How E-Commerce Can Harness Payments Innovation to Meet Consumer Demands for Back-to-School
In today's ever-evolving digital landscape, the checkout process has emerged as a pivotal moment for online merchants to not only differentiate themselves from competitors but also deliver an exceptional shopping experience for their customers.
As the demand for convenience continues to grow and new payment methods gain popularity, retailers must understand how to best leverage modern payment solutions to effectively prepare for the back-to-school shopping season.
Adoption of New Payments Technology
According to JLL’s 2023 Back-to-School Shopping report, many U.S. households plan to spend 15.7 percent more on back-to-school shopping this year compared to 2022, leading families to seek out online sales and deals to help offset concerns about higher prices. In fact, since the COVID-19 pandemic, reports indicate that the number of households shopping online for back-to-school goods continues to grow year after year, ushering in opportunities for e-commerce merchants to attract new customers by offering more ways to pay for goods online. Consider the following:
1. Embrace mobile wallets.
With the proliferation of digital solutions designed to simplify the online transaction process, mobile wallets have become an integral part of the e-commerce landscape. Mobile wallets, like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, enable customers to securely and conveniently complete transactions with their smartphones, streamlining the checkout process and enhancing the overall shopping experience.
2. Integrate alternative payment methods.
Consumers expect speedy transactions. By integrating instant payment options through new and emerging solutions that are growing in adoption, e-commerce retailers can cater to this demand. Retailers should consider accepting:
- Digital wallets: As an eMoney account, this technology enables customers to pay online without sharing financial details. Paysafe’s annual Lost in Transaction study, a recently published global research report with more than 14,000 consumers, revealed that just under half (48 percent) of digital wallet users say they value this payment method’s connection to third-party money management tools as a way to exercise more control over spending as prices rise and household budgets tighten.
- Real-time bank transfers: By integrating instant payment methods such as real-time bank transfers, online merchants can eliminate the waiting period associated with traditional bank transfers and provide an added layer of convenience for time-sensitive back-to-school purchases. According to the same Paysafe study, 16 percent of U.S. consumers confirmed their use of real-time bank transfers for online purchases over the last 12 months.
- eCash: Accepting eCash, a buy online, pay in cash at retail stores solution, enables merchants to tap into a cash-preferred customer base. Beyond this benefit, eCash transactions utilize heightened security and encryption to protect both the merchant and the customer from fraudulent activities and data breaches.
Sales Reporting and Loyalty
Many modern payment systems provide merchants with value-added services, such as comprehensive and tailored reporting that can be utilized to gain insights for enhancing loyalty and marketing initiatives. This can range from detecting frequent customers — and potentially rewarding them — to offering coupons and promotions to first-time shoppers. Merchants can also use these solutions to send text message (SMS) promotions, which come in handy when announcing back-to-school deals or driving awareness of seasonal products and services that are in limited supply.
As consumers look for ways to control their spending this upcoming school year, leveraging a mix of payment options can help online businesses tap into new customer segments and cater to the evolving payment needs of their existing clientele. By embracing this approach, retailers can maximize sales, drive customer acquisition, and ensure satisfaction throughout this critical shopping period.
Rob Gatto is Paysafe's chief revenue officer, overseeing global sales function across various high-growth sectors such as gaming, travel, entertainment, fintech, and digital assets.
Rob Gatto is Paysafe's chief revenue officer (CRO). Since 2022, he oversees global sales function across various high-growth sectors such as gaming, travel, entertainment, fintech, and digital assets. With over 30 years of experience in sales, marketing, channel development, business development, client support, consulting, operations, and corporate development, he held senior roles in various high-performing technology companies.