Shoppers around the world are demanding their retail experience is transformed, a study by MasterCard has revealed on the eve of this year’s World Retail Congress. Retailers are under increasing pressure to adopt new payment technologies, as shoppers demand simpler and more innovative ways to pay, MasterCard’s first Retail Social Listening Study has uncovered.
In a world first, the MasterCard study in partnership with PRIME Research, analysed 1.6 million unprompted online conversations around shopping and retail, across 61 markets in order to understand consumer experience over the last 12 months.
The global social listening study identified some of the key trends within the shopping and retail space, in order to provide retailers with stronger insights and understanding of their audience. Key findings from the study indicated retailers are experiencing a shift in consumer expectations, requiring new and richer experiences, which will enable consumers around the world to shop at the ‘speed of life’.
Key findings identified from the MasterCard Retail Social Listening Study include:
- Convenience through technology innovations: New payment innovations and launches into the payments market stirred up the most conversation, the study found. The emergence of new digital payments lead to the most positive conversations around convenience (77%) with the travel sector leading the way in terms of the highest share of coverage. Consumers specifically highlighted their preference for not necessarily needing to take their wallet on every trip and being able to use mobile payments when they travel.
- Being rewarded: Rewards and benefits for the consumer was the most vociferously and positively discussed topic across social media when it came to shopping and retail. Entertainment was the sector leading the way, where rewards & benefits was most discussed. Consumers expressed eagerness for further acceptance of NFC payments allowing them to receive rewards for using them regularly, such as with MasterCard’s Fare Free Friday’s in London.
- Demand for increased acceptance: After rewards and benefits, consumer discussion of which retailers do and do not accept newer forms of payment was the second most discussed topic according to the study. Consumers discussed extensively their desire for retailers to integrate new payment systems, with conversations about fashion being most prominent in terms of sector. Fashion focussed shoppers were the most keen to shout about retailers who accept new methods of payment, such as NFC acceptance and mobile payment capabilities.
In addition, Twitter was highlighted as the globally biggest social media platform when it came to online conversations about retail and shopping.
Carlos Menendez, Executive Director for International Markets at MasterCard said;
“The wave of social engagement we see every time new payment innovations are rolled out truly reflects the demand and desire for new and more convenient ways to pay. It also shows that payments have really moved into the heart of the shopping experience – causing frustration when not accepted and engagement when fast, easy and personal.”