Canada’s retailers face many challenges when it comes to growing a business. Up until now, offering a variety of retail payment methods might not have seemed like a high priority.
However, offering a variety of payment solutions is a crucial step in the customer journey—and even more prevalent during the COVID-19 crisis with an increase in online purchasing and greater demand for contactless payment methods. After all, issues with payments may lead to disgruntled customers and lost sales.
Understanding payment challenges and how to solve them may help smooth over your customer journey, strengthen your customer relationship, and ultimately lead to more sales.
Payment Challenges and Solutions
Modern technology has led to new payment solutions for retail businesses worldwide. However, the combination of an increasingly global market and expanding digital payment options has also led to some retail payment processing and retail payment system issues. Some of the payment challenges retailers face include:
- Limited customer service and support from your service provider
- An inferior customer user experience
- Complex multicurrency and payment methods
However, for each of these payment challenges, solutions exist.
Despite the rapid technological advances that offer more payment options to customers than ever before, occasional transaction issues might still crop up. That’s why it’s important to choose a reliable payments service provider offering 24/7 real-time customer support. They should be there to help you troubleshoot any issues that occur with your retail payment solutions.
Fix less-than-stellar user experiences by using the latest tools and technologies. This allows a retail store or another type of retail business to immediately implement the most current payment options as soon as they become available.
While online shopping encourages a broader customer base for the retail industry in Canada, this also means more complicated currency payment requirements.
Instead of dealing with simply one or two currencies, retail businesses might find they need to offer a more flexible retail payment processing system. Make sure to choose a payment solutions provider that accommodates payment in multiple currencies.
Retail Payment Options
How many methods of making payments does your business offer? If cash or card payments (debit or credit) are the only ways customers may pay, you could be losing business. Today’s consumers want a variety of retail payment methods.
Research shows that customers want flexible payment options from retailers. In fact, CustomerThink estimates that 50% of customers will cancel their orders if they can’t pay with their preferred retail payment method.
Learning about the variety of retail payment methods available to Canadian customers may help you make the best choice for your business and customers.
Popular retail payment solutions in Canada include the following.
Accepting payments in paper or coin currencies is convenient and quick.
Credit and Debit Card Payments
Consumers love the simplicity of swiping or tapping a credit or debit card, and could even spend more using cards to pay for purchases than they do if using other forms of payment. Accepting card payments also helps boost a business’ credibility, helps serve an increasingly cashless consumer society, and could help smooth out your cash flow with immediate deposits to your bank account.
Allowing your customers to pay with gift cards broadens your customer base as the people who buy these gift cards share them with family and friends.
Loyalty Rewards Payments
Offer a loyalty rewards program to let buyers pay for purchases with rewards points they earn with each purchase. In addition to helping build customer loyalty, accepting rewards points for full or partial payment gives loyal customers another payment option while encouraging additional spending with your business.
Mobile or Smartphone Payments
Letting your customers pay by simply getting their smartphone scanned is one of the newer payment methods retailers and consumer use today. It makes sense in a world where everyone seems to carry their smartphone, but not everyone carries a wallet or purse. This payment option might be one of the most popular in the future of payments for retailers in Canada and beyond.
Custom Payment Arrangements
Splitting a restaurant bill between five friends, paying for a purchase with a combination of cash and credit cards, cash and payment plan, or even a payment plan for a layaway arrangement that doesn’t require cash upfront all fall into the category of custom payment arrangements. These give your customers more choice in how to pay for their purchases.
Online Payment for Retail Services
In 2020, traditional shopping methods have changed.
Whether purchasing online or in store, customers want convenience and flexibility.
Offering online shopping and payment with curbside pickup or home delivery from local retailers is a convenient payment option in a world of social distancing and stay-at-home orders. Retailers who see the opportunity in the future of online payments for retail purchases, and take action to include this as a payment option could gain a competitive industry advantage.
Provide Superior Payment Experience
Strengthening the customer payment experience is an often-overlooked yet critical element in the customer journey. Ultimately, offering payment flexibility through several payment channels shows that your business values customers at all stages of the customer journey, and helps open the opportunity to deepen and sustain long-term, loyal customer relationships.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or an opinion on any issue. It should not be regarded as comprehensive or a substitute for professional advice.