Focusing on a consistent and frictionless buying journey, is integral to offering consumers the experience they would expect from any modern retailer.
This is among the key findings of a new global report commissioned by digital financial technology firm Wirecard, which interviewed 500 consumers in each of Hong Kong and Singapore among 6000 consumers in international markets.
“Our research has revealed that consumers clearly desire choice when completing purchases,” said Wirecard EVP group strategy, Markus Eichinger on the Hong Kong and Singapore results. “Consumers shop in many different ways nowadays and this is challenging merchants to meet a wide range of retail demands. A lot of focus is put on pricing, but not necessarily on the flexibility customers seek … In the future, brick and mortar stores will only exist if they are technologically advanced with the latest in-store innovations and a fully integrated e-commerce backend.”
The report showed shopping in physical stores is still essential for consumers in Hong Kong, but only if the purchasing experience integrates all sales channels, innovative technology and data-driven incentives. Maintaining an up-to-date online shop is key in Hong Kong, as consumers often select products online even if they buy in-store, reflecting how a frictionless buying journey is key.
Cashless payments are now omnipresent in the territory with nearly all respondents shopping without cash in physical stores, with half of Hong Kong respondents saying they would be less likely to shop in a physical store if it did not offer ways to pay via their mobile phones.
Results from Singaporean respondents showed some similarity to Hong Kong results, with shopping in physical stores still key for consumers in the region only if the purchasing experience integrates all sales channels, innovative technology and data-driven incentives. About 80 per cent of Singaporeans prefer to use a store’s website via their phone to do research while in-store, compared to other methods like mobile apps, in-store screens or a VR booth.
Almost all Singaporean respondents use cashless payment methods when they shop in physical stores, with 78 per cent of consumers surveyed willing to share personal data in return for incentives.
Consumers from bother markets order products from a foreign website frequently, however almost all shoppers indicated the lack of a familiar payment method would heavily influence their decision to order products from overseas.