The “contactless lifestyle” - how brands can adapt and engage with customers safely

The rise in contactless transactions has become a focal point for businesses, as consumers seek faster payments and safer shopping experiences. In this blog, we discuss the “contactless lifestyle” and how businesses can adapt and engage with customers safely.

7 months ago   •   3 min read

By Emma Mooney

The “no-contact” or “contactless” lifestyle is happening now, and it seems to be here to stay. It is something, we bet, that your business is already familiar with!

Your business may be offering contactless payments, however, we have outlined current trends and new methods for your business to consider, to ensure safer experiences for your consumers.

Everything is contactless

It may come as no surprise that current circumstances have accelerated digital adoption amongst consumers. The rise in social distancing requirements and contactless transactions has become a focal point for businesses, as consumers are more interested in safety. In fact, consumers are willing to switch between brands if one is offering a safer experience over another, as they do not want to jeopardize their health, highlighting a key consumer trend.

Consumer behaviour has undoubtedly changed as a result of the pandemic, and many people will not fall back into their old routines:

  • 86% of consumers will continue to shop online after social distancing measures are removed;
  • 63% are buying more groceries online than ever before;
  • 48% view cash handling as unhygienic;
  • 45% are shopping less often but filling bigger baskets;
  • 28% of US consumers plan to increase their shopping via smart speakers.

In terms of global payment processes, research by Forbes has indicated that the pandemic has led to an active push towards a cashless society. There is no denying it; the contactless revolution is here, and it is here to stay.

How businesses can adapt to this

Consumers want fast, simple and secure payments - now more than ever - which has led to a growth in the value of contactless payments. The rise in contactless payments not only can be attributed to current circumstances, but also due to the increase in the contactless limit. In light of Brexit, banks are pressuring the UK government to increase the contactless payment limit to £100, breaking the EU cap of £45.

To keep up with demand, businesses will have to accommodate this change, as this increase will better serve both consumers and businesses going forward. People have embraced contactless methods as their preferred way to pay and their spending habits will continue to evolve, meaning it less likely that customers will carry cash to fulfil payments.

An article from Accenture also anticipates the growth of tokenized mobile wallets. Digital wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay allow payments to be made without holding a card to a terminal or entering a PIN, and therefore the use of token-based wallets are expected to rise, while payments with physical cards may decrease. As a result, businesses that are not prepared to accept payments from digital wallets may suffer.

In order to adapt, businesses that are not yet offering contactless methods must implement them immediately, and even take a further step to ensure that they can seamlessly integrate token-based wallet payments.

A step further for businesses to consider are the evolving trends of at-home experiences, home and sample deliveries, and the use of voice activated samples.

At-home experiences and deliveries

Staying indoors has prompted companies to think outside of the box, and expand their offerings to accommodate the delivery of at-home experiences and deliveries.

  • Stuff U Need is an online shopping and delivery portal. It was designed during COVID-19 to provide essential items to consumers, through contactless delivery.
  • Companies such as HelloFresh and DropChef were founded on the idea of weekly meal plans and convenient home deliveries, to enjoy cooking together as a household.
  • Other businesses, such as AmazingCo, have surged to offer fully digital experiences to connect and have fun with friends and family, at a time when people are apart.

Voice activated sampling and ordering

If your business was not considering voice activated anything before, it will now. Coffee and doughnut company Dunkin’ previously launched a ready-to-drink coffee in a can within the US and partnered with Send Me a Sample to promote it.

Send Me a Sample is a platform that works on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to send free samples to consumers who ask for them through virtual assistants. The result for Dunkin’? 10,000 US consumers requested a sample within 24 hours, with a data opt-in of 56%.

Other companies succeeded in voice activated sampling campaigns, such as NARS Cosmetics and Coca-Cola Sweden’s vending machine, which encouraged people to replicate varying dialects of the language to receive a bottle of their choice.

Domino’s pizza has also implemented a strategy to aid their commitment of becoming 100% digital. Using a voice assistant feature, Domino’s has enabled customers to order and track their orders through smart technology.

The takeaway here (a little hospitality joke for you!) is that contactless payments, token-based wallets, at-home experiences and voice-powered customer experiences are on your competitor’s radar, and should be on yours, too.

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