Technology is important, but trust is essential
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
We talk a lot about omnichannel retail and giving today’s shoppers every option when it comes to product ordering and delivery. But what is really at the heart of retail success is establishing a trusting relationship with customers. It sounds simple, but it’s not.
I recently attended the Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas where there were a lot of discussions and questions around data security and payment innovation. Are retailers implementing EMV? How can we make mobile payment work at the drive-thru? What are the steps to speeding the checkout process, both online and in the store? These are all great questions and need to be addressed, but when it comes right down to it, they all lead to trust.
"Trust is the cornerstone of commerce," said Patrick Gauthier, Amazon’s VP of external payments, in one panel discussion. "It is not about technology. It is not about product. It is about who consumers will trust" — with their hard-earned dollars as well as their personal information.
The path to building trust is different for every retailer. It is paved with the overall brand promise. Amazon, for example, is focusing on decreasing the friction during online checkout in order to increase the percentage of shoppers finalizing purchases. "On an average site, only 35 percent of shoppers who begin the checkout process will complete a purchase," Mr. Gauthier noted.
To embolden shoppers to impulse click with a buy button, they will need to believe their personal information is secure and protected. To motivate shoppers to opt into the app that will sense them as they approach the drive-thru or identify where they are dwelling inside the store, retailers will need to build brand trust.
This trust will translate to easier and more seamless retail activities. In one example, Phillips 66 is testing a solution that will alert drivers when they are running low on gas. As the driver pulls up into the Phillips 66 station the mobile app will initiate payment upon fueling and record loyalty points — all without a swipe.
While retailers are in the process of implementing EMV, tokenization and end-to-end encryption, as well as other new customer service technologies, they are aware that there is never a 100 percent guarantee of security. Data breaches will occur. Criminals get smarter and trickier. Those are facts that will not change. To retain customer trust, it’s important for both consumer-facing and B2B companies to remain above board when it comes to questionable activities.
Keep working at building and securing a trusting brand relationship and your customers will keep coming back.
Which customer-facing technologies are most sensitive to trust issues? How can retailers build trust with their customers with regard to tech advances such as mobile pay and personalized offers?