Amid the recent spotlight on digitization and ecommerce, one may mistakenly render in-store shopping as a thing of the past. But step into any mall in cities like Hong Kong or Singapore, and you will see that that’s not the case, though some things have irrevocably changed, which I will address later on.
But to answer the age-old question: is the store dead? There is no doubt it is very much alive. Ecommerce transaction volumes have grown, but as stores reopen, in-store transactions are holding up remarkably well too. Perhaps it’s a good time to reiterate that for shoppers, it was never a case of ecommerce vs in-store.
Several studies, including our own Adyen Agility Report, have shown that rather than digital savviness, convenience is the determining factor for shoppers when choosing which channel they buy from. Though the pandemic may have just made things a little harder for retailers.
Over 70% of shoppers across Asia Pacific say they now have higher expectations of brands, especially from those that have shown flexibility during the peak of the pandemic when shops were closed and retail restrictions were imposed. And for shoppers who are engaging with brands in real life for the first time, after their positive online shopping experiences during lockdowns, you can imagine them wanting that same brand experience extended in stores.
So how can you make shopping convenient, while creating an amazing brand experience, for shoppers whose standards have gone up a notch?
The store experience is part of the brand experience
Firstly, brands need to acknowledge that the role of the store has changed. Rather than a place to simply hold inventory, the store is now seen as a curated gallery or a showroom that is reflective of a brand’s vision and story.
Transactions may or may not happen in-store, and if they do, they need to be seamless and easy for shoppers. As safety and hygiene are top of mind now, businesses need to think of how to reduce: • waiting time (human-to-human interaction) and • POS terminal contact (human-and-surface interaction)
Here’s where Adyen’s POS solution can help. From countertop POS devices to mobile POS (mPOS) and even POS devices made for self-service counters, the range of our solution can cater to different business needs while solving the two pain points above. Let me share a few examples.
You may want to consider an mPOS solution for your sales crew to engage with your customers, and enable checkouts right there and then. The advantage with a mobile solution is that you won’t have a queue forming in-store which is great, as the longer a shopper waits in line, the lower the chance of sales conversion.
Giving shoppers the freedom to roam around the store and experience your brand? Kiosks and self-service checkouts have become more popular as brands look to reduce human-to-human interaction. Adyen’s self-service POS terminals can be integrated to enable easy checkouts without being in the way of brand experiences.
Technicalities aside, shopping should always be fun – and as friction-free as possible. Understanding shoppers’ payment preferences is vital. The demand for contactless payments, whether through card or mobile wallet, has obviously grown. Being able to support key payment methods, and having the flexibility to add on new payment methods, is one key advantage Adyen’s POS solution can provide.
Adyen partners with many POS systems globally and has pre-built integrations that our merchants can leverage out of the box. I’d say the best way to find out what works for you is to speak with our team. Or you can always learn more about Adyen’s POS offerings before we chat.
Better business insights with online and in-store payments combined
What about customers that have experienced your brand online as a first touch? Many of us probably interacted with brands online first given the advertising dollars spent on digital marketing. Or if transactions don’t happen in-store, you need to make sure to capture that sale too, probably via your ecommerce store or app.
With Adyen’s single platform payment solution that covers in-store, online and mobile payments, your business will be able to connect payment transactions across all channels and execute a cross-channel unified commerce strategy effectively.
This means transactions aren’t just transactions anymore. Unlike traditional POS payment processors like banks, Adyen POS terminals lets you capture insights on your customers in-store – and combine with transactions online and in-app all on the Adyen platform. This gives you a full, unified overview of your business with in-depth payments data and customer insights to make better business decisions.
As an immediate benefit of using Adyen, you’ll also save time and resources on reporting and reconciliation – something that we always hear from our merchants’ finance and IT departments.
For the customer, this unified commerce approach is great too – because it’s now possible for brands to implement technologies like click-and-collect, buy-online-return-in-store, and even endless aisles where items never run out. The value of returned items can be converted to store credits. Loyalty programs can also go across channels.
