The transformation of physical stores, a race for digitalization

In the time of digitalization, many buyers still opt to make purchases in physical stores.

How do we make purchases? How do we pay? The buying habits of Spanish consumers are changing and we can spot this when it´s payment time. Data shows that ecommerce keeps growing. The latest information offered by the National Commission of Markets and Competition reflects this, which also points out that ecommerce made over 5.4 billion euros in Spain during the first quarter of 2016, entailing an increase of 21.5% compared to the previous year, but still, many people prefer to purchase at the physical point of sale.

This increase in ecommerce, is making lifelong stores, use new options in the market, focusing on the digitalization of the business to bring the time of payment a step further. Digitalization also helps to promote the growth of small businesses, which have to adapt to be able to compete with larger companies.

Every day, consumers have at their disposal a series of payment methods that are progressively leaving cash aside, such as contactless, card, moblie and online payment, at the store itself.

Since we don´t want to give up the traditional purchase, neither the bags, we are introducing other ways to our payment habits, such as smartphones so we no longer need to carry our wallet. In order to use these alternative methods, a card is needed to provide our data, in consecuence, according to the Tecnocom Report on Payment Trends 2016, the number of credit cards in Spain has reached pre-crisis figures, reaching up to 45 million.

These digital pay alternatives at the sales point, help consumers to speed up the purchase process. They save time spent at the store, because, despite the increasing web and online purchases, we still like, especially before buying certain products, to try them, feel them and check if they fit our needs and expectations.

We Spaniards draw upon booking flights, buying clothes and purchasing tecnology online but decline buying fresh food, cleaning products and drugs, among others, via Internet, as shown in the latest report by Nielsen «Connected Trade». We distrust the condition in which these product can arrive and prefer to save time and go directly to the store avoiding long processes of refunds.

Because we are dealing with digital payment methods, like ecommerce does, it´s important that shops offer a fast and efficient shopping experience, guaranteeing customers the security and protection of their card data. To cover this need, many businesses have various payment gateways facilitating the charging process.

In this way, both companies, by reducing financial costs by being able to work with different banks and processing entities at the same time and costumers benefit. For example if they, as final consumers, have the option to pay in their local currency, or when being a non European tourist, can get the VAT returned, as long as the shop incorporates this operation.

We, the Communication Department of Sipay, Spanish payment gateway with nearly 25 years of experience in the sector, consider it essential to mind the payment process at the point of sale. That´s why, with our face-to-face payment solution, provide that this moment is fast, agile and adapted to the needs of each buyer and all kind of businesses, regardless of sector or size.

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