Amazon Pay: innovate around what won’t change

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Consumers are going through a time of stress, and Patrick Gauthier, vice president of Amazon Pay, told PYMNTS in a recent interview that merchants working to prepare for the new normal in retail should start by addressing it.

Consumers, he noted, are under stress in ways they have never experienced before due to pandemic changes to their lives. Gauthier said studies show consumers have what’s called a “decision budget” – how much energy they can put into making decisions – but COVID-19 is pushing that to the limit.

“We are able to divide this decision-making budget among the major choices in our life: ‘Should I refinance my house? Should I buy this car? ‘ “, did he declare.

But these days, “every decision we make, ‘Should I go to the grocery store or should I order my groceries online and then pick them up from the curb? Should I send my children to school or not? Should I take advantage of online capabilities? ‘ – taxes on this budget, ”said Gauthier. “Many daily decisions are fraught with neurological demands. And this is where a lot of stress is created.

He said retailers and service providers need to address these concerns as they outline their digital and omnicommerce strategies and think about new technologies to put in place. They need to leverage digital tools and experiences to reduce customer stress by removing friction and building trust.

“My encouragement to any retailer is to think about: what are some experiences where digital will create less friction, including omnichannel experiences that can be used throughout the customer journey to really reduce tension and anxiety and create a safe space? ‘”, said Gauthier.

As long as retailers focus on creating such safe spaces, he said, “the future is bright.”

Set up the trust fund

In the new pandemic world in which most, if not all, consumer decisions are made with a health-first lens (what Webster calls “pandenomics”), building a strong and trusting relationship between the merchant and the customer is not an option, but a necessity.

“Trust is the foundation on which business is built, because without trust, there are all kinds of ruptures in the relationship between the trader and the buyer,” said Gauthier.

He added that trust is a function of the experience that customers have had with a particular merchant in the past. If goods or services consistently arrive on time and as expected, the customer comes to trust the merchant.

Research can even quantify the value of trust for merchants, Gauthier said, noting that Amazon’s research found that in consumer demographics, safety and trust tend to be more valuable than price. or selection.

In fact, 85% of consumers surveyed by Amazon rated trust and security as “somewhat” or “very” important in their purchasing decisions. Additionally, 70% said they would turn away from a seller after a disappointing, unpredictable or untrustworthy experience.

But Gauthier said the tricky part of trusting online retailers is how to maintain it when they go beyond a local customer base who may know them, to a new digital audience, or a national audience or even international. Along with the huge opportunity for sales growth, the challenge is to make that first sale, he said.

New research from PYMNTS on building trust in a digital world says visual and social cues are important. Almost 70% (68%) of Millennial and Mid-Generation Consumers and 63% of Gen X Consumers say familiar reviews, recommendations and payment options give them the confidence that a new merchant is worth worth getting their contract. Gauthier said that Amazon Pay on merchant websites provides that sense of trust and confidence that has been built over years of verifying Amazon.com.

“The Amazon Pay button means, ‘You are protected against fraud and embezzlement just like you are on Amazon,” said Gauthier. “We use the same tools, and we also export guarantees.

This terms of reference and framework help the consumer to be more confident in the shopping experience with any retailer that accepts Amazon Pay, he explained.

“If you solve a customer problem, good things happen to all parties involved,” he said. “In this case, we solve a customer problem [of]: ‘How can I feel safe in a world which is otherwise very uncertain?’ “

Prepare for change by building for what is constant

Many market watchers believe the digital world has advanced about 10 years in the past six months, leaving everyone wondering what the next normal will look like. How many changes are permanent shifts versus temporary adjustments? What will change next?

Gautier said predicting the changes that are still developing is nearly impossible, so Amazon is content to navigate “things that are true today and will remain so” whenever the pandemic ends.

He said it breaks down into three main ideas:

First, in a considerably more digitalized world, it will be important to find more ways for traders and buyers to connect with each other.

Second, multi-channel commerce is not a niche or a temporary feature, it is here to stay, and the goal is to further develop multi-channel to better meet the needs of consumers. “Multichannel didn’t start when the pandemic started – the pandemic has just shown customers that there are new ways to do more with new points of contact,” Gauthier said. “And we anticipate that a multi-channel will be the lingua franca of retail in the future.”

Finally, the only constant in the retail world going forward will be constant change. More and more transactions will be contactless and voice-activated, and trade journeys will occur across channels in a way that we are just starting to see emerging and progressing in ways that we cannot yet predict. .

Gauthier said that means the only thing retailers can do is be prepared to adapt. “It’s like Darwin said: those who die will be those who don’t have the capacity to adapt,” he said.

“What companies are seeing now is the importance of being highly adaptable, and with the introduction of digital they have the ability to access innovation, perhaps in a way that ‘they hadn’t considered before,’ said Gauthier. “And we consider that one of our responsibilities is to bring these innovations to our merchants. “

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