Consumers Are Embracing Mobile Payments, Retailers Should, Too

A new eGifter report shows that consumers are keen on mobile payment, digital gift cards.

With Samsung attempting to compete with Apple Pay by debuting LoopPay within its Galaxy S6 in March, the conversation around mobile payments and the role they play in consumer lives is picking up steam among retailers.

eGifter’s Digital Gifting Study provides some fast facts, revealing that shoppers report wanting elevated levels of “convenience, personalization, and flexibility.” Of those surveyed, 27 percent said they plan to use some form of mobile payment in the next 6 months.

This could provide a key opportunity for retailers; those that adopt mobile payment platforms could win favor with mobile-friendly customers. Additionally, mobile wallet technologies can be time and money-saving for both retailers and shoppers.Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 2.07.30 PM

“In-store, long check-out lines and heavy foot traffic, especially around the holidays, are a challenge that mobile can help address,” says Tyler Roye, eGifter’s CEO. “With smart phone adoption exceeding even the most ambitious projections, consumers expect to be able to accomplish more than ever on their devices. Retailers that don’t implement the right mobile technology to streamline payments and enhance consumer experiences both online and at the POS are going to quickly fall behind.”

One (e)Size Fits All

One focus of eGifter’s report is the impact of the technology on gift cards, which have long been a source of business for retailers, as they draw in customers who often end up spending more than the amount of the card. Mobile wallet capabilities could modernize the gift card for the digital age.

New use cases for eGift cards are emerging as part of payment and loyalty solutions, eGifter’s study notes, as demonstrated by the programs of early adopters like Starbucks.

A reloadable digital gift card, such as those in use by the coffee giant, is still a brand’s own currency; it just doesn’t link to plastic cards as it would traditionally. And, for their willingness to participate, customers can be rewarded with savings in the form of rewards points and discounts, ideally building brand loyalty and incentivizing repeat in-store visits.

“Mobile payments help retailers to gather the type of consumer data typically connected to an online transaction at the point-of-sale,” Roye says. “This increases the marketing opportunity for that retailer and can be an important part of a mobile payments strategy designed to build customer loyalty.”

Added Convenience In-Store

Digital gift cards have already begun to take market share from their plastic predecessors, the study notes.

Why? Well, a majority of customers (53 percent) report that they have reached for a gift card in-store — only to discover that they left it at home. And with a full 40 percent saying they would scan their plastic gift card into a mobile wallet, retailers may not have to miss out on business due to shopper forgetfulness. Integrating an eGift card experience into their mobile payment offerings may serve to save businesses money while also creating the seamless experience that today’s connected shopper expects.

“Armed with a variety of digital currencies, the eGift card among them, consumers will want a frictionless checkout experience,” the eGifter report concludes. “Creative use cases for digital gift cards will ensure they play a growing role in the future of mobile payments.”

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.