Research highlights the importance of payment integration
November 25, 2013

As small and medium-sized businesses continue to look for ways to keep up with rapidly changing consumer behaviors, investments in payment integration technology may represent the most reliable solution. A store that is able to seamlessly connect transaction information from various channels, including its brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce portals and mobile points of sale, has the greatest chance of coming out on top in an increasingly competitive retail market.

According to General Electric Capital Retail Bank's latest "Mobile Shopper Study," which examines consumer behaviors and trends across the U.S., found the growing popularity of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets has been the main driver behind the importance of offering an omni-channel retail experience. Advancements in technology have only made shoppers more savvy than ever before, which means small-business owners can leverage these trends to maximize revenue in unique ways.

"Omni-channel shoppers are more engaged in terms of spending," Courtney Keating, vice president of new products for GE Capital's retail finance business, stated in a press release. "They expect a frictionless and consistent shopping experience in and out of the store. Retailers can cultivate loyalty by understanding the path-to-purchase and developing an integrated marketing plan that puts the customer at the center."

Anticipating future behaviors
Other research has indicated shoppers will likely continue to expect a dynamic, multi-channel retail experience well into the future. Data compiled in a survey from the nonprofit organization Family Online Safety Institute and Hart Research Associates, an analytical firm, revealed significant growth in smartphone adoption among U.S. teenagers. In fact, the report measured an increase of more than 20 percent between 2012 and 2013 in terms of the penetration of Internet-accessible mobile devices among Americans aged 13 to 17. The more young teenagers become familiar with this technology, the more likely it is they will come to expect these tools to factor into the retail experience in the future.

Integrated payment systems represent a reliable way for small and medium-sized businesses to streamline the essential financial tasks associated with managing transactions from multiple channels. Stores with limited time and resources shouldn't have to view advancements in technology has a hindrance. Instead, these companies can leverage unique tools to stay on top of industry trends. By doing so, small-business owners can benefit from offering a streamlined retail experience without sacrificing operational convenience or adding additional overhead costs.

Nexus: G-WEBCD4