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It’s ‘all change’ in retail as many sellers seek new ways to take advantage of changing shopping habits and up their share of wallet. In this guide we discuss:

Retailers Payment Solutions

How retailers can boost business with digital payment solutions

Economic uncertainty is also impacting purchasing patterns so it’s perhaps more important than ever for retailers to take steps to improve customer loyalty and protect their market share. Slick, efficient and accurate payment processing for retailers is one way to stay competitive in the current marketplace.  

Clearly retailers across multiple markets have seen a huge shift towards online shopping. This was underway before the pandemic, but the advent of widespread lockdowns pushed even more shoppers to the online channel at a much faster pace than before. Consumers are now far more comfortable with digital channels, many of whom prefer to stick with the online shopping habits they adopted during the pandemic. And even after shops reopened their doors again, in the new post-pandemic world, contactless payments are no longer a novelty – customers simply expect retailers to be able to provide a quick, easy and seamless contactless experience. 

Why retailers should digitise payments 

Both on the High Street and online, the battle for share of consumer spend rages on. Payment is a core area for customers who expect contactless in store and a choice of payment options when they’re ready to checkout. Ultimately the transactional element must be frictionless to ensure the optimum customer experience and protect the retail brand.  

It’s therefore no surprise that to stay competitive retailers must keep pace with consumer expectations. A digital-first shopping experience is an effective way to keep customers happy (and hopefully spending more) because they enjoy a seamless and highly personalised experience throughout their entire customer journey, from pre-purchase through post-purchase.  

Stress free payment processing for retailers is crucial, otherwise your customers may well opt to shop elsewhere.  

Boost your retail business with our digital payment solutions

Speak to a member of our team to see how we can help to simplify your payments for your customers and boost your retail business.

How to keep up-to-date with new payment methods for your customers

The key to success for today’s retailers – whether online, bricks and mortar or a combination of both – is to ensure that you keep pace with customer trends and adapt to their changing requirements. Providing choice when it comes to payment is a one area where it (quite literally) pays to stay ahead of the game.  

BNPL

In light of the current squeeze on spending and concerns about the cost of living, even more demand is being built up for Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) agreements; Klarna is one example. These are essentially a way of purchasing on credit where the customer doesn’t pay interest or charges on the amount borrowed provided they keep to the repayment agreement. In effect, this is simply delaying the full cost, either by paying in regular smaller chunks over a set period, or all at once on an agreed future date. These are particularly attractive for customers waiting for payday or needing to purchase a larger ticket item now and spread the cost over multiple pay packets for example.  

MOBILE WALLETS

But this is a fast-changing area with a variety of other new payment methods also attracting a loyal customer following and gaining traction. Mobile and digital wallets, barcode or QR code payments, cash rewards and gift cards are all popular examples. Being able to process these kinds of payments may give you access to new potential customers and the opportunity to boost your sales numbers. But bear in mind too that you need to have the payment processing capabilities in place to deal with these (and potentially other new payment options as they come onstream) in order to keep up-to-date on the customer choices available.  

Ultimately, having a digital payment platform in place ensures you can process payments faster, minimise abandonment rates, and ensure that the administrative aspects are more accurate, with less manual intervention required. Enhancing payment processing for retailers is an essential step to keep pace with change and ensure customer expectations are met at every stage.  

 

Why every retailer should consider recurring payments  

Subscription payments have long been an option for niche areas of the retail sector such as magazines or wine for example. But this is another area where big changes are happening. There’s a growing trend for subscription for everything from meals to make-up – even socks!  

Retail marketeers are thinking creatively about how to tie in customers to regular purchases of all sorts of items. Dreaming up attractive packages is part of this process; so too is ensuring the payment back-end is seamless too. These forward thinking retailers need a recurring or subscription payment service that fits closely with their business model and enhances the personalised customer experience they seek to create. In this instance too, an integrated payment processing platform can make a real difference. With the right software in place, it’s not only simple and efficient to set up recurring Direct Debit payments, it’s also easy to spot defaults and take remedial action in a timely manner as well.  

How to find the best payment gateway for retail businesses

  • Functionality: Clearly the functionality and capabilities of the technology are the first point of interest when selecting a digital payment provider to partner with. But it also makes sense to check how familiar each provider is with the challenges presented in the retail sector. Take time to delve into their credentials regarding payment processing for retail. 

  • Price: Take a close look at pricing when looking at payment processing technology solutions.  Look out for transactional costs; if these apply then they should be baked into your business plan too. It’s also good practice to understand the costs involved with integrating with your particular systems and to clarify the costs associated with key stages such as setup, account management, staff training, system upgrades etc. All of this will obviously help you choose your retail payment processing partner wisely and avoid unpleasant and potentially costly surprises further down the line.  

  • Scalability: Is growth a medium to long term goal? If so, consider how scalable the payment processing platform is and whether this fits with your expectations. Flexibility is also important as you may wish to introduce new payment options further down the line.  

  • Secure: Digital payment processing will require the handling of sensitive customer data which obviously needs to be processed and managed correctly to meet data compliance obligations. Check out the security credentials and processes for your payment processing provider as any problem arising here could be costly both financially and for your brand reputation.   

  • Integration: Introducing new technology alongside legacy systems and processes can be a challenge – which is why it’s vital that the integration period is well-planned and managed at every step. A successful transition depends entirely on the input and resources of both parties so it makes sense to take time over the detail of what’s involved and agree a plan of action tied to responsibilities.

Ultimately, having a digital payment platform in place ensures you can process payments faster, minimise abandonment rates, and ensure that the administrative aspects are more accurate, with less manual intervention required. Enhancing payment processing for retailers is an essential step to keep pace with change and ensure customer expectations are met at every stage.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best online payments system for retailers?

The best online payments solution largely depends on the type of company that you are and the level of support you are after. Businesses with under 100 transactions per month might benefit from a payment solution with less support and no set up fees to keep costs down. Larger organisations may benefit from volume based pricing over transaction value. When comparing online payments solutions one size doesn't fit all and it's important to compare features and prices to find the right solution for you. 

How to compare payment software for retailers?

There are many things you should consider when comparing payment software. Price of course is a factor, but so are product features, customer service, reviews, and accreditations. Do your due diligence when comparing the various providers to make sure you are comparing like-for-like and to make sure you're getting the best bang for your buck. 

Which is the cheapest payment software for retailers?

Cheap doesn't always mean best when it comes to payments software, but there are savings to be made by researching the plans of the various UK payment software providers. If you are a business with high transaction values, you might be able to save significantly on your plan by picking a volume-based pricing provider. If you are not concerned about support you can find a plan with little or no customer service included. Look for providers who offer free set-ups and API integrations to save time and money when it comes to onboarding. 

Ready to start taking direct debits?

From contactless and online payment choices to subscriptions - an up-to-date payment processing solution designed for retail will help to simplify payments for your customers and your retail business. Speak to our experts today to learn more about how Access PaySuite can help you.