Myles Dawson, UK country manager for payments specialist Adyen, talks about the defining technology and payment trends of 2016 and those that are likely to define the coming 12 months.
In your view, what were some of the defining multichannel trends of 2016?
Mobile is the perfect vehicle for multichannel shopping. Overall, the adoption of mobile in the UK continues to rise, accounting for around 50% of all online payments, and the launch of Android Pay opened the floodgates in terms of the volume of shoppers with payment functionality built into their phones.
Last year has also seen the true emergence of conversational commerce – where shoppers buy from retailers directly inside a chat thread – and China’s WeChat Pay is leading the charge. However, it is worth noting that, for some, this is nothing new: airline KLM has supported payments from within Facebook and Twitter since 2014.
There is also a growing number of retailers consolidating their channels, and using the data to increase conversions. One recent study we did with a retailer showed their online risk settings had blocked hundreds of transactions of shoppers that had spent more than $1,000 (£810) in store. Knowledge like this is gold dust: it reduces false positives and helps retailers increase loyalty across channels.
At Adyen, where do you see your retailer customers focusing their efforts and resources for the coming year?
We expect to see a continued emphasis on fitting seamlessly around the lives of shoppers. Traditional pain-points, such as out of stock issues, or long checkout queues, must (and will) become a thing of the past, and retailers will increasingly harness the best of their online and physical worlds to provide the best service.
Another interesting emerging trend is the growth of the subscription and recurring industry. This has gone beyond music streaming and ride-sharing – retailers are embracing this business model as way of nurturing relationships and establishing repeat revenue streams.
Where do you expect to see innovation in payments in 2017?
The ultimate shopper journey is when the customer doesn’t need to take any action to make a purchase. They simply walk into a store, pick up an item and walk out again – Uber style. This has been pioneered by Amazon Go, the etailer’s first cashier-free store in Seattle. And, although it might be some way down the line for most retailers, it is definitely one to watch. Perhaps a stepping-stone is a mobile payment experience such as Google Hands Free, where you can pay simply by verbally acknowledging the payment to a cashier.
Another one to watch is the rise of conversation commerce, and we can expect to see players like Facebook ramping up this feature in the coming months.