Elevating in-person payments: Crafting bespoke customer experiences

E-commerce may be thriving, but in-person payments are playing an increasingly pivotal role in the customer journey. That means retailers must find innovative ways to bridge the gap between online and offline transactions.

More than half of today’s customers engage with more than four channels on their path to purchase — which may include in-person and online channels.1

What’s more, these omnichannel customers shop and spend more than customers who use a single channel.2

That’s why retailers need the right tools and strategies to understand every customer interaction and deliver bespoke commerce experiences across channels.

Learn more about the transformative role of in-person payments, personalizing transactions with data-driven insights, and using PayPal’s innovative solutions to help drive business growth.

The evolving role of in-person payments in retail

Customer expectations have rapidly evolved. Shoppers now expect seamless, consistent, and personalized consumer experiences across online and offline channels. They want to be in charge of where, when, and how they engage with businesses at every touchpoint.

For example, shoppers may expect businesses to provide customized, omnichannel capabilities such as:

  • Endless aisles: In-store displays that showcase expanded inventory of what's available online.
  • Cards on file: Securely stored customer information for faster and more convenient repeat transactions.
  • Card-linked loyalty programs: Memberships that offer perks and rewards for each purchase made with a card.
  • Tap to pay: Contactless purchases made by simply tapping a card or phone to a payment terminal. 49% of global consumers say tap to pay is important for in-person purchases.3
  • Streamlined reconciliation: Fast and easy returns, refunds, and issue resolutions.
  • Offline processing: Completing an in-person purchase without internet connection, such as by swiping a card at a terminal and securely storing the information until the transaction is approved.

Customers may also want to integrate their digital and physical shopping experiences with capabilities such as:

  • Buying online and returning in person or by mail.
  • Picking up online orders curbside.
  • Paying in person and getting part of an order, then receiving the rest of the order via mail.
  • Placing an order from a semi-attended kiosk.
  • Paying in person, then purchasing a subscription.
  • Receiving a text when an order has been delivered.

This desire for control and convenience aren’t just passing trends either. They’re clear indicators of an evolving commerce landscape — and customer preferences that are here to stay.

Personalizing the customer journey with data-driven insights

Merchants can collect data from in-person interactions to help them better understand each customer’s purchase patterns, payment methods, and preferred channels. They can then enhance the customer shopping experience with personalized marketing campaigns and product recommendations.

That’s where a centralized vault can help. A vault securely stores payment data, so shoppers can easily make repeat or recurring transactions without having to enter their information each time. By using a centralized vault, merchants can gain a comprehensive view of customer behaviors and experiences across channels, whether they’re shopping online, in person, or even dialing into a call center.

With this unified data, merchants can deliver more engaging omnichannel experiences, boosting loyalty and revenue at each touchpoint. Consider these use cases, for example:

  • A customer picks up an item in store that they purchased online. The merchant follows up with a “just-for-you” offer email based on past purchases.
  • A customer returns an ecommerce order in store. The merchant notifies them of complementary items that can be shipped from a different location.
  • A customer repeats an in-store purchase. The merchant sends an online subscription offer.
  • As a customer shops in person, the merchant approves them for a buy now, pay later purchase.
  • A customer purchases plane tickets. The merchant then sends an email offer for travel insurance based on previous insurance purchases.

PayPal Braintree In-Person: Bridging the online-offline divide

Each touchpoint doesn’t just offer an opportunity to make a sale. It’s a chance to deliver an exceptional experience powered by data. That’s where PayPal Braintree In-Person comes in.

This innovative payment solution seamlessly integrates in-person, online, and mobile transactions. So merchants can gain a single view of each customer and provide unified commerce experiences across channels.

Crafting tailored retail experiences with PayPal

Many merchants are already enhancing customer engagement and sales with PayPal Braintree In-Person payments.

Adorama, one of the largest specialty retailers of professional audio, video, and photography gear in New York City, needed to meet customers with more flexible checkout experiences, both online and in store. So they used PayPal’s Braintree to help consolidate their payments information on one platform. As a result, Adorama improved operational efficiencies and rolled out new payment methods like Venmo, increasing sales and order values. Learn more about how Adorama increased omnichannel engagement with Braintree and PayPal in-person payments.

Meanwhile, Pressed Juicery was looking for innovative ways to simplify in-store payments and future-proof their business. With PayPal’s Braintree, Pressed migrated from its outdated payment processor and began to easily accept a range of payment methods. Braintree also helped Pressed maintain PCI compliance with secure transactions. Learn more about how Pressed streamlined operations with Braintree.

Measuring the impact of customized in-person experiences

After launching customized in-person strategies, it’s important to measure their effectiveness and explore which tactics drive results and which can be optimized for future success. Merchants can use an integrated platform like Braintree to automatically collect and analyze this data across payment methods and devices.

With the Braintree Control Panel, you can sort and search transactions by a range of features, such as payment method and date created. You can use the Transaction Summary to gain a high-level overview of successful and unsuccessful payments, as well as any processing trends. And you can use Braintree’s API to build custom reports for your specific needs.

To measure the impact of your in-person strategies, for example, you can track key metrics such as:

Conversion rates: How well does your strategy drive conversions?

  • Example: If you invite repeat purchasers to join an online subscription or loyalty program, how many sign up?

Average order value: What's the average amount of money spent by shoppers on a certain channel?

  • Example: Do customers spend more in person if they're prompted to use buy now, pay later at checkout?

Customer satisfaction: How happy are customers with their shopping experiences?

  • Example: Do shoppers report higher satisfaction if they can make an in-person payment with their preferred method, such as tap to pay?

Future trends of in-person retail experiences

Emerging trends and technologies will continue to transform the future of in-person payments and retail experiences. Customers may continue to adopt convenient, contactless payment methods like digital wallets and tap to pay. At the same time, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and stablecoins may continue to evolve as people seek to acquire and trade decentralized assets.

Merchants may also use AI and machine learning tools to analyze and leverage customer data, predict behaviors, and deliver real-time strategy recommendations.

According to Adobe, many agencies believe their clients have access to AI and machine learning technologies but either don’t use them or use them without realizing.4 It will be important for merchants to stay informed about these tools as they evolve, since they can be instrumental to delivering next-level customer experiences.

Omnichannel strategies will likely remain relevant as consumers seek new ways to bridge their shopping journeys across touchpoints. With a unified commerce solution, merchants can more effectively drive sales and reach shoppers at just the right moments. They can also cut down on operational costs and stay nimble in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Enhance in-person experiences to fuel business growth

PayPal provides a unified solution to help retailers deliver bespoke interactions and deepen customer engagement. As the commerce landscape continues to evolve, PayPal Braintree In-Person gives you the tools to stay ahead of the curve and prepare for the future of payment technology.

Learn more about how to grow your business with PayPal's in-person payment solutions.

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