American Express just released their 2019 Digital Payment Survey and, I have to say, it is chock-full of interesting insights into how consumers shop and how merchants and retailers handle payments. While this report does not provide a deep dive into any of the insights American Express brings up, I still found it quite thought provoking.
Just to provide some background on the source of these data, a survey of 1,004 consumers was conducted among recent online shoppers in August of 2019. AMEX also sponsored a survey of 400 merchants in late August and early September 2019.
I’d like to share my thoughts on some of the more compelling findings from this report—for what it’s worth. One of the first things present in the report is the notion that customers want the payment aspect of their shopping experience to be fast and simple.
79% of consumers expect checking out in store to be as simple as checking out online, and will take action if those expectations are not met.
Customer expectations are changing. Their experiences shopping digitally have made the entire payment process easier—click, confirm, done. They want this to happen offline, too. As the report points out:
In-store: 62% have left a store without making a purchase after waiting too long in line at the register.
This leads me to think about customer experience and how customer expectations are based off their collective experiences. When consumers talk shopping, they are not comparing one offline retailer to another in the same vertical or even to other offline retailers in general. Rather they are building expectations off of their collective shopping experience offline and online.
This is also true for how they evaluate their payment experiences. If they payment experience isn’t what they can get elsewhere, you have a relationship in jeopardy.
In a section in the report titled “More Payment Options than Ever” the folks at Amex share an interesting fact.
Currently, merchants offer an average of six different digital payment options across their checkouts in-store and online to accommodate customer demand.
You can’t fault them for trying. Six different mobile payment options are needed to accommodate the dizzying array of new payment options that seem to pop up like weeds. This brings some questions to mind. How many options is too many? Can there be payment option overload? Also, what is the downside of not offering one of these six options? What is the right mix of options? What is the potential lost revenue as a result of not offering a specific payment type, or would consumers simply switch to another way to pay?
As I think you can tell, I found this report very thought provoking and the discussion above covers only a few interesting points I pulled out of the first four pages. There is a lot more in there to get you thinking. As I said, there may not be a lot of answers, but there are lots of different things to think about.
Overview by Peter Reville, Dierctor, Primary Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group