Planet research provides UK retailers with new data on the importance of payments for Brits and overseas visitors
The report provides UK retailers with new insights into what their customers want from the overall shopping experience and payment preferences. It compares UK consumer preferences to those across Europe and other countries, most notably China and the US.
- 53% of UK shoppers say that when a retailer accepts their preferred payment method it leads to a great shopping experience
- 74% of UK shoppers prefer to pay using their credit and debit cards, with digital payments also proving to be increasingly popular
- 50% of international shoppers drawn to the UK’s stores because they offer new and different products which deliver them a genuine ‘Made in Britain’ experience
Payments are the deciding factor for Brits in the overall shopping experience
For over half of UK shoppers (53%), a retailer accepting their preferred payment method makes for a great online shopping experience. In fact, it’s more important than a simple exchange and return (47%) process and having the visibility of shop stocks on the website (32%).
Payments are also the main factor for Brits shopping in-store too with over half saying that it’s very important that their payment method of choice is accepted. This comes in ahead of features such as the ability for staff to check stock availability in real-time (37%) and home delivery where the item is not available in-store (34%).
When it comes to making a payment, UK shoppers remain tied to plastic, with the majority (74%) saying that credit and debit cards are their preferred payment method for online shopping. Only the Spanish have a stronger preference for cards across Europe (76%), whereas only 32% of Germans prefer to use cards.
The data also provides further evidence that digital wallets are becoming increasingly popular amongst UK consumers, with 29% of respondents saying they prefer to use Apple Pay and Google Pay to make a payment. That’s twice the level of popularity for these two methods compared to French and Italian shoppers (15%).
But aside from digital wallets, there’s little appetite for more radical innovation, with fewer than half (43%) of Brits saying it’s not important at all that cryptocurrency is offered when shopping online. This compares to 22% of shoppers globally.
Commenting on the findings, Luca Cassina, President of Retail at Planet said: “Our findings show that when it comes to the overall shopping experience it’s the payment moment that matters most for majority of UK consumers. Nobody actually ‘enjoys’ making a payment, so the job of the retailer is to make it as easy and painless as possible to pay.
“What’s more, British retailers can stand to leverage their payments data to better understand their customers and drive loyalty. Our ambition is to take the unified commerce approach one step further with a connected commerce platform that empowers retailers to deliver shoppers more choice, convenience and customisation, and to ultimately create a more enjoyable shopping experience.”
UK retailers can grow revenue by meeting the needs of international shoppers
Across all nations, the key driver for shopping abroad (50%) is the availability of new and different products (i.e. the ‘made in…’ experience). This is followed by lower prices abroad (46%) and the ability to save money with Tax Free shopping (41%).
With inbound tourism numbers continuing to pick-up across much of the UK, retailers can use Planet’s insight to help them create great shopping experiences and maximise revenue from international customers, who according to Planet, typically spend over four times more per transaction than domestic shoppers.
When it comes to in-store payments, there are also variations in payment preferences. While Saudis, Emiratis and Americans all favour cards (71%, 77% and 75%), the leading payment method for Chinese shoppers in-store is Alipay and WeChat Pay (84% and 85%). American shoppers also strongly favour Paypal (61%), and Google Pay and Apple Pay (44%) for in-store payments, showing that despite the dominance of cards domestically in the US, digital wallets are increasingly popular when shopping abroad.
Dee Corsi, Chief Executive of the New West End Company commented: “The West End has long benefited from a vibrant mix of domestic and international shoppers, for whom the common language has always been choice and convenience. What started with free super-fast street WiFi across our District for a seamless omnichannel experience has evolved rapidly, with many shoppers, particularly those from China, requiring their own forms of payments by default. Our retailers continue to invest in payment methods that ensure a seamless transaction at the point of sale. In the absence of tax free shopping for international visitors, this is an important part of the customer experience.”
Another major finding is how important being able to pay in home currency is for international shoppers. Nearly all international shoppers (90%) said they would welcome this when spending in-store using their debit or credit card if the option is presented to them at point of sale. In fact, Americans, Saudis and Emiratis, all heavy card users, strongly favour this option at 92%, 94% and 93% respectively. It’s clear that UK retailers should be considering currency conversion services as a way to provide a great shopping experience, driving additional revenue for retailers too.
Download the full report here.
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