London—Oct. 17, 2018—Competition and increasing sales are the primary drivers for U.S. retail merchant innovation at the point of interaction between merchants, consumers, and merchant solution providers, according to a new survey and Innovation Index from PYMNTS in collaboration with AEVI. Small merchants in particular are finding new, innovative ways to compete with ecommerce and larger, more moneyed and connected competitors.
More than 400 retailers across nine different sectors were surveyed on what drives them to invest in or forego certain innovations. The top driver: 84.3% say they need to innovate to stay competitive. Close behind: 77% say they need to innovate to increase sales. Additionally, 69% of smaller retailers. Smaller businesses cater to a smaller consumer base, and 69% say they need to innovate to strengthen consumer loyalty.
The survey finds that while retail merchants are mostly satisfied with their current payment service providers, more than half of all merchants would switch providers in order to get either a better deal, an all-in-one integrated solution, or an easy-to-use system.
Next-Gen acquiring services
“This survey illustrates why merchant solution providers need to move to the next generation of acquiring services,” says Martina Jeronski, Global Head of Marketing at AEVI. “The inflexibility of traditional point of sale solutions and POS payment devices prevent acquirers from delivering flexible, open solutions that accommodate new value-added services based on merchants and consumers’ demand.”
Like other industry segments, retail merchants are embracing digital transformation as they adapt to online competition, consumer use of smart devices, and the potential for cross-channel sales and marketing. The survey also finds that many are eager to embrace innovative business apps to improve back-office functions such as inventory management (49%), payroll management (45%) and staff management (35%).
“Next-gen acquirers and merchant solution providers will be defined by their ability to deliver merchant-tailored business apps and agile support services on any device, providing merchants and consumers with a seamless experience,” Jeronski says. “Particularly with smaller merchants, they need to deliver solutions that operate out-of-the-box without merchant intervention, but that still can accommodate new apps as merchants and consumers demand new features and functions.”
The full survey report is available here. This report is the first in a series of four, with subsequent reports to cover hospitality, consumer services, and health and beauty.
AEVI will be exhibiting at Money20/20 in Las Vegas, Oct. 21-24. Attendees and press are invited to visit Booth #1905 to see how open technology is impacting the point of interaction.
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