Shoppers seeking “transformation” of retail experience

Shoppers globally are demanding their retail experience is “transformed”, a study by MasterCard has revealed on the eve of this year’s World Retail Congress.

And one of their top priorities: “simpler and more innovative ways to pay” according to the world’s first retail focussed ‘social listening study’.

The MasterCard Retail Social Listening Study, in partnership with Prime Research, analysed 1.6 million unprompted online conversations around shopping and retail during the last 12 months across 61 international markets in order to understand consumer experience.

Key findings from the study indicated retailers are experiencing a shift in consumer expectations, requiring “new and richer experiences”, says MasterCard, which will enable consumers around the world to shop at the ‘speed of life’.

Key findings include:

  • Convenience through technology innovations: Convenience was the most positively discussed aspect of new digital payment methods in shopping and retail related conversations (77 per cent), with the travel sector leading the way in terms of the highest share of coverage. Consumers specifically highlighted their preference for not necessarily needing to take their wallet on every trip and being able to use mobile payments when they travel.
  • Being rewarded: Rewards and benefits for the consumer was the most vociferously and positively discussed topic across social media when it came to shopping and retail (38 per cent share of coverage of the six aspects measured). Entertainment was the sector leading the way, where rewards and benefits was most discussed. Consumers expressed eagerness for further acceptance of NFC payments allowing them to receive rewards for using them regularly.
  • Demand for increased acceptance: After rewards and benefits, consumer discussion of which retailers do and do not accept newer forms of payment was the second most discussed topic according to the study (21 per cent share of coverage of the six aspects measured). Consumers discussed extensively their desire for retailers to integrate new payment systems, with conversations about fashion being most prominent in terms of sector. Fashion focussed shoppers were the most keen to shout about retailers who accept new methods of payment, such as contactless acceptance and mobile payment capabilities.

Asia Pacific respondents had the highest percentage of favourable tone on the topic of Contactless Payments.

In addition, Twitter was highlighted as the most frequently used social media platform globally when it came to online conversations about retail and shopping.

Carlos Menendez, executive director for international markets at MasterCard said the wave of social engagement seen every time new payment innovations are rolled out truly reflects the demand and desire for new and more convenient ways to pay.

“It also shows that payments have really moved into the heart of the shopping experience – causing frustration when not accepted and engagement when fast, easy and personal.”

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