uninterrupted journeys, free from technical issues, encouraging more sales and happier shoppers.

To put it in the words of a customer in The Forrester Wave™ Merchant Payment Providers, Q1 2024 report:

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