“Why Contactless Payments Are the Future of Brick-and-Mortar Retail” by Bobby Marhamat via Total Retail

“Why Contactless Payments Are the Future of Brick-and-Mortar Retail” by Bobby Marhamat via Total Retail

Credit: Getty Images by dowell The future always promises uncertainty. That said, all indications are that contactless payments are ingrained in brick-and-mortar retail for the long haul. Without massive unforeseen disruption, the COVID-assisted trend towards cashless, fully contactless checkout will gain further momentum. The 1,000 customers we surveyed in our State of Contactless Payments 2021 Report only confirmed our belief in contactless payments as an essential feature of retail businesses. Eighty-three percent of those customers have used contactless payments in the past 12 months. Furthermore, 57 percent will choose a business with contactless payment channels over a competitor without contactless payment options. We know that health is one driver of contactless payments. Mastercard, which has a crystal-clear view of consumer payment habits, saw a 40 percent increase in shoppers’ contactless payments amid the pandemic. We also know convenience is swaying customers to embrace contactless. Our data suggests that consumers have no plans of ditching contactless payment methods, even post-pandemic. Pandemic or no pandemic, shoppers like the convenience that tap-and-go, mobile wallets, apps, and other contactless channels provide. We firmly believe that contactless payments are the future of buying. We have the numbers to back it up. Related story: The Store of the Future: How to Evaluate the Value of Autonomous Technologies Customers Are Using Contactless Payments, and Nobody’s Forcing Them to The 83 percent of customers who used contactless payment channels in the past year did so under their own volition. Nobody forced them, and yet they chose to go contactless. Critics might say, “big deal, they tried contactless once. People will try anything once.” It’s a fair point. However, as we dug deeper into the data, we...
“‘We’re no longer a photo-sharing app,’ says head of Instagram” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

“‘We’re no longer a photo-sharing app,’ says head of Instagram” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

Dive Brief: As multiple social media platforms adapt to shifting user habits, Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, recently announced that the app is pivoting away from being primarily a photo-sharing app. Instead, the platform will enhance its features in four key areas: creators, video, shopping and messaging, Mosseri said a week ago in a video. During the video, Mosseri noted that the COVID-19 pandemic “accelerated the shift of commerce from offline to online by a number of years, and we’re trying to lean into that trend” through its shopping features. Dive Insight: In his video announcement, Mosseri cited the success of competitors like TikTok, YouTube and smaller platforms as part of the reason for focusing more on video. In the coming months, the social network will be experimenting with recommendations — starting with sharing content to consumers, even from accounts they’re not following, based on the topics they’re interested in, he said.  “People are looking to Instagram to be entertained, there’s stiff competition and there’s more to do. Then we have to embrace that. And that means change,” Mosseri said in the video.  Instagram has taken its cues from other platforms like TikTok and Clubhouse, the audio social media app. Clubhouse, founded in early 2020, features live audio chat rooms and recently launched a direct payment tool for collecting tips from users. Similarly, Instagram launched its rooms feature in March to let up to four users chat live with one another simultaneously. Last month, Instagram also unveiled features to help creators monetize their audience.  Meanwhile, TikTok teamed up with Shopify last Fall to introduce e-commerce tools on the app. Instagram debuted its Shopping in Reels feature in December to let sellers...
“4 Best Practices for Creating a Social Commerce Experience That Converts” by Elise Stieferman via Total Retail

“4 Best Practices for Creating a Social Commerce Experience That Converts” by Elise Stieferman via Total Retail

Online shopping received a serious bump in 2020. So did its offshoot, social commerce. In fact, among the strongest trends in the e-commerce industry, making purchases from social platforms seems to be the one to watch due to its projected year-over-year sales bump of 35 percent. It only makes sense that people would start using social media to not only find and explore items, but also to buy them. After all, social platforms such as Snapchat and TikTok have taken on a digital “hangout” role, especially for younger audiences. Being able to snag a deal without leaving a favored platform removes barriers and increases convenience. Social commerce isn’t just attractive because it’s easy for consumers, though. It’s also exciting because it can replicate the feelings elicited during in-store shopping — but virtually. Consumers can interact with brands in real time through likes, comments, direct messages (DMs) and chatbots. They can also share their “finds” with followers, creating opportunities for retailers to enjoy organic cross-pollination. From the retailer’s perspective, social commercemakes just as much sense — particularly for companies in tangible product categories like electronics, apparel, home decorations, jewelry, and cosmetics. Why? The business basically has a built-in pipeline to consumers without the need for a physical location. Additionally, most brands already have a social presence. Therefore, adding social e-commerce into the mix by using Facebook Shops, Instagram Shops, or a third-party integration doesn’t involve a giant leap or learning curve. Related story: The Power of Social Media, Video and Storytelling for Two Blind Brothers Crafting Your Own Social Commerce Strategy Nevertheless, brands shouldn’t underestimate the need to map out their social...