Consumers are more willing to wait for delivery
As the worlds of physical and digital shopping collide, consumers increasingly decide whether to buy in-store or online based not on product availability, but rather on what their schedule allows and how much. when they need an item.
“Instead of running to the store… we are more willing to put our daily purchases away from instant gratification and more towards a planned spending scenario,” Chris Abele, vice president of product strategy at Fiserv, told PYMNTS in a recent interview.
The change, he said, comes from “18 months of consumer training in the COVID environment” to anticipate commodities such as toothpaste and cosmetics. “They’re more used to not having the option of going to a store and needing to plan ahead when it comes to this stuff,” he added.
A study by PYMNTS, conducted in conjunction with Carat of Fiserv, found that 50% of all consumers have increased their buy now, get later (BNGL) buying behaviors over the past year, choosing to ‘buy online and have their purchases delivered. Clothing and accessories saw the biggest change, with 17% of all consumers buying more of their clothes through BNGL than last year.
See: 5,000 Consumers ‘Need It Now’ Tell PYMNTS What They Expect, Retailer’s Most Important Value
But BNGL goes beyond everyday objects. Abele has stated in his own life that he recently purchased several seasonal Halloween items and candy online, which he usually does in stores, because “it was just a matter of a little wider choice.”
“We have become used to the idea that there is a good selection online and yes we can get what we need on time,” said Abele.
Driven by digital wallets
Yet 41% of consumers say they shop more now, now get purchases than before the pandemic – although retailers could do more to attract those customers, like expanding the availability of curbside pickup or increase payment options.
Consumers seek the same frictionless digital payment experiences they get online when they walk into a store, said Abele, where they walk, are recognized by the merchant, and verify in moments.
“Now the reality of achieving this, we’re still a long way off, but wallets are the simple way to do it,” Abele said. Almost a third of millennials and bridge millennials say they would be more likely to make physical purchases if they could use a digital wallet.
Some more advanced merchants, Abele noted, are taking steps to allow payments via QR codes, and many retailers have already adopted NFC-enabled terminals to enable digital wallet payments. Over the past 18 months, Fiserv has seen in-store digital wallet use quadruple, said Abele, rising to almost 10% adoption in some industries.
PYMNTS data shows that 41% of consumers are increasing their BNGN purchases and paying through digital wallets, while 8.7% are using buy now, pay later (BNPL) options. And 58% of BNGL buyers also say they regularly pay for their purchases through a digital wallet, and 11% use BNPL options.
Related: ‘Buy Now, Get Now’ and ‘Buy Now, Get Later’ add new dimensions to the bring it to me economy
“It’s a good reminder for merchants to think about making changes to their point of sale or their environments to support these new payment types,” said Abele.
He added that it is important to recognize that the use of BNPL is not restricted to young consumers or lower income brackets.
“It has fairly widespread demand, and we expect it to continue to take shape and gain a foothold in the retail industry,” said Abele.
Abele also noted that debit cards have become increasingly popular for BNGN and BNGL buyers, which is reflected in both PYMNTS research and Fiserv’s experience over the past 18 months. Over 57% of consumers who have increased their BNGL purchases in the past year have paid with a debit card, compared to 70% who have used a credit card; and 70% of BNGN buyers used a debit card, compared to 65% who used a credit card.
Part of the increase, Abele said, has come from younger shoppers who are more accustomed to debit cards “to recapture more spending,” while millennials and Gen Xers have simultaneously turned to debit spending as a whole. .
“So what was a segment dominated by credit cards has now shifted to debit cards… and all the reasons seem to point to demographics,” he said.
Accelerated by the labor shortage
The biggest problem for retailers right now, said Abele, is finding enough workers to fill the vacancies, and while some “basic steps” are being taken to alleviate the pain, the situation is likely accelerating adoption. digital merchants.
“Anything that boosts store productivity, anything that improves efficiency for the consumer, anything that just makes things a digital experience is really going to be accelerated by the fact that there is a severe labor shortage. ‘work,’ Abele said. He added that the shortage is unlikely to subside for “at least six to twelve months.”
To cope, some warehouses and logistics operators have started using robots to lighten the workload instead of human workers, for example, while Target has said it will hire fewer seasonal workers this holiday season and offer rather to current employees more hours via a mobile scheduling app. .
Read more: Retailers rely on employees to do more when labor shortages
“Traders will quickly move to new types of experiences now because they just don’t have any other choice,” said Abele. “They can’t hire enough people.