This holiday season, a record number of purchases will be made with the use of a mobile device. Some of these purchases will be made in-store, using a smart phone to make the payment at checkout. And a growing number will be purchases made by consumers directly from their mobile device. Added together, and it's clear that "mobile" may be the new buzz word for retailers in 2016. The House Energy and Commerce Committee will be discussing this transformative technology at a hearing this morning entitled, "The Disrupter Series: Mobile Payments."
"With the holiday shopping season in full swing, now is the perfect time for Congress to discuss the dynamic changes at work in our economy, and we're grateful to the House Energy and Commerce Committee for highlighting the mobile revolution that will impact retailers and consumers in the years ahead," said Brian Dodge, executive vice president at the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).
"Never before in history have consumers had access to so many different merchant platforms and a variety of payment technologies to choose from," said Dodge. "For retailers, meeting this challenge has meant a massive investment in new payment terminals, workforce training, mobile shopping platforms and customer service to ensure we are meeting the needs of our consumers from product selection to check out—regardless of where it occurs."
For decades, Black Friday symbolized the biggest and busiest shopping day of the year, with stores competing against one another with blockbuster sales to drive foot traffic. Just over ten years ago, Cyber Monday became synonymous with online shopping as retailers began to see spikes in online sales the day after the Thanksgiving weekend. This led to new sales strategies designed to attract customers shopping from their home or office. The advent of mobile platforms and payment technologies means consumers can now shop whenever they want wherever they want, and it will be up to retailers to address this challenge going forward.
"The expected growth of mobile shopping and mobile payments means holiday shopping will further evolve to meet the demands and preferences of consumers who now carry in their pocket a global shopping catalog and a bank in one device," said Dodge. "Retailers embrace the challenge of using new technologies that enable them to interact with their customers at any given moment."
And despite the growth of digital platforms, major retailers are still committed to an in-store experience that uses cutting edge technologies to ensure secure payments and a variety of options for the consumer.
"For consumers shopping locally, retailers have invested billions in both new machines and training to ensure consumers have a wide variety of payment options, and that the experience at checkout is as smooth and secure as possible," added Dodge.