The pandemic greatly altered the purchasing behaviors of consumers and forced countless industries to adapt to cater to new needs. In a B.C. (“Before COVID”) world, brick-and-mortar stores could survive on physical transactions and cash alone. But in the early months of the pandemic, people were pushed to adopt contactless payment options after cash and coins were revealed to be germ hotspots.
Between safety concerns over the hygiene of physical money and the need to quarantine and social distance, consumers reduced any activity that required going outdoors and coming into physical contact with others.
As early as March 2020, there was a dramatic rise in digital retail transactions plus a 150% increase in tap-to-pay payments. Then in April, mobile banking saw a 200% rise in registration and an 85% boost in traffic. People have also adopted a variety of contactless payment methods such as QR codes, P2P mobile payments, and digital wallets.
What Consumers Expect of Businesses in the New Normal
Many of these consumer behaviors are expected to endure in the post-pandemic world. We’ve grown to appreciate the possibilities and efficiencies of digital-first living — we may even say we are now accustomed to it.
In order to thrive, businesses need to lean into these purchasing behaviors. These are some of the things consumers now expect from retailers as we move into the “new Normal.”
1. Strengthen Digital Services
These days, almost every business has a website, an e-commerce integration, and takes orders via social media or some other form of digital transaction processing. The consumer journey begins and is often followed through in the digital space. If you can’t be found with a simple internet search or don’t offer ways for consumers to reach you virtually, you’re practically non-existent.
Digital must be a core strength of the business, not just a backup or supplement to the in-store experience. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that digital is the present and the future. There’s no denying it.
2. Diverse Non-Cash Payment Options
There has been a steep increase in the adoption and usage of contactless payment methods such as tap-to-pay cards, online bank transfers, and mobile wallets. The volume of purchases in-store has shifted to card-not-present channels, and it’s expected to remain that way, with global e-commerce forecasted to increase by over 23% year-over-year. In-store shopping will never go away, but online purchases are here and growing.
Businesses need to stay on top of consumer trends, especially if there are emerging payment methods that you may need to adopt. Failing to pivot and offer these options will likely mean losing valuable customers, who will take their business elsewhere.
3. Speed and Security
The thing with digital transactions is that they involve the virtual exchange of information, which many consumers are wary of, and for good reason. In-store transactions typically don’t require nor store a lot of personal information from customers as they purchase and pay physically.
But digital transactions and payments often require a significant amount of information to verify a payee’s identity. This entails that businesses must use infrastructure and software that guarantees utmost security without sacrificing speed and convenience.
Thrive in the New Normal with True POS
True POS has the tools to help you navigate and succeed in the new normal. We offer a wide range of payment processing solutions that easily consolidate the inventory and sales information across both your physical store and e-commerce or digital channels. This makes it easy for you to track stock levels and monitor your transactions regardless of where they’re happening, instead of referring to separate sets of data.
Now that cash is no longer king, we also help you meet the evolving needs of customers in terms of payment preferences. Our intelligent POS systems are designed to accept all sorts of payment methods, from cash and coins to EMV-equipped cards and mobile wallets, so don’t worry about customers abandoning their shopping carts (both literally and virtually) because of a lack of payment method options.
We also take proper handling and storage of sensitive information seriously, so we only offer POS systems that are built like fortresses. For example, our lineup of Clover POS systems (which include the handheld Clover Flex, the sleek tablet-like Clover Mini, and the full-featured Clover Station Pro) have in-built Clover Security which promises end-to-end data encryption and tokenization. This assures that sensitive data of your customers and businesses are protected from fraud.
To top it all off, our point-of-sale systems are designed to be intuitive and easy to use, so less tech-savvy staff members can quickly learn how to navigate and manage the system. These are also customizable with features depending on what your business needs. Have an online store? Let’s get you started on a loyalty program for repeat customers. Running a restaurant? Perhaps a mobile POS option is what your staff needs to efficiently manage orders without having to keep customers or the kitchen staff waiting.
Are you ready to take your business to new heights in this new normal? True POS is here to help you grow and manage your day-to-day operations. Beyond top-of-the-line technology, we also deliver consistent and reliable customer service. We take care of the details, so you won’t have to. These are changing times, but we’re right there with you.
Contact us today for a free quote and see why our customers love working with us. We’ll be happy to assist you!