Asian payment methods: Jordan Graison, Head of Sales at Limonetik, shares several tips on how merchants may cash in on the traditional Asian feast days
January 25, 2020 marked the beginning of the Year of the Rat. Celebrated by the entire Chinese population, the Lunar New Year is more than any other major Asian holiday – it’s a time for everyone to travel and visit their families. Many businesses are launching marketing campaigns to attract not only the 1.35 billion people in China, but the 50 million Chinese living abroad. The Chinese New Year represents a veritable “transhumance”, as during the holiday season most of the Chinese population is on the move. To make the year of the Rat proftable, merchants can’t ignore Asian payment methods.
Targeting a specific clientele
The CCI Nice Côte d’Azur (French Regional Chamber of commerce and industry) has used the WeChat Travel Experience to launch a campaign called “Welcome China” directed towards Chinese merchants and tourists. The concept is to capture consumers by offering a unique shopping experience via the WeChat payment method, which is geared to these hyper-connected users. When the 2017 Nielsen Report published that 91% of Chinese tourists said they would spend more if mobile payment was an option, regional merchants were prompted to adopt the WeChat Pay solution to offer payment by smartphone using a QR Code displayed at checkout time.
Stores still have to make the change
While e-retailers targeting Chinese and Asian customers are already offering the appropriate payment methods to ensure a seamless shopping experience in sync with everyone’s cultural habits, physical stores have yet to adapt. And even though today’s largest manufacturers of payment terminals have been gearing up to accept mobile solutions, there is still a long way to go before they can handle Asian payment methods.
Those who have made the full change include Natixis, Toshiba and Asten Retail. They are catering to Asian consumers by providing payment platforms like Alipay and WeChatPay. These payment solutions are now available in shops such as Louis Pion or CAP Sud in Nice, France, as well as in several airports and France’s FNAC multimedia chain stores.
All sectors of activity are impacted, no exceptions
Welcoming Chinese shoppers in Mandarin or investing in Chinese-language advertising is no longer sufficient; restaurants, shops, ticket offices, all sectors are feeling the impact. These structures should be adapted because most Chinese tourists believe “a successful journey is a connected one”. In a January 21 publication, Nielsen and Alipay report that international merchants are in a rush to implement mobile payment solutions with an aim to stimulate the flow of Chinese tourists into brick-and-mortar stores and boost sales. France may now be touted as the fifth favourite destination for Chinese visitors, but merchants will only benefit from this appeal by conforming to Chinese buying habits and providing the required payment methods.
Be prepared, it’s not too late
The Lunar New Year feted until mid-February in many Asian countries…..