Because the store continues to be a vital part of any brand experience – no matter which industry – that can extend across channels, you’ll need your POS or in-store transactions to give you more.
Bear in mind that channels, customers’ payment preferences, etc will keep evolving so you need a payments partner that doesn’t just fulfil your immediate business needs but grows with you and takes your business to the next level.
Retail: POS for better brand-customer relationships
Perhaps it’s more obvious in retail than in other industries, that the line between online and offline is blurring. Creating brand stickiness, or making it convenient for your shoppers to shop with you, is more important than ever for the competitive retail industry. As our unified commerce merchant, one of Asia’s best loved womenswear brands, Love, Bonito, shares, “During our expansion phase, we were looking for a payment partner that can provide our customers with a seamless shopping experience. That’s when we found Adyen and they now provide our customers with a unified payment experience online and offline.”
With Adyen’s POS solution at Love, Bonito stores, shoppers can easily pay with their preferred payment methods whether it’s Apple Pay, Google Pay, cards or wallets. For items that may be unavailable at a particular store, shoppers can also order right away, and have the items delivered to their homes – this endless aisle experience is great for shoppers to quickly get their hands on Love, Bonito’s very popular dresses and blazers.
Not only that, as we buy both online and in-store, it’s key for your POS solution to recognize that it’s the same shopper buying across channels. Enabling buy-online-return-in-store, try-and-buy experiences, cross-channel loyalty programs, help create a seamless, friction-free shopping experience that not only adds value but also brings shoppers and brands closer.
F&B: POS for consistent, quick and easy order-and-pay experiences
Speed is key for F&B businesses, especially for QSRs (quick service restaurants), but don’t just think of a POS solution that lets you take payments fast. Like all industries, it’s ultimately the customer that you need to focus on – and how you can create a great dining experience. From an industry that depended mostly on in-store counter ordering to one that now adds kiosks, app and self-checkout, etc to its in-store and other channels, you can expect the POS demands for F&B brands to change quite drastically.
At Adyen, because the team is always focused on building and optimizing our payment solution to enable seamless end-customer experiences, our merchants have been able to quickly adapt and pivot during the Covid pandemic.
In Singapore, F&B businesses noticed that diners were transitioning away from cash. As casual Mexican dining chain Guzman y Gomez (GYG) shares, “We’re seeing fewer and fewer cash transactions. Customers these days prefer contactless and mobile payments. It’s super easy – we just need to tell them to tap their cards or devices on the Adyen POS terminal.”
Speedier transactions is one key benefit, and as Josh Bell, General Manager and Master Franchisee, GYG Singapore, says : “Having the Adyen infrastructure in place meant that GYG could seamlessly and effortlessly adapt to this tectonic shift in consumer behaviour and payment preferences.”
Hospitality: Easy POS solution to extend audience reach, and simpler reconciliation
We’ve also seen some significant changes in the hospitality industry when it comes to POS. Pop-up events, special launches and food bazaars have become more common especially during the year-end festive season, Chinese New Year, etc throughout APAC.
One of the big pop-up events I look forward to is the Mooncake Festival season where we would buy yummy mooncakes as gifts either at the hotels or at roadshows at malls. Thanks to our partnership with Raffles Hotel, we’re now enabling quicker, easier mooncake purchases via our mPOS solution with portable terminals which the team can bring around. Reconciliation is also quick, without all the manual matching of receipts – making it even simpler for the Raffles team to expand their audience reach beyond just having POS terminals within the hotel premises.
Of course, when we talk about POS for the hotel industry, it’s more than just the events. There is the front desk solution as well as the F&B establishments and wellness establishments like the spa.
So yes, the world is going through a lot of digitization, but that doesn’t mean the store is obsolete or POS is no longer relevant. Brands need to stay on top of shoppers’ demands and preferences across channels. Recognizing the new role of the store as a place for brand experience is a good first step, and unlocking the full potential of your store along with your in-store payments solution will be key for growing your business.