We often talk about consumer or shopping experience, but what about the merchant experience? One cannot exist without the other.

‘I always forget to make an appointment with my hairdresser, and when I do remember, they are closed.’

That’s a common occurrence for many. When Nicky Koopman spoke to PYMNTS.com she observed how travelling and a busy work life can make it difficult to get the merchant experience that she needs, but went on to say:

‘I am so happy that I can actually go online and make my booking when I remember I need to.’

As the digital age evolves, how consumers seek to interact with merchants is ever-changing. Their lives can be time-constrained, so there’s a craving for immediacy, and a higher value placed on the quality of the interaction.

 

Customers want the best shopping experience

To compete with eCommerce, merchants want to streamline the checkout process for in-store transactions. Our Retail Innovation Readiness surveys found that more than 80% of small businesses believe they need to innovate to stay competitive.
To meet consumer needs for a better shopping experience, merchants must be able to incorporate more value-added services into the payment process, and do it seamlessly. There are many solutions available to merchants, such as loyalty, customer relationship management, booking, and more, that will be helpful in offering the best shopping experience to their customers.
But how useful can these solutions be if they’re not also providing the merchant with a great experience as well?

 

How to provide the ultimate merchant experience?

The best shopping experience starts with the best possible merchant experience. Maximizing the merchant experience is about improving how a merchant interacts with the solutions he uses to conduct its entire business. This includes the ability to improve the behind the scenes running, aka the back office, as well as the service provided to its customers, using value-added services. Yet how can a merchant offer the best shopping experience with tools that do not work well together, or worse do not even talk to one another?

Today, smart POS solutions incorporate a software POS along with third-party applications offering other functions that provide additional consumer services and automate traditional merchant back-office needs such as employee management, inventory management, or billing and invoicing. Not only does the consumer get a better experience, but the merchant can take advantage of productivity tools that are integrated at the point of interaction.
The ultimate merchant experience is what merchant solution providers, such as merchant acquirers, ISOs, VARs should be aiming to deliver in order to become true partners with their merchants.

 

What does the ultimate merchant experience look like?

 

A few weeks ago some of our team made a video aimed at helping acquirers to understand what the ultimate merchant experience could look like.
The video introduces smart POS, which turns the point of sale into a vibrant point of interaction (POI) and lets the audience experience a perfect example of first-class customer service via a small hairdressing business. Look at the smiles.
The merchant acquirer does more for the merchant: providing more than just payments, it provides value-added services. The merchant, in turn, can run its business more efficiently and make its customers happy.

In what becomes a seamless transaction, we see our consumer able to book an appointment directly the mobile phone, leading to a digital check-in upon arrival.
Not only does this make it easier for the merchant to manage the flow of customers, but it adds to the level of customer service satisfaction, with a friendly welcome and the sense of being valued as a remembered client.
We also see a much-developed checkout experience, with the ability to process the transaction, access loyalty functions, a customizable checkout and a digital receipt. Add this to the various analytical features available to the merchant and that classic POS has become a new vibrant point of interaction.

Behind the scenes of this ultimate merchant experience video

Filmed in London, this shoot took around 10 hours, with our actress starting her journey at AEVI’s offices; even we need to take some time to treat ourselves occasionally.

Our team was 20-people strong, pulling together some brilliant actors and creative staff to produce this short film.
Thank you to the team involved in creating this great video, and above all to our customers, partners and our teams that every day build on our vision to provide the number one open ecosystem for high quality, value-added apps and services and payments. Leading the payment industry to DO MORE through new ways of thinking and embracing collaboration.

If you would like to learn more on how you can provide the ultimate merchant experience to your merchants, visit the App Marketplace.

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