The digital evolution of the retail experience

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 13th, 2016.

Craig Guillot of Samsung’s Insights recently noted that millennial shopping habits have prompted retailers to adapt with the creation of more personalized, seamless experiences fueled by technology. Indeed, over 85 percent of U.S. millennials own a smartphone and are increasingly using their devices to browse and research products, order online, pick up in-store and pay at the point-of-sale with mobile wallets.

“Retailers need to take advantage of the increased popularity of mobile by creating robust mobile apps that enable millennials to shop how, where and when they want,” says Guillot. “A survey of 1,600 millennials by Forbes found that nearly half of respondents have downloaded a mobile shopping app. More than half said they liked using the apps because they created a better shopping experience, [while] more than a quarter said they used these apps to take advantage of sales and discounts.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, retailers are experimenting with new ways of using mobile apps to increase sales. As AdWeek reports, Sephora’s mobile and desktop site now includes two new features that help shoppers search through thousands of makeup and beauty tools.

“We’re trying to create these really fun, addictive shopping experiences,” Deborah Yeh, the SVP of marketing and brand at Sephora told AdWeek. “We offer a huge range of products in every category, but we also have the full, 360-[degree] retail and digital experience in addition to that product.”

In related news, Scott Blum, VP, Total Merchant Services, says that millennials will “lead the charge” to do away with credit cards and opt for the easy and seamless experience of mobile wallets.

“Using NFC technology, mobile wallets will exceed consumer expectations for convenience in 2017,” he wrote in a MobilePaymentsToday article. “With all the major players in the mobile device industry having delivered their own version of the mobile wallet (e.g. Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay), and Apple Pay alone reporting a growth of one million new users per week, this technology will continue to convert users in the coming year.”

Indeed, as we’ve previously discussed on Rambus Press, a recent Square survey cited by Business Insider found that 45% of millennial respondents (18-34) have made an NFC payment. According to Business Insider, the poll is a “good indicator” of where mobile payment adoption is headed, with the publication forecasting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 80% through 2020 to reach $503 billion.

In addition, the integration of loyalty programs and increased reliance on mobile wallets for features such as in-app payments are expected to accelerate both adoption and use over the next few years. Indeed, a separate poll commissioned by Urban Airship found that loyalty cards and coupons are particularly important to consumers, with 67% of respondents requesting the former and 62% wanting the latter. Meanwhile, a new study by Javelin Strategy and Research cited by MediaPost confirms that monthly consumer adoption of mobile wallets has nearly doubled from 11% to 21% in three years. And according to a September 2016 report published by Bank of America, mobile wallets experienced 267% growth amongst millennials and 252% growth for Gen X (year over year).

Interested in learning more about mobile payments? You can check out our mobile payments product page here and our eBook on the subject here.

How will we pay in 2020