Today, shopping retail and even picking up food at a restaurant looks different. Most customers prefer contactless payments and curbside pickup. They are the norm – they are expected. Contactless payments are just one more way to reduce the risk of sharing the virus. With less cash flowing around, the risk lessens, especially when consumers can pay online before they arrive or can use a digital wallet, like Apple Pay.
Curbside pickup used to be a luxury and one that not many customers used. COVID-19 turned the tide on it and so far it looks like there is no going back. Stores and restaurants need to offer curbside (touchless) pickup if they want to remain competitive.
Adopting Contactless Payments
Most stores and restaurants accepted the standard payments – credit and debit cards and some accepted digital wallets, but not many. Fast forward to today and it’s rare to see a business that doesn’t accept contactless payments, whether online payments, digital wallets, or direct transfer from PayPal or Venmo.
Consumers look for those extra payment options. They want the choice of how they’ll pay whether it’s online or in person. Everyone’s looking for contactless payments so even if they shop in-store, they don’t have to touch the credit card machine that everyone else touched too.
Curbside Pickup is the New Norm
Customers today want to walk into a store as little as possible. Rather than paying shipping costs and waiting days for it to arrive, they want instant gratification with curbside pickup. This means two things for retailers:
- Your inventory system must be up-to-date in real-time all the time. You can’t have customers buying products to pick up that day only to find out a few hours later that it’s not in stock. You won’t have happy or repeat customers.
- You need a seamless curbside pickup routine. This may mean hiring more staff, setting up new procedures, and creating new routines. The key is keeping a steady flow in the lot, and getting customers their items fast.
Buy Now Pay Later Plans are Important Too
During these trying times, many consumers need help. They don’t want to change their normal holiday shopping routine and give less during such a treacherous time in our lives, but many can’t afford it.
Buy Now Pay Later options give customers more choice. They can shop like they used to despite not having the cash resources today. Adding Buy Now Pay Later options on your website makes it easy for customers to apply in the privacy of their own homes. With an instant answer, they’ll know their options without facing anyone face-to-face.
Getting with the Times
COVID-19 changed a lot for retailers, and the changes are continuing. It’s important to adapt to what consumers need today to keep them and yourself safe, but also your business thriving. The right business model will help your business get through the pandemic and all that it’s changed.