What if e-commerce brought physical commerce back to life?

At the heart of commerce transformation, payment must enable merchants to break free from technical constraints to focus on the customer experience and anticipate tomorrow’s uses.

The rise of e-commerce is confirmed year after year. On average, the French made 51 online purchases in 2021 (Fevad and Médiamétrie). That’s 15% more than in 2020! The health crisis helped to redistribute the relationship and customer journey cards. Consumers have adopted new behaviors that contribute to blurring borders and multiplying touchpoints: intensifying contactless purchases by credit card, click & collect, purchase by QR code, purchase online after visiting a showroom or influencer website… Social expectations define the contours of a more responsible business. For shopkeepers, it is an open door to new sales opportunities and new channels to be conquered and appropriated.

At the heart of exchanges and these issues, payment is evolving in an expanding market that is constantly adapting to changing regulations and security standards. In this context, retail giants and innovative SMEs play on the same court with the consumer who acts as arbitrator, choosing the most transparent and reassuring experience. To do this, payment must allow merchants to free themselves from technical constraints with complete confidence in order to focus on the customer experience and anticipate tomorrow’s uses.

Payment at the heart of commerce transformation

The years 2020 and 2021 were pivotal in the evolution of commerce and payment, both in terms of transforming the uses of both consumers and merchants, but also in the implementation of new security standards for online payments.

With the health crisis, online shopping exploded and dematerialized payment methods became systematic. Ecommerce revenue jumped 25% in 2021!

The speed and agility offered by digital technology has opened the field of possibilities for merchants to offer their services and products. This is how a major sports equipment brand was able to set up an online site selling used products in just a few weeks.

The e-commerce boom has brought with it the payment revolution, whether it’s contactless payment to local exchanges or the scale taken over by new means like installment payment or Buy it now, pay later, particularly appreciated by new generations. An evolution confirmed by a recent study by Oney – Groupe BPCE, which highlights that 59% of French people are in favor of using installment payments, in three or four installments.

More than a trend, this new medium represents a significant asset for today’s traders. Many brands have already realized the win-win nature of this innovation. In addition to the economic benefit to the shopper, merchants benefit from a higher conversion rate and higher shopping carts.

From a more physical e-commerce to a more digitalized traditional commerce, payment is the guiding thread of any transaction. Therefore, in an industry that is constantly evolving, it is essential to create the conditions for a payment experience that combines innovation and trust.

Trust, the key to success

The search for the simplicity and speed offered by e-commerce in the execution of online payments should not be at the expense of security, especially since the French are particularly attached to it.

In fact, online payment always represents a moment of friction: one in two consumers has already abandoned an online purchase when making the payment, the main reason being doubts about security.

Thus, the implementation of the second European directive on payment services (PSD2) has underlined the need to develop new solutions capable of guaranteeing the security of transactions and reassuring consumers.

According to the Banque de France, 97% of active cardholders now benefit from a strong authentication system to protect remote transactions as much as possible.

As for merchant sites, 95% of the payment flows in question conform to this new standard and the failure rates of transactions authenticated in this way are now on par. Technology must be at the service of innovation, but also, more than ever, of the security on which trust is based. Because there is no relationship and exchange without trust, and even more so when paying. Gathering the conditions of trust for merchants and buyers is critical. Both to ensure a successful consumer experience and to support the growth of commerce in France.

Physical commerce is keen to learn from e-commerce

We often forget that the checkout is the last impression the merchant leaves on the customer. Therefore, it is even more necessary to pay attention to this. In the last ten years, we have witnessed an acceleration of innovations in this area, breaking the codes of this experience that completes the in-store shopping journey. At the heart of this revolution: simplicity, less friction, more fluidity and time savings for all parties.

With the period of health crisis, contactless and dematerialized payment methods have become essential. More than a third of French people use an e-wallet app and QR Code payment through dedicated apps is becoming popular, especially when checking in at restaurants.

Brands also quickly adopted these innovations to bring even more simplicity to their customers. For example, a French mass retailer tested a completely autonomous purchasing process in one of its Parisian stores. Thanks to a “smart shopping cart” developed by a start-up that allows products to be scanned automatically, customers can now pay by instant checkout or by dematerialized payment.

On the merchant side, the “seamless” confirmed the need for omnichannel: converging its different sales channels. SoftPos thus represents a great advance that offers merchants the possibility of transforming a smartphone into a contactless payment terminal and thus allowing a consultant to complete a sale in a simple way, limiting the queue at the cashier.

Technology continues to evolve and offer more simplicity and security. By 2024, there will be no more codes on bank cards, thanks to 100% contactless payment, while maintaining maximum security thanks to Pin Online technology. Likewise, there is already talk of converting everyday objects into payment terminals. Fintechs like GAFAM have already taken advantage of these new technologies and their use will certainly accelerate. The ultimate goal is always to improve the customer experience, ensuring transparency and security for the shopkeeper!

Participate in the vitality of a new economy

In the transformations imposed on us, there is often an opportunity to innovate. If technology is the means, our values ​​are the driving force. Today, the physical and the digital learn and enrich each other, as technology and human complement each other. It is necessary to collectively defend the construction of an organized, simplified and lean ecosystem, serving all types of retailers to better meet the expectations of their consumers. It is in everyone’s interest to participate in the vitality of a new economy where everyone finds their place and which allows traders to focus on their core business!

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