How omni-channel commerce is shaping the customer journey and changing how businesses are accepting credit cards

Ways in which businesses are accepting credit cards looks drastically different than it did even just a few years ago. One difference has been consumers’ use of their mobile device. You can hardly go anywhere without seeing someone on a smartphone these days. Mobile phones now outnumber humans, and smartphone subscriptions are poised to reach 9.2 billion in less than 4 years.

The rise of information mobility and connectivity has also contributed to an increase in consumers relying upon their mobile devices when making a purchase. This information is prompting retailers to find new strategies for accepting credit cards and connecting with their customers across all channels. Now more than ever, retailers need to up the ante and consider integrating mobile opportunities into their brick-and-mortar location.

Recent data suggests that an overwhelming 90% of consumers use their smartphones while shopping in retail stores. Of those shoppers, more than half are using their phone for price comparison and product information. About half of these users are looking for product reviews. Despite these numbers however, shoppers still value the in-store experience because it gives them the ability to do just that – experience the product.

So the big question is this: how can business owners continue to offer a brick-and-mortar experience and also address their mobile reach? The keyword here is engagement. Retailers need to make their web sites, their loyalty programs, their shopping carts, and their coupons available from a mobile device. Advanced retailers are even leveraging Bluetooth technology to communicate with their customers during their decision-making process.

Retailers can even grab the attention of consumers through search results. A recent study done by Google shows that 64% of consumers who are using their mobile devices look for product information via a search engine while in store. One way to meet the shopper where they’re at would be to utilize online presence to assist shoppers – whether it’s via mobile ads or SEO. Taking it one step further, some retailers are even geo-targeting content or ads to help get shoppers into their store in the first place. By knowing your customers’ location or habits, retailers are able to send more personalized messaging before, during, and after a shopping experience.

Today, 30% of online shopping purchases happen on a mobile device. It’s imperative for brick-and-mortar retailers to utilize a website or a mobile app. It’s not enough to have a business website anymore however; research has made it clear that mobile sites and apps should act as a guide for the customer as they journey toward a purchase.

As a consumer myself, I am more likely to make a purchase from an app or site that has an account updater for my credit card information and where I don’t experience interruption or difficulty in viewing the product. Furthermore, just as it is the case with physical retail experiences, a smooth checkout process seals the deal on maintaining customer loyalty. Mobile sites and apps should consider how they are accepting credit cards during the checkout process to understand areas that may need improvement.

It’s no secret that smartphones are shaping the customer journey by informing consumers about a product or service long before they make a decision. Consumers are hungry for a customized experience that builds confidence not only in what they are purchasing, but also builds loyalty to your brand. While brick-and-mortar retail provides the opportunity to experience a product or services, mobile retail is being redefined to encompass more than simply accepting credit cards to make a purchase. Retailers must make an effort to set themselves apart in order to get ahead and remain relevant in their particular industry.

What’s your omni-channel strategy for your business? Let Payline be a part of your growing business’ strategy.

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This post was originally featured on the Payline Data LinkedIn page.