As physical and digital shopping worlds collide, consumers are increasingly deciding whether to shop in-store or online, not based on product availability, but based on what their schedule allows and when they need an item.
“Instead of running to the store … we’re more willing to focus our daily shopping away from instant gratification and more on a planned spending scenario.” Chris Abele, Vice President Product Strategy at Fiservsaid PYMNTS in a recent interview.
The shift is due to consumers being “trained by the COVID environment for 18 months” to think ahead about household items like toothpaste and cosmetics. “They are more used to not having a chance to go to a store and need to plan ahead with things like that,” he added.
PYMNTS studies, carried out in collaboration with Carat von Fiserv, have shown that 50% of all consumers in the past year increased their âbuy now, get laterâ (BNGL) shopping behavior by opting for online shopping and delivery of their Have decided on purchases. Clothing and accessories have changed the most: 17% of all consumers buy more of their clothing through BNGL than last year.
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But BNGL goes beyond everyday objects. Abele said in his own life that he recently bought several seasonal Halloween items and candy online, something he usually does in-store because “it was just a matter of a slightly wider choice”.
“We got used to having a good selection online and yes, we can get what we need in time,” Abele said.
Powered by digital wallets
Still, 41% of consumers say they are buying more now, buying now than they did before the pandemic – although retailers could do more to attract those customers, e.g.
Consumers crave the same smooth digital payment experiences they get online when they walk into a store, Abele said.
“Well, the reality of actually making this a reality is still a long way off, but wallets are the easy way to do it,” Abele said. Almost a third of Millennials and Bridge Millennials say they would be more likely to do brick and mortar purchases if they could use a digital wallet.
Some more advanced merchants, Abele said, are taking steps to enable payments via QR codes, and many retailers have already introduced NFC-enabled devices to enable payments with digital wallets. In the past 18 months, Fiserv has quadrupled, Abele said that in-store use of digital wallets has quadrupled, moving to nearly 10% adoption in some industries.
PYMNTS data shows that 41% of consumers increase their BNGN purchases and pay through digital wallets, while 8.7% use the âbuy now, pay laterâ (BNPL) options. And 58% of BNGL shoppers also say they regularly pay for purchases through a digital wallet, and 11% use BNPL options.
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âIt’s a good reminder for merchants to think about making changes to their point of sale or their environment to support these new forms of payment,â Abele said.
He added that it is important to realize that the use of BNPL is not restricted to younger consumers or lower income brackets – in fact, 22% of BNGN shoppers who earn more than $ 100,000 a year say they would choose BNPL options encourage them to shop in physical stores.
“It’s got pretty broad demand and we expect it to continue to take shape and gain a foothold in retail,” Abele said.
Abele also noted that debit cards are growing in popularity with both BNGN and BNGL shoppers, which is reflected in both PYMNTS research and Fiserv’s experience over the past 18 months. Over 57% of consumers who increased their BNGL purchases over the past year paid with a debit card, compared to 70% who used a credit card; and 70% of BNGN shoppers used a debit card, compared to 65% who used a credit card.
Part of the increase, Abele said, is coming from younger shoppers who are more used to debit cards âspending moreâ while bridge millennials and Generation X have moved to debit spending altogether.
“What was once dominated by credit cards has now shifted towards debit cards … and all of the reasons for this seem to point back to demographics,” he said.
Accelerated by the labor shortage
According to Abele, the biggest problem retailers face right now is finding enough workers to fill vacancies and while some “basic steps” are being taken to alleviate the pain, the situation is likely to accelerate retailers’ digital adoption.
“Anything that increases store productivity, anything that increases efficiency for the consumer, anything that effectively becomes just a digital experience is really driven faster by the fact that there is a severe labor shortage,” Abele said. He added that the shortage is unlikely to subside for “at least another six to twelve months”.
To cope with this, for example, some warehouse and logistics companies have started using robots to ease workload instead of human workers, while Target has announced that it will be hiring fewer seasonal workers this holiday season and will instead use a mobile scheduling system to help current staff. App to offer more hours.
Continue reading: Retailers rely on employees to do more in the face of labor shortages
“Dealers will now quickly focus on new types of experiences because they simply have no other choice,” Abele said. “You can’t hire enough people.”