It goes without saying that no matter how technology evolves, consumers will continue to put considerable thought into how and when they make purchases. However, technology is also having an increasingly significant impact on consumer purchasing decisions.
Mobile Payment Technology
The ability to make mobile payments influences the consumer purchasing decision process in several ways. For starters, some purchasing decisions are driven by the convenience of ordering and paying for food or merchandise from a mobile device before entering a store or restaurant and quickly picking it up rather than waiting to pay for it in person. Without such convenience, there may not be a purchase at all.
Additionally, in physical stores, consumers often base their decision of whether to enter the checkout queue and make a desired purchase on the time needed to reach the point of sale counter. If the line is too long or the checkout process too slow—and even if it seems that way, but really isn’t—many customers will walk out the door without buying anything. This sometimes holds true no matter how much consumers want or need the item(s) in their shopping cart or basket. Offering a mobile payment alternative that will speed customers through checkout and allows payment to occur without pulling out a credit card or fumbling for cash removes such an obstacle and leads to a positive buying decision.
What’s more, with mobile payment options available to them, customers are less likely to second-guess their decision to complete a purchase—the transaction is over before they can question themselves. The same is true of impulse buys, as most customers won’t endure a long line at the point of sale just for impulse purchases. And given all this, it’s no wonder Juniper Research has predicted that global mobile point of sale revenue will total nearly $50 billion in 2021, a meteoric rise from just $6.6 billion in 2016.
SMS-Based Payment Technology
As mentioned earlier in this blog post, the more convenient it is for consumers to pay for their intended purchases, the more likely they will be to actually make those purchases. What’s more, given a choice between a patronizing one merchant that does offer convenient payment options and another that does not, most consumers will decide to take their business to the former—again and again. This applies to the purchase of goods and services for which consumers are billed on a recurring basis. SMS-based payment technology that makes it easier to pay these bills keeps these customers in the fold and decreases the likelihood that a future purchase of goods and services will be made elsewhere.
With solutions like E-Complish’s Text2Pay, customers can register to receive bill payment reminders by text as well as to take advantage of a secure “pay by text” option in which their account and payment information is securely stored and used it to process payments. When ready to make a payment, customers submit a pre-selected PIN number to submit funds via a return text.
Whether online or via mobile apps, merchants are using artificial intelligence (AI) tools for the purpose of customer engagement—and such engagement has an impact on purchasing decisions. For example, some retailers and restaurant operators leverage chatbots to converse with customers, providing relevant content and personalized suggestions based on what they have purchased in the past or currently have in a digital “shopping cart.” The potential that consumers will act on these suggestions during the buying process is strong because of the personalization element.
Interacting with a chatbot that has been programmed to connect with consumers in a personal way also gives consumers the ability to ask and receive answers to questions, obtain information, narrow searches, and in some instances pay for their purchases. Again, the perception of great customer service, along with the suggestive selling element and the convenience afforded by AI technology, often inspires consumers to buy more than they had originally intended, as well as to patronize merchants whose technology toolbox includes AI over merchants whose technology toolbox doesn’t incorporate it.
As technology continues to evolve, it will have more and more of an impact on what happens at the point of decision. Click here to learn more and keep tabs on future developments.