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As the COVID-19 situation continues to impact retailers and lives worldwide, we are here to support you as best as possible.
Maria Prados, VP of Retail at Worldpay has answered some of the key questions on retailers' minds
Please note we will add and update these questions as the situation evolves so please do check back.
Q: How is the Retail sector being hit by Covid-19?
Shopping is predominantly moving online, and there are certain sub-verticals (like online grocery shopping) that are experiencing record demand. However, with shoppers prioritising food and goods that allow for exercise or comfort at home, there is huge disparity between retailers. Fashion is being hit particularly hard, especially the luxury market
We’re also seeing marketplaces leading the way and prioritising the customer and communities that need it the most by waving seller fees, shipping costs, loan terms and making gestures to frontline workers. Whilst businesses are struggling, it can be hard to remember to show that you care, but customers are acutely sensitive to messaging during this period. It is a good time to show what is at the heart of your business.
Q: With immense disproportion between sectors and businesses that are experiencing surges in online sales, what can all businesses do to keep their customers coming back?
Whatever your business, it’s paramount your site is functioning optimally and that your checkout and payment pages are optimised – milestones known to be drop-off points. Don’t give visitors a reason to abort their transaction. User experience has never been more important and should be a top priority, alleviating shopper stress wherever possible.
Q: How can merchants prioritise the customer during this time?
There are a number of ways to strengthen relationships with customers:
- Broaden your payment offering
Ensure customers can find exactly what they are looking for and can pay in the way they want to. Consider offering alternative payment methods – like buy-now-pay-later schemes – which can help alleviate financial pressures or provide the impetus to invest in items that make staying at home easier.
- Build Trust
Keep your promises and ensure the customer always knows what to expect by communicating clearly on stock levels, delivery times, payment schedules, returns and offers. Every interaction with your customer is an opportunity to build trust and loyalty.
- Cultivate Community
Reflect on where your customers are spending most of their time and help cultivate a sense of community. You might enable social selling tools to be able to take orders and payments without customers needing to leave their social spaces.
- Give Rewards
It’s also a good time to reward and incentivise customers – both for their benefit and yours. Optimise your liquidity position when possible and give reward incentives for customers to use the payment methods that can help your cash flow most.
Q: How long will the changes in Retail continue for and will things return to normal?
The situation for retailers is evolving continuously, and we’ll see more trends come into play before this is over. It’s too early to say whether shopping habits will return to how they were before, but our expectation is that in some way the retail climate will be forever changed, as will what shoppers want and expect. For example, globally, many people are shopping online for the first time ever. Will they want to keep the convenience? In addition to this, loyalty to brands may have come into question during this period due to inaccessibility or unmet demand. Will customers come back, or will switches become permanent?
Retailers can get ahead by envisaging what needs post-pandemic customers will be driven by.
MERCHANT SERVICES SCAM ALERT
We have received reports of businesses being contacted by callers claiming to be representatives of a merchant services provider. These callers are telling merchants that their current provider is shutting down due to the COVID-19 situation. They proceed to tell the merchant they need to switch processors to continue accepting electronic payments.
If your business is targeted, please know that this is part of a scam and not legitimate. Worldpay will continue to be your trusted partner and support your payment processing needs.