Low Prices from Retailers Isn’t Enough for Consumers

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The upcoming holiday season should be better than the past few years with inventory levels up, supply chain woes improved, and prices on the decline. But that is just the beginning for merchants looking to capitalize on these improvements.

According to a recent study conducted by PYMNTS.com of more than 13,000 consumers and 3,100 merchants in six countries, shoppers want more than just discounts – they want an improved customer experience.

5 Things Shoppers Want Out of Their Favorite Brands

The global study examines the factors that influence how and where consumers shop, how they pay for what they purchase, and the features that establish merchant preference. Based on those findings, the report found five key categories that consumers are most interested in beyond price.

  1. Consumers Want Brands to Know Them

The study found that consumers showed a strong bias for retailers to know their personal shopping preferences no matter which channel they were shopping at any given moment. Whether online, in-store, or via a mobile device, a prior knowledge of what a returning customer had previously bought, how they paid for it, and how they picked it up or had it delivered was a highly valued benefit.

  1. Simple, Quick, Seamless Transactions

Customers want to purchase items quickly and easily making the transaction seamless. While free shipping is a dominant decision driver for online purchases, the increased use and availability of curbside and in-store pickup have created another layer of consideration that leans more towards efficiency and ease of use than just low pricing.

  1. Returning Customers Want to be Rewarded for Their Loyalty

The survey found that returning customers like to be valued for their loyalty in any number of ways, including easy promo codes, coupons, or even suggestions based on past browsing or buying experience. Each of these are selling features and conversion-drivers that go beyond the price of an item being sold.

  1. Real-time Inventory Transparency Helps Conversion

Customers like to be able to see the real-time status of inventory before heading out to the store. While this transparency is a powerful tool for closing a sale, it is not completely removed from pricing as it also allows customers to check how much extra they would have to pay to receive their item today and how close it is to their home versus waiting for a lower-priced alternative to be delivered.

  1. Protection from Their Brands

Consumers also want to feel protected when they chose a merchant, a broad topic that covers everything from the security of payment and personally identifiable information to the belief that if something goes wrong, needs to be returned, or gets disputed, that the retailer will stand by them. Non-price-related policies such as guaranteed refunds are one other way that retailers can convert customers without resorting to promotions and discounts.

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