Mobile Payments & Skipping the Checkout Line

by Net Future Institute on July 7, 2014

By Chuck Martin

While most consumers like to shop in physical stores, many want to get out quickly and efficiently once they’ve decided on their purchase.

Research regularly shows that mobile shoppers want efficient checkout.

Almost half (48%) of consumers also want to use their own device to check out or pay in store, according to a recent study by Deloitte Digital. This compares to about a quarter (24%) who prefer to go through a salesperson.

This issue of getting out of the store more quickly once the purchase decision is made strikes me as what leads to the desire for in-aisle payments, though that phrase may be a slight misnomer.

Just how the majority of mobile shoppers will end up paying and getting out of stores is still to be determined, with countless experiments and methods well underway around the world.

A relatively small retailer in Canada introduced a self-checkout app to its customers late last year and has been watching and measuring results.

The store, LUX Beauty Boutique in Edmonton, used a mobile payment app that allowed shoppers to pay from anywhere in the store and on launch weekend found 7% of all in-store transactions moved to the app, according to its maker.

While the majority of customers didn’t yet move to the SelfPay app from Digital Retail Apps, the cosmetics retailer did capture some interesting stats:

*There were 28 SelfPay purchases during a one-day birthday party event
*There were 79 purchases via the app since launch
*App payment transactions were 17% larger than credit card transactions

The stat that interested me the most is that when faced with lines at checkout, 78% of the birthday party event consumers downloaded the app on the same day.

This indicates that when mobile payment solves an obvious problem, such as a long checkout line, consumers adapt.

Sales associates at Sephora and Nordstrom have mobile payment devices available to them, which can be quickly utilized when lines form at checkout, instantly relieving that burden and enhancing the checkout experience.

While one Canadian cosmetics store using a self-pay app may seem small, it solves a large problem at the individual shopper level. And that may be the future for mobile payments.


Chuck Martin is Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Chuck Martin is a frequent Mobile Keynote Speaker and Mobile Marketing Speaker internationally. He also addresses Social Media in Mobile.


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