Traders are currently experiencing a significant change in consumer expectations. Seeking new experiences, customers want to make their purchases worldwide, with payments tailored to their daily lives.
This is what we learn from a study conducted by MasterCard and PRIME Research. In a world first, this study of the retail sector was carried out through analysis of social networks. No fewer than 1.6 million spontaneous online conversations related to shopping and commerce from 61 markets were analyzed over a period of twelve months. Twitter is the most used social media channel for discussions on these subjects. Carlos Menendez, Executive Director for International Markets at MasterCard, explained in a press release that when it comes to the introduction of new payment related innovations to the market, consumer activity on social networks demonstrates that payments have become a central element of the overall shopping experience. They generate frustration when they are inefficient and support when they are fast, simple and personalized.
Here are the lessons we have taken from the “MasterCard retail social listening study”:
- It is practicality that collects the most positive discussions on social networks (77%) for new digital methods of payment. Consumers appreciate being able to leave their wallets at home and being able to pay using their mobile phone when travelling.
- The subject of consumer rewards and benefits is the theme the most vigorously and positively discussed on social networks. The most seasoned consumers in terms of new technologies wish to be rewarded for their use of NFC payment technology.
- Traders must equip themselves with new payment systems to satisfy their customers, for whom the topic of acceptance of new forms of payments is the second most popular on social media. These clients are fans of fashion and are the most fond of new payment methods, including contactless and mobile payment.
Each part of the world has its favourite subject! In North America, eWallets, payment methods integrated within mobile applications, and contactless payments are the subjects of the largest number of positive conversations on social networks. In Latin America, electronic wallets and payment methods integrated within mobile applications generate more favorable conversations than contactless payments. In the Middle East and Africa rewards and benefits that are most discussed. In these areas, the travel industry benefits from the most positive exchanges of all sectors. Asia Pacific has the largest proportion of positive discussions relating to contactless payments. In Europe, leisure and fashion are the two sectors addressed most favorably.
Merchants have every incentive to welcome new digital means of payment if they wish to retain their customers.