Merchants today think big. They’ve moved beyond the four walls of their shops to embrace the digital era and in the process have discovered that commerce is borderless. Industry giants from Amazon to Alibaba have set a new precedent for scale and merchants feel the pressure to reach new customers. To compete, many look to go global.
Yet introducing a product to a new market and getting customers to pay for it are two different stories. The stakes are high. Think about it – payments are the final step in any transaction and the last impression left on a customer, especially if it’s less than stellar. Nonetheless, many brands continue to offer payment experiences that are out of sync with their target audience. The result can be the difference between a customer coming back for more or looking to your nearest competitor.
It comes down to the fact that commerce has evolved, and so too must payments. Regions adopt new technologies at varied paces. Innovations are championed by a slew of providers and are all subject to different regulations. With new payment technologies emerging every day, the one-size-fits-all paradigm of the past just doesn’t cut it.
It’s not earth shattering, but it’s forgotten all too often at the expense of millions of dollars in product left in shopping carts for eternity: to nail payments and grow a global business, merchants must build payments strategies around their local customers’ unique needs.
Don’t buy the hype
Merchants are inundated with choices when they create customer experiences. In an effort to attract new audiences, brands often turn to the hottest payments tools – from Google Wallet to Apple Pay – hoping these innovations will give them an edge. But customers are unlikely to adopt new tools simply because they’re the “next big thing” – especially if it falls outside of the channels they know and prefer.
Brands must look beyond the “cool” factor and take a step back to ask themselves hard questions. How do customers prefer to pay in each local market? What do their past relationships with mobile devices, banks and credit look like? The businesses that truly compete on the global stage answer these questions and develop sophisticated, localized payments strategies in response.