Search and Logistics Shape Retail’s Future
The future of the retail industry is now being shaped by two major factors – search and logistics. Merchants aren’t just impacted by the consumer’s need to purchase products via a digital medium, but also by how that consumer finds (searches), pays (payments) and takes possession of products (logistics). Search and logistics are now driving consumers’ decisions about who gets their business, and when and where they get it.
For merchants, merging the online and offline worlds has become a must to satisfy the need for consumers to purchase and receive items in an easy and timely fashion. According to PYMNTS.com, merchants with physical store footprints and hardware-centric POS systems aren’t always top of mind for consumers seeking this new process, making the intersection of payments, search and logistics not just a trend, but also a new framework for understanding the future of retail payments.
How “Buy” Buttons Influenced Shopping
In the early 2000’s, companies like Amazon and eBay brought a brand-new digital experience to consumers where they could go to one website to find something to buy, pay for it easily, and have it delivered straight to their homes – much like the in-store experience.
Buy buttons soon began to emerge to make checkout more consistent and secure for other online retailers through digital payments brands like PayPal, card-branded buttons like Visa Checkout, and now Amazon Pay and Apple Pay.
But the consumer still had to find that retailer – and the products they had to offer – by sifting through an endless aisle of search results. Once found (or if found), the consumer still had to assess whether their product needs were consistent with the retailer’s ability to guarantee delivery.
All of that took time and introduced uncertainty into the digital retail experience. The find, pay and fulfill process still remained a struggle – even as digital merchants and payment acceptance became more pervasive online.
Amazon Prime Ties Search and Logistics to Purchasing Goods
As payments companies continued to expand the methods of payment acceptance and eliminate problems within the online marketplace, Amazon began investing in ways to replicate that all-in-one search, pay and fulfill flow from the physical world into their digital marketplace, according to PYMNTS.com.
Introduced in 2005, Amazon Prime assured two-day free shipping for Prime members only. This made Amazon the first to master the finding, paying, delivering, and fulfilling of the online retail world, and their online business plan has motivated other companies to do the same.
The Future of Retail Payments
The search, payments and logistics model is vital to understanding the future of payments in the retail space. Merchants need to consider more than just payments because payments are only applicable if consumers find something to buy and are assured that they can get it delivered in an acceptable time frame. Aggregators, marketplaces, and social channels will continue to enhance these experiences to bring value to both buyers and sellers.
Today, more and more consumers only go to the store if they’ve used their mobile devices to see if the item they want to purchase is in stock, and this is also why so many consumers simply don’t go to stores anymore. And consumers expect the same online.
What Can Your Business Do to Stay Relevant?
- Make sure your business is equipped with the proper tools to combine both your online and offline presence.
- Streamline your payment acceptance methods and allow for quick and easy payments both in-store and online.
Prepare Your Business Today!
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